A Flying Start with Good Title Tag

You want to get off to a flying start, don’t you? So take that title tag seriously. It is an essential phrase that provides information about what’s on your site, like the titles in different chapters of a book that tell readers what they are about to read.

It’s vital for users as well as for SEO. In this blog I will explain how it can be written; how it can be used, its benefits and everything else pertaining to it.

What Is a Title Tag?

The parts of the Meta tags that show up at the top of your HTML, within the section, is called title tag.
It helps people to take vital decisions like visiting your site when it appears in the search result. It must include essential keywords to enable the search engine know what that page is all about.

The key is to write it keeping human beings in mind; the formatting must target search engines. In this blog I’ll provide you best practices for writing this kind of title.

A Title Tag looks like this,
<title>Place Key Words Here</title>>

title tag

In the HTML code a title tag will look like…

title tag html code

How, Where to Put?
So what must you know when going about the task of writing a title tag?
I’ll put you on the right path with some pointers that will help you to compose a title tag that is best for your business.

  • Length: Let’s first look at the length. Including spaces, it shouldn’t contain more than 70 characters, preferably 65 if double letters like W and M are used in the title. If it goes above the limit, then the search engine will truncate it by using ellipses (ie …).
  • Keyword: Keywords must come first and words that are least important last. Make use of pipes — | — to split key phrases. Avoid commas, dashes, underscores and all punctuation marks.
  • Phrasing: Keep the essential phrases simple and short. Don’t use words which make it a sentence, like if, but, then, and, etc.
  • Company Name: Put your company’s name at the end if it is not an important part of your title tag; if it’s important, make it the first words in the title tag. Some SEOs suggest that it must be kept out altogether. If it’s a big brand, it would be wise to retain it.
  • Duplication: This tag must never be duplicated! It should be distinct for every page.
  • Relevancy: The title tag should describe the page’s content. For example, the About Page will be: About | Essential Keywords | Company’s Name or Essential Keywords | About Us | Company’s Name

What Are The Benefits?
The title tag serves 3 key SEO purposes and plays a major role in rankings. It convinces users to click and raises the visibility of your website.

Let’s have a look at these factors:

– Influence Rankings:
As I said, if I was allowed just one change for SEO ranking intent, I would choose the title tag. Inserting, removing or adjusting keywords could make the difference in a page getting ranked or not. It really has so much power!

– Persuade to Click:
As it is generally shown in search results or on social media sites, it is the ‘entry point’ to your site and greatly influences your users. If it is not gripping, then your high rankings and shares will mean nothing as visitors will give you a miss and go for more convincing content.

– Socialization Raises Visibility:
The more persuasive your title, the greater the chances that it will be viewed by a large number of people. Dull titles won’t keep audiences gripped; exciting ones will. The more your social engagement, the greater the visibility for you!

Branding With Creativity
Many businesspersons ask if they should put the names of their business in the title tag. The answer is, ‘No!’ Sometimes, however, you must include your company name for branding purposes.

Generally people looking for non-branded phrases, like ‘soda,’ won’t look for Coke. If they are looking for Coke, then they will type out ‘Coke’. Thus, well-known brands will get additional clicks if they put their brand name in it.
This, of course, holds true only for familiar brands. If you aren’t one, then inserting your name in front could give you a chance of stealing that click from Coke! But if you really want to include your brand name, I would suggest you put it at the tail-end. Since most firms don’t require it, they must not include brand name in the title tag.

Better Optimization
Follow these suggestions to make your title tag useful for both users and search engines:

  • Use one title tag per page: I have come across pages that don’t have one, or have several title tag in the code, or have inserted the tag within the body and not the head. All this is wrong and brings its potential value to useless.
  • Place high-performing keywords in top-to-down order: The value of the tag words is very effective. Search engines may estimate the first word as the most important; the 2nd word next in importance and so on. So put them in descending order of importance.
  • Make sure that site branding is placed last: Branding must always be put last, for relevance is given to descending importance of keywords. Since the products/services you offer are more important than your firm’s brand, this is vital.
  • Word limit: 70 characters: Search engines generally don’t like lengthy phrases. After a certain point, keyword relevance falls sharply in value. Also, the text in the SERPs will only show those numbers of characters before ellipses eclipse the extras!
  • Don’t use stop words: These are words that have little keyword value. Grammatically speaking, the best keywords are verbs and nouns — with adjectives closely supporting. But don’t ever use stop words like articles (a, an), auxiliary words (can, am, is), conjunctions (thus, if, then), particles (thus, then, if), prepositions (for, of, on, that) and pronouns (her, he, us, we).
  • Use definitive words: These words define in the best way what the contents of the page are, so use them in such a way that everything is clear to the search engines.
  • No keyword stuffing please!: Don’t use the same word again and again. It will be sufficient to say that such a stupid attempt to cheat the system is unwise — and possibly dangerous. It could lead to a detailed review of the page and even subsequent fines!

Avoid These Common Mistakes
I have already touched on some of these aspects, but it will help to remind you about things you must not do:
– Same title on every page: Sluggish webmasters/designers sometimes create one title tag and use it on all pages of the site. This is a serious mistake.
– Don’t lead with name of business: As mentioned above, most companies need not lead with their names. It will hamper your optimization endeavor; it will also look bad in the social media.
– Long list of keywords: Title tag should be compelling. The worst thing you could do is to stuff it with keywords.
– Too few keywords/description: On the other hand, one keyword but no description is also bad. You should give the user/search engine enough information to keep them engaged and interested.

Summing Up…
So we can see how important the title tag of a web page is! For optimizing the pages of a website, it has immense value and importance. It has terrific visibility and wields much influence in rankings on search engines as well as user experience. I have included most factors that affect Title Tag in this post and hope you like them. Your comments on this article will be highly appreciated.

Alan Smith is an avid tech blogger with vast experience in various IT domains; currently associated with SPINX Inc., a Los Angeles based Web Development and Design Company. Follow Alan on Google + and Twitter.

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