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Title Tag Optimization

Here you will learn how to optimize your web page title for maximum search engine visibility and increased click-through. Be smarter than your competition and apply these simple SEO techniques to all your web pages.

The title of your web page is by far the most important information you can provide to search engines and browsers. Therefore we encourage you to make titling your web page as your top SEO priority. Time spent here is well worth it.

The Title Tag Element

First some technical stuff. The <title> tag, also referred to as the <title> element, defines the title of a web page and is required in all HTML/XHTML documents. A properly optimized web page title can easily increase your search engine traffic exponentially and also provides the following useful information for your visitors.

  • Provides a title in search results at Bing, Google, Scrub The Web, Yahoo! and other search engines
  • Provides a title for the web page in the browser's title bar
  • Provides a title for the web page when it is added to the browser's favorites or bookmarks

Your web page title can be found in your HTML source code as highlighted below:

HTML Title Tag Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <title>Example Page</title>
  <meta name="robots" content="NOARCHIVE">
  <meta name="description" content="This is an example page to help us better understand how search engines see our web page.">
  <meta name="keywords" content="example page, search engines, human visitors">
</head>
<body>
  <h1>Example Page</h1>
  <p>This is a <b>example page</b> to help us better understand how <b>search engines</b> and <b>human visitors</b> see our web page.</p>
  </body>
</html>
Tip: Just because your title tag is found in your HTML source code does NOT mean you have to edit your HTML to add one. In fact, every web page authoring program lets you edit the web page title without you having to edit the HTML source code.

What is a search engine friendly Title tag?

All search engines and directories limit the amount of information they display in their search results. Therefore you should consider these limitations when titling your web page. We have found that a maximum of 60 bytes (or characters) for a web page title is safe for all major search engines. That said, we recommend your title be between 40 and 60 characters in length for optimum social and search engine visibility. The Meta Tag Generator provides color coded cues to help you stay within these guidelines.

The web page title is often the only piece of information a person will use to decide which link to click on in search results. Because of this it is very important for you to use high-quality, keyword rich titles for all your web pages.

Fact: A shorter title will more often outrank longer titles. The reason for this is because the shorter your title is the more focused it will be. However, if your web page title is too short it will have little keyword search value resulting in less chances of you capturing what people are searching for.

You can also suffer if your web page title is too long because it will lose focus and be cut off by search engines. When this happens your title can become meaningless in search results. As you can see, there is a delicate balance between having a search engine friendly title and having a properly optimized title.

How to optimize my Title

Optimizing your web page title is absolutely the best thing you can do to increase traffic to your website. That said, there are a couple of SEO rules we have compiled to help you with your SEO efforts. One rule is to use unique <title> tags on each page. Pages which share titles will do poorly in search. The second rule of SEO in optimizing your title is to be honest. Do not list keywords in your title or meta tags that do not also appear on your web page.

While keeping these basic SEO rules in mind, your main goal in optimizing your web page title is to grab the attention of the searcher and briefly describe what the page is about. Listing keywords for a title will have a negative impact on your search rankings so don't do it.

To begin optimizing your web page title you first need to start with the right keywords. The right keywords are search terms your customers are using when looking for you.

Tip: Our real-time keyword discovery tool can help you discover the keywords your customers are using right now when searching for your products and services.

Once you have compiled your list of highly targeted keywords, you then need to arrange those keywords in a way to influence search engines to boost your rankings. As a simple example; you could title your page like this:

Recipe for Grandma's Apple Pie

Or you could title the page like this:

Grandma's Apple Pie Recipe

Which of the two titles above do you feel would best match a search query someone might use to find a recipe for an "apple pie"? The two titles contain all these words, but only one is a best match. Think like your customer. Someone searching for this would most likely enter the query "apple pie recipe" making the second title the best match. The goal of all search engines is to deliver search results that "best match" what the searcher entered and is looking for. Therefore always consider how you arrange the keywords in your title.

As you can see, the arrangement of the keywords in your title can play a dramatic role in the quality and quantity of search engine traffic to your website. The main idea here is to arrange your keywords in a way that will match as many keyword search terms that people use when using a search engine. As noted above, the Keyword Research tool can help you discover what people search for.

What other advice do you have?

Think of your web page title as if it were the title of a book. This is the same concept of creating a good title for your web page. Creating an optimized title is simply an attention grabber so people want to pick up your book and read it (web click-through). But remember, it's a title not a description so be short and to the point.

Another way to look at a title is to view your local newspaper. You should quickly notice the front page is all about HEADLINES and attention grabbing keywords. These headlines contain keywords that spark your interest and curiosity. A well written title is what makes people reach for the newspaper (click-through). That's all there is to having a fully optimized search engine friendly title.