Title Tags: The Ins, The Outs, The Hows, The Whys

Guest post by Jared Reed

The Ins

There are tons of people that have made their SEO business only off of Title Tag optimization. While it’s not the end all be all, it sure is a great place for newbies to start. So, here’s the inside scoop on Title Tags.

The title tag is a little piece of code that looks something like this:

<title>Trada Blog | Digital Marketing</title>

Title tags are required for HTML and define what a page is about. You can see title tags easily by looking at the text that appears at the top of your browser.

Title Tag on Trada's Website

Title tags are also displayed in the search engine results.

Title Tags in Search ResultsOther than your content, Title Tags are the most important element of your site that you can optimize.

The Outs

Whatever you do leave this stuff out:

  • 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.

The Hows

Here’s how you can 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.

The Whys

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.

For the past several years, Rand Fishkin of SEOMOZ, has asked the top SEOs around the world to rank the important elements of good SEO. Guess what ranks at the top every year? That’s right, Title Tags.

See for yourself. The full SEOmoz report

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 (PDF), which can be found here, 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!

Jared Reed is a Trada Optimizer and runs Pan Galactic Digital out of St. Louis while specializing in social media, PPC and SEO.


2 responses to “Title Tags: The Ins, The Outs, The Hows, The Whys”

  1. Matt About Friday: The "Sharing Your Content To Increase Traffic on Your Website or Blog" Edition | Matt About Business

    [...] Title Tags: The Ins, The Outs, The Hows, The Whys: Everything you wanted to know about title tags and how they can be used for search engine optimization (SEO). [...]

  2. Tips Tuesday and Heroic Acts of Kindness

    [...] If you use an SEO plugin or have a premium theme with built-in SEO then you’ve probably seen the option to enter Title Tags. Here’s a nice post on Trada for Title Tags – the Ins, the Outs, the Hows, the Whys. [...]

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