What Is a Title Tag and Why Is It Important?

If you’ve done any research into SEO best practices, it’s likely you’ve heard experts in the industry make reference to a key HTML element known as the title tag. Title tags play a big role in not only search engine optimization and understanding, but also the click-through-rate of your landing page. Therefore, the importance of proper implementation and optimization of the title tag has become more crucial than ever. With this in mind, we’ll take a deeper look into what a title tag is, how to properly implement it, where it shows up, and why it is so important to optimize this tag for improved search engine and user readability.

What is a title tag?

A title tag is an HTML element placed within the head of your HTML. It’s implemented using the following HTML tag:

<title>title of the page here</title>

This HTML element signifies to search engines that this is the title of your page. You may notice that a title tag does not display on the web page itself. However, (with a few exceptions) the title tag is what it is displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) and within the page “tab” at the top of a web browser. The title tag is a searchers first impression of your web page and is a big determining factor on whether or not a user clicks the link to enter your website.

title tag screenshot

Why is it important to optimize your title tag?

html code on a computer monitor

When a user accesses a search engine such as Google or Bing, they are typically looking for an answer to a question or a service to be provided. Based on the query submitted by the user, the search engine will “crawl” the web in search of an answer to the user’s query. This is where the importance and roll of a title tag comes into play. The title tag within your HTML is one of the first places a search engine will look to determine whether or not your page satisfies the user’s intent and answers their question. This is why optimizing your title tag is important. If the search engine determines that your page does not satisfy their intent well enough, your page will likely not be displayed anywhere near the top of the search results page, and thus will have a very low chance of ever being seen in the first place. Little to no visibility means little to no website traffic.

How do I optimize my title tag?

Depending on whom you ask, you may find there are a lot of different ways to optimize your title tag. Most cases are unique and will require some tweaking depending on what kind of page you are creating a title tag for. However, there are some proven methods that will get you started on the right track. Let’s take a look at these below:

  1. Title length

When it comes to writing a title, often times less is more. If a title is too long, the search engine will actually cut off a part of the title and possibly important words or branding. A general rule of thumb would be to keep titles between 50 to 60 characters.

  1. Do not overuse keywords

While it is important to include keywords into the title tag, overusing them can actually have a negative effect by providing poor user experience. The title tag should make sense and provide easy readability to the user. For example, the title tag of a page that is reviewing “top rated trucks” should look something like this:

“Top 5 Rated Trucks: Performance, Capability & Specs | Brand Name”

As opposed to:

“Top Rated Trucks, Best Trucks, Best New Trucks, Top Performing Trucks”

The overuse and stuffing of keywords like the above example can send a negative signal to search engines. Learn more about the negative effects of overusing keywords in this Moz blog covering Google’s Penguin update.

  1. Place important keywords first

According to an article written by Moz, “…keywords closer to the beginning of your title tag may have more impact on search rankings. In addition, user experience research shows that people may scan as few as the first two words of a headline”1

two people shaking hands

First Impressions Are Key

As you can see, the title tag element plays a key role in the performance of your website landing pages and site visibility. It is one of the many important building blocks to creating a successful website and one of the first aspects of your website that search engines and researchers will read. Think of the title tag as your website’s “first impression”. It has been commonly quoted, “You never get a second chance to make a good a first impression” so make your title tag a good one.

Interested in making a good first impression to your potential customers? Aronson Advertising offers SEO services with proven results. With years of experience within the digital marketing space and the passion to always provide the best results possible, our experts are sure to get your website performing to its fullest potential. So what are you waiting for? Contact an Aronson Advertising associate today!

  1. Moz, Title Tag. Retrieved from https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

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