“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Shakespeare’s got a good point with that . . . but then again, he was never involved with the finer aspects of SEO technique. When it comes to SEO, what you choose to call something, specifically what you put in your title tag, has A LOT to do with whether or not anyone can locate you online. And if they can’t find you, then you’re not in business.
Title Tags are a piece of HTML code that describes a specific web pages content through a keyword query that a person types into a search engine. Title Tags are an extremely important guide for all search engines in determining what’s in the content of a specific web page, so it comes as no surprise then that creating a relevant title tag is one of the most crucial variables in achieving high search engine positioning. In addition to their search engine importance, the content of a Title Tag is also chief among Web Browsers, social bookmarking sites, and users.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Keyword/Keyphrase Placement – The closer to the start of the title tag a keyword is, the more beneficial it will be for search engine ranking, and the more likely a passing user will be to click them in search results. It’s also good to remember that if your page title contains a phrase instead of a keyword, then it’s more likely that you will attain a higher ranking in search engines for specific user searches. For example, say you sell car tires. You’ll rank better if your web page title contains more specific keyphrases rather than just ‘tires.’
- Be Careful Of The Length – Generally speaking, Title Tags should be no less than five to six words and no more than ten to twelve, which end-up resulting in about a range of fifty to eighty characters, including spaces, hyphens, commas, etc. This will allow the search engine to utilize this information effectively. You don’t want to over kill the keyword density by cramming too much information that a search engine may miss.
- Consider Using Numbers – The jury is still out on this one, but some feel that adding numbers to a Title Tag (“10 Best Vacation Spots” as an example) convey meaning to users as to what they should expect to find on a web page. Plus numbers also serve to attract their attention, especially if they are at the beginning of the title. This may not pertain to you at all, but if it could work, you may want to consider adding a number to your Title Tag.
- Avoid ‘Stop’ Words – These are extremely common words that most search engines skip over in order to save disk space, or to speed up indexing. There’s a ton of them floating around out there but here’s a few to give you an idea: ‘As,’ ‘By,’ ‘Do,’ ‘Is,’ ‘Or,’ ‘To,’ this list goes on and on. They’re worth familiarizing yourself with, and they’re worth leaving out of your Title Tag too.
Remember, building a strong title tag will increase your visibility on multiple search engines. It’s important to keep in mind as well that as search engine algorithms evolve over time (they’re in constant flux btw), they’ll be able to better detect the content of your pages and will also ultimately penalize you in rankings if the content is not of sufficient quality to match the user’s search query. So you’re going to have to stay on top of this one, but it’ll be worth it in the end, especially after you’ve nabbed the top Google ranking.