1. Computing

The Title Tag: A Vital Part of SEO

By

title tag in action

This screen capture is from Google search results. The clickable link is actually my text that I used for my site's main home page title tag.

The title tag is an extremely important factor in search engine optimization. Most search engines and search directories place a high level of importance on the title tag when determining where to place sites in search results, since the title tag is what usually shows up for the title of your listing. In addition, the title tag shows up in the top blue part of the browser window, and if users bookmark your site, the title is what usually shows up in the bookmarks.

What They Look Like

The title tag is going to look something like this:

  • <title>Search Engine Optimization and the Title Tag</title>

Where They Are Found

Title tags are found within the <head> and </head> tags within the HTML or XML coding that makes up a website.

  • <html>
  • <head>
  • <title>Search Engine Optimization and the Title Tag</title>
  • </head>

How Long

Different search engines have different criteria for how long your title tag should be, but it's generally acceptable for your title tag to be in the range of 60 to 115 characters (that's including spaces).

Tips to Remember

  • Make sure to personalize each title tag for each page of your site. Every page should have its own unique title tag that references what the page is actually about.
  • Place your most optimized keyword phrases at the beginning of the title tag;this is just in case a search engine cuts your title tag off right when it starts getting good.
  • Make your title relevant and appropriate to what your site's focus is, and stay away from sales language, i.e., "Best Computers On Earth!".
  • Include one or two relevant keyword phrases, but do not just list only keywords (this could be viewed as spamming). Instead, make it a readable title that will entice readers to click through.
  • Go local. If you are a dog breeder in Tennessee and want to be found, then by all means, put your geographical location in your title tag. Just make sure that you don't put two locations right next to each other, as in "Breeders in Nashville-Nashville Breeders" since search engines possibly will see this as spamming.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.