For most title tags appear to be completely random and negligible. They assume that title tags won’t get even really seen by the average user so why bother with them at all?
They forget that title tags get displayed in search results on Google and elsewhere and that it’s still one of the most important ranking factors for Google.
The debate, however can go both ways- many people think that tagging is not necessary and others thing that it is the most important thing you can do. I tend to agree with the latter. But it really depends on a multitude of things you incorporate in your ads, websites, blogs, etc.
If you go to Stumbleupon.com which bythe way is one of my favorite websites- the key way to FIND anything is using keywords or tags. If you go to Google to search something you are using keywords or tags to find the information. Google’s crawlers are crawling through the text on a page, the meta-tags in the background and even titles of images.
Tagging and tagging correctly, IMO is so key. Take a look at the below article that goes into a bit more detail about tis subject:
What is a title tag and why is it so darn important for
by Hugo on June 14, 2010
Disclaimer: If you’re an “expert” SEO practitioner you likely won’t get much from this post. This intended for marketers that are looking to increase their knowledge and understanding of how search engines work and how to optimize their site to capture as much search engine traffic as possible.
Simply put, the title tag (also known as title element or page title) is a basic HTML code snippet that just happens to be the most influential of all page-level SEO elements. W3schools.com defines it as follows:
The <title> tag defines the title of the document.
The title element is required in all HTML/XHTML documents.
The title element:
- defines a title in the browser toolbar
- provides a title for the page when it is added to favorites
- displays a title for the page in search-engine results
The title tag is fairly easy to spot, both on the actual web page and in the source code for that given web page. You can find the content of any page’s title tag by simply looking at the blue bar at the top of your web browser (here’s an example from a past blog post on this site):
Note: Title of this page reads “SMX Advanced 2010 Seattle Recap – What I learned | hugoguzman.com
You can also find it by looking at the actual HTML source code of any given page by looking for the <title></title> code snippet (here’s an example from the same blog post I referenced above):
You can also find it within the actual search results for a specific keyword phrase that the page in question ranks for (here’s an example from the same blog post I referenced above):
Now that we’ve defined what a title tag is and how to find it, let’s discuss why it’s so important. For starters, optimization of title tags is one of the core recommendations offered up by Google in their Webmaster Guidelines.
That in and of itself should be enough of a signal to make any self-respecting SEO practitioner pay special attention this HTML snippet. However, if that’s not enough persuasion, consider what some of the SEO industry’s icons have to say about the importance of the title tag:
Still not convinced? Then perform some tests of your own and see just how quickly introducing keywords and keyword phrases into a page’s title tag can impact your ranking (and ultimately your traffic and conversions) for those keywords and phrases.
Ok, now that we’ve covered what a title tag is, where to find it, and some signals of its importance within the grand scheme of SEO let’s move onto some tips on how to actually optimize these suckers. Here’s a list of things to consider:
- Keep in mind that in addition to being a key SEO factor, the title tag is also typically the first thing a potential site visitor sees after performing a search, so it will often determine whether or not they decide to click on your listing and visit your site. Therefore, make sure that it is well-written and conveys value and trust. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on potential clicks due to searchers choosing to skip your listing and click on the other listings on the results page.
- In terms of SEO, the key is to include specific keywords and keyword phrases that are related to the page in question. Also, make sure to target “exact matches” for specific phrases. So for example, if a three-word phrase like ‘SMX Advanced 2010″ is known to drive traffic, make sure to have that exact phrase in the title tag as opposed to having those words appear out of order.
- Make sure to put your brand name(s) at the end of the tag as opposed to the beginning, because search engines place the most weight on keywords and phrases that appear at the beginning.
- Use keyword research tools to figure out the absolute best keyword phrases to target (by best I mean best combination of relevance and search volume).
- Although recent testing suggests that Google indexes long title tag snippets, try to keep your title tag to roughly 70-80 characters in length. The reason? Google has a limit on the number of characters it displays in its search results pages.
I hope you found this little tutorial helpful. If you have follow-up questions or would like to add additional tips for title tags I encourage you to leave a comment below.
P.S. While title tags are an extremely critical SEO component, there are other factors, such as securing inbound links and keyword-rich anchor text (both from internal linking architecture and from securing links from external sites) that are even more important in the grand scheme of things.
Jen – Social Mediaflyy