A “title tag” is coded into each page of a site and is meant to define what a page’s content is about. It appears in the title area of a browser window and will be the default name when you go to bookmark a page. It’s defined in the underlying HTML coding of each page.
Title tags are a critical part of search engine optimization, or SEO. While not as important as the content of a page in gaining rankings in the search engines, it does get heavily factored by the search engines. However, arguably its greatest importance lies in getting people to click your listing in the search results in the first place. The search engines use your title tag as the blue underlined link that people will see in the list of results, therefore this wording needs to be engineered to both the benefit of the search engines as well as actual human visitors.
So how do you handle this careful balancing act? It takes a lot of experience and testing to perfect, but the general idea is to utilize keywords that are specific to the page’s content in an eye catching but meaningful way. Sounds easy right? Well now throw in that you have to do this in about 60-65 characters or risk important parts of your great phrase getting chopped off!
Here are a few bad examples:
Don’t waste time with pointless characters and fluff words, you’re strapped for space remember. Also, search engines have been known to penalize for trying to intentionally include characters to stand out more. Besides, when have you ever searched for “::”?
MyStore Offers Fast Free Shipping on A Wide Selection of Green Wid …
This title has an attractive offer but what for? The length pushed the most important info out of view.
Good for rankings maybe, but what entices the visitor to click on this link as opposed to a competitor?
So what does a good title tag look like? For the examples above a good title tag might be:
Green Widgets, Woggles: Free Shipping from MyStore
This listing identifies what’s on the page right up front and provides an additional synonymous keyword that people might also use to describe that item. An attractive offer is presented and the branding wraps it all up.
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