What is a Title Tag?
Take a look at the top of your browser, close to the area you enter URLs. You should see the words “Title Tag.” See it? Well, that is the title tag.
A title tag, more or less, is the title of the current webpage. For instance, if you visit a company’s about us page, the title tag most likely says “About Us”.
Apart from links to your site, title tags are the most important element in determining your search engine ranking. And unlike links, you have total control over your title tags.
When I build a website, the first search engine optimization technique I use is optimizing all title tags, they are that important.
Why are title tags so important?
There are two main elements that determine search engine ranking: authority and content.
Google and other search engines determine your website’s authority based on the number and quality of links back to your site. Discussing links is an article in and of itself, so I won’t cover that here. But there are numerous articles and books that discuss link building.
When one of Googles users does a search for “vegetarian food,” it looks throughout the Internet to find websites that talk about vegetarian food. How does Google know if your website is about vegetarian food?
Google’s robots actually go through the text on your page to determine what your website is about. There are three elements it looks at: the actual text on the page, the meta description, and the title tag. Out of these three, title tags are the most important. Therefore, when determining what your page is about, the title tags have the most influence.
What should I do with my title tags?
Whatever keywords you are targeting, you want to include these in your title tag, preferably towards the beginning of the title tag. That way, when someone searches for that keyword, Google will look at your title tag and find a match.
Let’s assume we own a website that sells lampshades and we want to rank for the keyword phrase “artistic lampshades”. What should we do?
We take the keyword phrase and put that at the beginning of the title tag. Optionally, we can include the company name after the keyword phrase. So, our title tag will be: “artistic lampshades | company name.”
How do I change title tags?
If you’re using WordPress (which I certainly hope you are), your title tags will simply be the title you enter for your page or post (see image to the right). If you want more control, there is an excellent plugin: All in One SEO.
Most other website creation tools allow you to change title tags. Because all tools are different, I cant cover all of them here. If you don’t know how to, either do a search online or ask the customer support.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask below in the comments or shoot me an email.
If you are interested in learning more about SEO, you MUST check out this book “The Art of SEO”(Note: this is an affiliate link). This is the book I started with and where I learned pretty much all I know about SEO.
Image Credit: chrisroll