Title Tag SEO Tips

magnifyingglassLooking for a quick fix that will improve your rankings? Take a look at your title tags. A title tag is the line of text that is normally displayed at the top of the browser window.  Title tags are arguably the most important SEO tags for any site.

For most search engines, the maximum length of a title tag to be displayed is between 60-70 characters. If your title tag is over 70 characters, your title will be cut off around 70 characters on the search results page. (Note: more recent evidence, and changes in how the SERPs are displayed, have created an environment in which 55 to 60 characters are more accurate estimates.)

Search engine spiders use these title tags as the main source for determining the page topic. Spiders or crawlers examine the title and then translate the topic of the page. This is one reason why it is always best to use your keywords in the page title, and to place them as close to the beginning of the title as possible. Remember, the text included in the title tag is also the text that will appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages) as the linked title on which users will click to access your page. In fact, just fixing the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and significant improvements in your rankings.

For example, let’s say you have an educational site that provides information and guidelines on teacher certification requirements.  You’ve decided that the most important keywords for your site are “teaching certification” and “teaching requirements.” In this case, a page title along the lines of “Teaching Requirements for Teacher Certification” is highly relevant to the topic of the site. Spiders will crawl your site, and because the title is the first factor it sees, the spider will “read” it and then examine the rest of the page finding the keywords used in other places on the page to determine how relevant the title is to the rest of the content. If the content, H tags, and title tag all relate—you’re in business! This is why it’s so important to target the most critical keywords in the title tag.

Follow this same process for all of your pages, and remember to create unique titles that are relevant to each page and do not keyword stuff.  This greatly improves the effectiveness of those tags and will increase the search engine rankings for your keywords. Although your home page might show up for 20 or 30 different keyword combinations, only your top two or three keyword phrases should be included in the tittle.

Remember, though, that it’s not all about impressing the search engines. Your main goal should be to get someone to click on your listing. This means that you may have to get a little more creative. If all you’re doing is placing keywords, you’re doing something wrong. If, on the other hand, you’re crafting titles that encourage customers to check out your site, now you’re getting closer to true optimization.

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45 Comments

  1. Jacob Stoops says

    Title tags are definitely the homerun hitters for SEO. With well-optimized title tags, almost any site has a shot at ranking better…

  2. Jessica says

    Nice job on the basics. If you’re on WordPress, look for the All in One SEO plugin. If you’re on Typepad, too bad …

    • Krista Fernando says

      Excellent tips on how to use a title tags. These are only basics, but following which will greatly increase the chance of website to be ranked higher.

  3. Matthew L. says

    Good post. I think people forget about Title Tags many times but it is huge in how your site gets indexed. I used to be one of them but now when I create sites, it’s one of the first things I optimize :)

    @MatthewLoop

  4. Alysha says

    Title tag and description still hold its value. While writing these tags we must make sure that our content revolves around these tags. Tags are nothing but gist of that particular page.

  5. Paul R says

    Best article really defining the importance of Title tags, but most people ignore them or give then little weight.

    Good job.

  6. Shannon says

    Really title tags are exceptionally important as it is the title which carry your link in search results…because it is the first thing people see about your site.

  7. Jon says

    Great post that clearly defines the basics and importance of the title tag! I would also point out that the age of a site defintely helps when tweaking the title tag – I’ve worked on sites that are 10-13 years old. With just a few small changes to the title tag I’ve beeen able to rank for some very competitive phrases within a few weeks! Newer sites might take a bit longer to reap the benefits of improving your title tag.

  8. Patrick Wiscombe says

    Title tags are critical…period. Talking about the homepage specifically, you want to find keywords that have huge demand and very little competition then implement the keywords into the title tag of your homepage. I never use more than 10 words (keywords) in the title tag.

  9. Travis Thorpe says

    It is the teaser to get someone to click on your link. The title tag is similar to the ppc ad title and has the same function to get the user to click on your listing.

  10. Shawn says

    I recently started to use SEOtitle tags plugin because of how important the title tag is. Thanks for the write up I enjoyed it.

  11. Martin Fine says

    Great article. Just wanted to know the reason for changing one of the keywords here from “teaching certification” to “Teacher Certification”.

    You’ve decided that the most important keywords for your site are “teaching certification” and “teaching requirements.” In this case, a page title along the lines of “Teaching Requirements for Teacher Certification” is highly relevant to the topic of the site.

  12. Michael Jo. says

    There are some nice SEO plugins that really help you get some extra millage out of your title tag. I currently am using the “all in one SEO plugin”, and it does a very good job for me. Furthermore, I manually remove stop words from the WordPress permalink, and that seems to help to get the posts to rank in the search engines. There are a couple of plugins that actually do that for you if you are running WordPress. I think one of them is called, “SEO post link”.

    I also have had a sub title plugin made that gives you an extra SEO edge. It is call “sub title plus”. If you are interested, please check it out on my blog.

  13. Adrian Castro says

    Great info. There are other proponents of putting navigation type of information on title tags as well. When the home page is about “Certification”, and the Topic is “Teaching Requirements for Teacher Certification” the title would be “Certification – Teaching Requirements for Teacher Certification”.

    In your opinion would this be keyword stuffing, now that “Certification” and “Teach(er|ing)” are appearing twice?

    Another variation is to invert the order of the navigation type path so the title become ‘Topic – Home Page’. Is this a preferred order noting that the topic could be longer than the 60 to 70 characters and could be truncated visually for the search engine user.

  14. Shan says

    They really define the importance of the importance of title tags and encourage people to give importance to it. I will surely try it with my site. I will post here the result of my implementation.

  15. Sadie says

    Thanks for the article, but can someone please tell should we have title tag and page title (header) exactly same?

    I personally feel NO. Because in the title tag we might want to add 2-3 keywords and in the page title (header) may be just one.

    Please clarify.

  16. Haylee says

    If you try stuffing everything into the title, chances are you will lose site of what keywords the site actually has a chance at ranking for.

  17. Caravan Holidays says

    Nice article, the title tag is one of those often missed tags that web designers don’t seem to bother with. Well worth spending a bit of time going thru your own website to check they are all correct.

  18. G J Richardson says

    thanks for the great explanation of title tags. i always try to use the right ones and I am glad to hear that they are that important. I am curious to know if anyone uses the Thesis theme and do you still use the All in one SEO plugin?

  19. Barry says

    I agree in principle regarding the loading of the title tag but it still has to be acceptable to the viewer and not a turn off.

  20. Chantel says

    I always say the three most important thing are title tags, url structure, and links – like the one the moderator hopefully lets go through here.

  21. Ernest says

    The page title tag is what matters most. After we realized that, in our tight greek market, we were able to “edit” our titles and to target more expensive keywords. And that worked, we doubled our income.

    Second important is the url. keywords in the url.

    Thanks for the article.

  22. Shad says

    Title tag is one of the most important factors in optimizing a website. and Title Tag is not only important for the Search Engines to understand what exactly the page is about but it also helps readers and users visiting the page,

    Always remember using a relevant Title tag is SEO. Title of a web page is supposed to be placed between tags in the section of every web page of your website.

  23. Frank says

    So if my title is like: “kw1 kw2 kw3 kw4 kw5″ and my site ranks ok for searching “kw1 kw2″ I will improve my rankings for the previous search phrase removing the last 3 keywords for the title (having the title “kw1 kw2″)? Thank you.

  24. Zack says

    Tip: If your company is a well-known brand, then it is imperative that you really put your company name on the title tag. Now if it is not that popular as of yet, you need to put a few words that describe what you do or sell so when people start looking for products similar to yours, those who do not know your company name can still be led to your site through the descriptive words that you used beside your title tag.

  25. Hayden says

    Good Article. I agree that the title tag is very important part of SEO and rankings. And it is especially important for local optimization. But there are many websites that continue to use generic title tags like this: Home – Welcome to my website. Do your homework and find a good SEO company with years of experience and understands how to effectively write meta titles and meta descriptions.

  26. Avenir says

    A title tag should be short but descriptive enough for your visitors to identify you and your business. Title tag is the first thing that is shown & indexed by the search engines. So naturally it is given a very high importance..

  27. Gilbert says

    I found that when we changed our title tags and really focused them on what the page was actally about it gave us the results we were looking for. Suds was not even in the top 100 results until we changed our tt's and now we are showing up on the first page for the term we really wanted. Showing this to the owner helped him understand that, thanks for the help.

  28. Dana says

    Really, Title tag is most important as a visit point of view it shows what types of details will be available in in content and as a SEO point of view it will helps to be ranked.

  29. Sachin pratap says

    Yes!
    Keywords in title is very important and it’s where come in title, so this article is very useful for this question.

  30. Dave says

    Hi!
    question: a title with a LOT of keywords (all related) has a high chance for upper positions for multiple search combinations?

    Example: Academy/School/Course/Learn to play baseball/basketball in New York?

    Thank you!

  31. Shashi kumar says

    it’s a main part of any website because website is depend upon it’s title tag which tells about the website to search engine and it is a technical part of any website so we should have to choose right and best title for better performance.
    Thanks

  32. William Hammer says

    Quality title tag and description have a great hand in getting higher rank in search engine. People should keep their title tags in the range you have mentioned in the post.

  33. Affordable SEO Services by LOWD Media says

    Title tag plays an important role in improving ranking of a website. One should keep the length of a title tag as per limits.

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