How to Use Title Tags Effectively for SEO

22 12 2007
651.gif Title tags are one of the most important aspects of on-page search engine optimization. While there are a lot of aspects of a web page that help it to rank well for keywords, the title tag is undoubtedly one of the most important.

The title tag is the html code that looks like this: <title>Title Goes Here</title>

It is contained within the <head></head> section of the html document and shows up at the top of the web browser. It is also the link that shows up at the top of your site’s listing in the search results. Here are some important considerations that will make your use of title tags more effective.

  1. The title tag is especially powerful when the keywords are also contained in the text on the web page, even more so if there is a lot of relevant text with paragraph or section headers organized using keywords in <h1>, <h2>, and / or <h3> tags.

  2. For more competitive keywords, keep it simple. If you are targeting a competitive, 2 or 3 keyword phrase, you will do better with a short title tag with only the keywords you are targeting, and a long page with lots of relevant, well-organized text.

  3. If your keywords aren’t very competitive, try to make your title tag very keyword-rich, including other relevant text that people might search for. I generally try to stay under 12-14 keywords for longer title tags, and these can be very effective in returning your pages for lots of “long-tail” searches. Again, this will be most effective when your keywords are also contained within text on the page.

  4. Think about clickthroughs in search results. Keep in mind that your title tag will be the most prominent part of your search snippet that people see when they search Google and other search engines. For that reason, just listing keywords without giving meaning to the title tag could decrease your clickthrough rate in the search results. A meaningful title tag will be more powerful in getting users to click through to your website. Try not to make your title tag look like spam.

  5. For dynamic pages, we frequently don’t have as much control over the title tags and how they are generated. Blogs such as this one are a good example. Although the pages are generated dynamically using WordPress, there is a plugin available called, “All-in-One SEO Pack,” which gives the publisher a lot more control over individual title tags and how they are generated. If your web pages are generated dynamically and you don’t have control over how the title tags are generated, you may be able to hire a programmer to come up with a custom solution. Many out of the box content management systems are more SEO-friendly these days though, and if the functionality isn’t already built in, there may be a plugin available. 

While title tags are very important for ranking well in the search engines, there are many other factors involved in ranking web pages – too many to list here. Be sure and read SEO Basics for a brief overview, but keep in mind that title tags are the single most effective tool for on-page optimization that search engines use.

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8 responses to “How to Use Title Tags Effectively for SEO”

8 05 2008
SEO title tags - Irish SEO, Marketing & Webmaster Discussion (17:43:37) :

[...] Been Rambling round the interweb Interesting article on titles. How to Use Title Tags Effectively for SEO | New Orleans Internet Marketing [...]

15 06 2008
Brisbane web designer (02:41:02) :

People often don’t think about the click-through aspect of title tags. Since I put a price in my title tag, click-through has doubled.

21 06 2008
Brisbane SEO consultant (20:25:14) :

That all in one SEO pack is a real gem. I use it all the time and it gets great results.

22 06 2008
emad (18:50:03) :

good work

6 07 2008
Richard (18:28:39) :

I was searching for the use of the title tag for ahref entries but came across your site instead…and find this info to be a great reminder.

Thanks, Richard

27 09 2008
Sunshine Coast Web Design (23:11:45) :

I agree that the all in one SEO pack for WordPress is a great utility. Using it is a really effective way of getting your wordpress sites to perform well in Google.

3 01 2009
Sachin (08:47:51) :

I want to know how to choose keywords for all in one seo pack.
Thanx in advance.

21 06 2011
Pat Pineo (16:32:42) :

whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your posts. Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

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