Everything You Need To Know About The Title Tag

By November 9, 2012SEO

This post kind of falls in line with the What Is SEO? post we put together earlier this week. Understanding title tags and how to create them is a foundational SEO principle, so let’s dive right in.

What Is a Title Tag?

The title tag has always been… and will probably always be… one of the most important signals you can send a search engine about what the topic of each page of your website is. It is also one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.

It is so important, that by just fixing the title tags of each page, you can often generate quick and noticeable differences to your rankings. That is why I get so very frustrated when clients take their sweet time updating them or don’t update them at all.

The title tag is also appears as the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP) and by changing them, you might also see more click-throughs as a result.

title-tags

What Search Engines Think About Title Tags

As mentioned above, title tags are one of the biggest factors of ranking highly in the SERPs. Titles are just as important as the content on your site and link and social shares pointing to that content. Even though this has been common knowledge to every SEO for over ten years, it is often overlooked by webmasters and other attempting to optimize their websites. Now that you know this, lets talk about how to build a title tag.

Title Tag Details

Search engines typically display about 77 characters of a title tag and then truncate the rest of it followed by a … (as you can see in the image above). However, this year, Google made a the change from recognizing a certain number of characters to a certain amount of pixel width. I’ve seen title tags cut off around 55 characters and some get cut off around 107 based on how much space each letter takes up. Regardless, 70-77 characters will probably be about the right length and if it happens to get cut off, you can just shorten it up a bit.

When writing your title tag, make sure to include your most important keywords and also your brand name. One thing you will want to be wary of is keyword stuffing. You want your titles to not only include your most important keywords, but it needs to make sense.

This is a bad title tag: Knives | Kitchen Knives | Hunting Knives | TheBestKnives.com

This is a better title tag: The Best Kitchen and Hunting Knives Online | TheBestKnives.com

See the difference? Both title tags use the words knives, kitchen knives, hunting knives, and also sneaks in best kitchen knives, best hunting knives, kitchen knives online, however, the second one is makes more sense and is more consumer friendly.

Lastly, you will want to make sure that every page on your website has a unique title tag. If multiple pages have the same title tag, the search engines will get confused and will often times not rank any of the pages with duplicate titles. Although this may seem like a very daunting tasks, especially for enormous eCommerce sites, it is crucial that you do it.

If you have any other info about title tags or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

About Greg Shuey

Greg is a member of the executive team at Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter. Circle him on Google+, and connect with him on LinkedIn

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