If you don’t know what title tags are, or even if you do but are still not complete sure what they are, this blog post is for you. Read on to learn more about title tags: What are they; Why are they important; How do you write them; Do they help with SEO?
What are meta tags
As Kristine Schachinger described meta tags as HTML elements that offer information about a web page for website visitors and search engines.
These elements need to be placed as tags in the <head> section of a HTML document. These elements are as follows:
- Title tag
- Meta description
What is a title tag?
Title tags are used in order to tell visitors and search engines what a page on your website is about in the briefest and most accurate way possible.
Where to add the title tag?
You can add a title tag in the <head> section in your website’s HTML. It aught to look something like this:
However, in the majority of CMS (content management systems), including WordPress, you are able to either add a title tag in general settings or if you are using an SEO plug-in, like Yoast, you can add a title tag to the ‘SEO title’ section, you can also preview at how it will look in SERPs (search engine results pages).
When writing an article, the headline will automatically form the title tag.
If your title tag is auto-generated from the headline, you should attempt to override this by using either a plug- or in the HTML itself. The headline (<h1> tag) is another chance to tell Google about the page content by using a slightly different keyword string, allowing you to take advantage of this.
Why are title tags important?
Title tag are the boldest, most obvious element in SERPs and therefore it plays a large part in the whether a user will click on your link or not.
Are title tags used as a ranking signal?
According to Moz, title tags are one of the most important on-page SEO elements. And the closer to the beginning of the title tag a keyword is, the more likely it will rank for that keyword based query.
How to write a great title tag
From an SEO POV, the title tag should contain all the keywords you want to rank for. And as stated above, the most important keyword should be at the start, followed by second most important, and finally by your brand name.
Title tag checklist
Here is a checklist on how to write optimized title tags:
Length: Title tags must be 50-60 characters long.
Keyword placement: The most important keywords should be first in your title tag, with the least important keywords following.
Brand name: If the name of your company is not part of the important keywords, add it to the end of the title tag.
Never duplicate title tags: The title tags for every page should be written differently. Don not mass replicate your title tags as it will have a negative affect your site’s search visibility.
Make it relevant: Title tags should accurately describe the page content.
Don’t stuff keywords into title tags: These are poorly written title tags that attempt to rank for everything or repeats a keyword. Keyword stuffing is the worst possible offense in regard to title tags and your site will be penalised for it.
Make your headline different from the title tag: This is also an opportunity to fluctuate the keyword phrasing of your page and ultimately increase the chances of it appearing for different search intent.
Can Google overwrite your title tag?
It has happened, yes. Occasionally if Google does not like your title tag they will rewrite it SERPs, pulling information from the page meta description and content. Chances are this will not be as good as the one created, so make sure that your own title tag is totally relevant, descriptive, keyword rich and the correct length.