SEO tips

How to use title tag for SEO

The title tag is the most important HTML tag on your web page for generating traffic.  The title tag is a component of meta data and should be located in the head section of your HTML code. It should contain keywords that best describe the content on the page, and be no longer than 70 characters in length.

Update: In line with its mobile first philosophy Google has recently changed the way titles are displayed in its search results. Titles they are now measured in pixels – 512 to be exact. So now with the variations in character spacing, best practice is to use no more than 49 characters. By following this practice it has been discovered that around 99% of all titles will appear – with anything over the specified width truncated to fit within the designated 512 pixels.

The title tag also acts as the heading you see in the search results of Google and Bing. It is the link users click on to visit your website and must feature the targeted term up front for SEO. It should be crafted to grab the user’s attention and be relevant to the content on the webpage. Your business name can be included but I recommend it’s best place it at the end. Title tags must be rich in descriptive keywords for effective SEO. If you get this right your website WILL generate traffic.

When building a website you must ensure that every page has the capability to display a unique and keyword rich title tag. If this capability does not exist you increase the chance of duplication, which search engines have been known to penalize.

Here are some key points to remember about title tags

  • If you site is about selling Widgets it belongs in the title tag – “Buy Widgets from Widgetland”
  • If you sell different sizes there should be one page for each – “Buy small Widgets from Widgetland”
  • Same with location – “Buy small Widgets in Widgetville from Widgetland”

Why do this? Well, put yourself in the position of a user who wants to buy a Widget. Imagine the thought process when poised over a keyboard…

“I need to buy three widgets but only small ones. I need them today and don’t want to travel too far”

Luckily our user actually lives in Widgetville, so chances are the query will be something like buy small widgets widgetville. Close to an exact match – great.

Luckily you took my advice because search engines are in the business of serving only relevant content to users, which means your site will have a pretty good chance of showing at or near the top of that search result page. Our user looks at the link and thinks “Bingo”, and clicks through. You now have a visitor – thanks to the title tag and SEO.

By Michael Breen

Michael Breen has over 17 years experience in digital. He is an SEO expert and can improve your website ranking on Google.