Title tags on web pages are the second most important on page SEO performance factor. There is nothing more important than having outstanding unique content on the page, but the title of the page is what tells the search engines and the users what this content is about. One well written without the other is also a losing proposition.
Anatomy of Title Tags
Title tags are only really visible in three place pertaining to the Web.
They are visible in the Web page markup…
At the very top of the Web Browser…
Most importantly, in the search results…
By now, you should be thinking that “Bad Website” is the title! The title doesn’t stick out at all in the HTML markup of the webpage, it only sticks out a little in the top of the browser window, but look at the search results page; its the top most, biggest, baddest, boldest, most contrasted print in the entire impression. This is what users see first when scanning the results page. It may as well have a big orange border around it!
For those of you who are HTML, commercial or custom content management systems creators, make absolutely sure that tag is getting filled out. If you are someone who blogs with WordPress or other existing CMS, you should also be making sure that tag is saying what you want it to.
Important Keywords First
When writing a title tag, you should try to put the main keyword(s) as close to the beginning of the title as practically possible. Remember, it’s not all about optimizing for search engines. You need to also consider the emotional impact the search results page is displaying for the user to get them to click the link in and go to your Website the first place.
No More Than 60 Characters
Keep the length of a title tag to 60 or less characters as this is all that is going to show in the search results anyway. There are rumors out there in the SEO world that say titles of even 100 characters or longer are still used by the search engines for determining relevancy even though you will never see more than 60 of them display in results. There might be a reason to do this but it is also effectively thinning out the meaning of that tag and we want to be on a narrow of subject as possible for SEO purposes.
Title Tags Must Match Content
Search engines use the title to help determine what the page is about. It is more complicated however, and goes a little like, “If the title tag says dogs, the URL is “http://www.dogs.com/dogs.htm”, and headings say dogs and there are words about dogs scattered all over the page, it has to be about dogs!” The title tag is very important for determining relevancy of the page to queries the users type into search, but it is still only a link in a chain of things that all have to work together for great on page SEO.