A Digital Marketing Blog
by the Mesh Collaborative
SEO 101: How to Create Title Tags that Rock!
Title tags are a great place to start learning about SEO. According to a 2011 survey of top SEO practitioners, “ … the title tag was the most important place to use keywords to achieve high rankings”.
So, what are they anyway? A Title Tag is a piece of code that looks something like this: <title>Springfield MO Web Design and Web Development | 40Digits</title>
Title Tags are required for HTML and define what the page is about. Remember, they are called, Title Tags. So, think of them as the title of your page.
Take a look at some Title Tags by noticing the text that appears at the top of your browser.
Title tags are also displayed in the search engine results
Other than your content, Title Tags are the most important element of your site that you can optimize.
Avoid these practices:
- Leave out Title Tags that are full of keywords, search engines can see this as a sneaky attempt to skirt the system and penalize you as a result.
- Don’t just write for search engines. Remember that people will see these Title Tags too.
- Leave out default or vague single word titles like “Home” or “Contact”
- Whatever you do, leave out using a single Title Tag across all of your site’s pages or a large group of pages. Search engines and people want to know what the page is about. Duplicate Title Tags don’t help.
Now that you know a bit about them, here’s how to rock the Title Tag world with just a few simple steps.
- Keep your Title Tag to 70 characters or less. 70 is the maximum amount of characters that will be displayed in the search engines. Anything longer than 70 gets truncated with an ellipsis …
- Your Title Tag should be concise. The attention span online is measured in seconds. Let them know what the page is all about as efficiently as you can.
- Each page of your site should have a unique Title Tag. As mentioned above, duplicate or empty Title Tags don’t give people or search engines any idea what the page is about.
- Use your most prominent keyword first and your secondary keyword next. Search engines give more importance to the first couple of words in your Title Tag.
- Include your brand name, but put it at the end of the tag. If people would buy your product because of the brand name, put it at the beginning of the tag.
When you’re beginning to learn SEO, always ask why! Why are Title Tags important? Here are just a few reasons that will convince anyone.
None other than Google itself will tell you how important Title Tags are to search engines. Google puts out a Search Engine Optimization Starter guide, and it states, “A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is.” You can’t get more upfront than that.
Over at Google’s Webmaster Blog, we get even more support for the importance of Title Tags, “Search engines index pages based on the words contained in them, and including descriptive titles helps search engines know what the pages are about.”
The title tag is a really low hanging fruit. With a quality keyword list and a couple of hours, you can start to make some real improvement to your ranking in the search engines. Now, get out there and start optimizing!