SEO 101: What are Title Tags?
There is a lot to think about in regards to search engine optimization (SEO) and the impact it has on your website.
While every detail is important, some deserve a bit more attention than others.
And this is where title tags come into play.
Moz defines a title tag as follows:
“Title tags—technically called title elements—define the title of a document. Title tags are often used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page, and are important both for SEO and social sharing.”
While that’s easy enough to understand, there are some additional details to become familiar with.
Most importantly, keep in mind that the title tag should be an accurate description of the page’s content. Not only is this important from an SEO perspective, but it’s also essential in regards to the user experience.
Also, your title tag should not be longer than 50 to 60 characters, as this is the limit of what Google will display.
Tip: keep your titles 55 characters or less and you’ll never have to concern yourself with these being properly displayed.
Even though you have the ability to create a title tag – and this is something you should definitely be doing – search engines don’t have to display these as provided in your HTML.
Instead, the title tag may be altered to match your company name or the user query.
There’s not much that goes into creating a title tag for your web pages. Here is an example of what the code looks like:
While you have the option to format the title however you wish, here’s an example to follow:
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Company
Of course, it’s a must that each title tag be unique. The last thing you want to do is use a “boilerplate,” as this can lead to your title tags reading in an identical or similar manner.
Yes, it’s Important
It’s easy to believe that title tags aren’t that important. After all, you could simply forget about this, let the search engines choose their own title tag, and hope for the best.
While that may appear to be an option, it’s not a very good one. There are many reasons why this is important, including the following:
- It helps the page rank for your target keywords.
- It is often displayed in the top of a browser page or in tabs.
- Other websites may use the title tag, or something similar, when linking to your website.
Note: even if you don’t know the first thing about HTML, you can still create a unique and optimized title tag for every webpage. For example, if you’re using WordPress, you can install the All in One SEO Pack.
Top Title Tag Mistakes
At this point, you have a better idea of why it’s important to add a title tag to each page of your website.
Now, let’s go one step further by outlining five of the top title tag mistakes:
- Neglecting to have your title tag accurately describe the content on the page.
- Stuffing your title tag with keywords.
- A title tag that is in excess of 60 characters.
- Turning your title tag into an advertisement.
- Using the same format for each title tag, only changing a couple words.
There is a lot that goes into optimizing a webpage for optimal search engine performance and a high level user experience. If you want to excel in this area, make sure you pay close attention to the title tag assigned to each webpage.