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The title tags of your web pages are more important than most web authors realize. Once you understand why the title is so important, you can easily write more effective title tags.
What is the title tag?
In your HTML code, the page title should be placed between the beginning and closing HEAD tags, ideally just after the beginning HEAD tag and before the first META tag.
Why is the title tag important?
The title tag is important for a variety of purposes.
- Most browsers display your page with the title at the top of the browser window.
- If someone bookmarks your page in their browser, their bookmark list will show your page using your page title. So if the title of your web page is "Home Page", as many are, your visitors' bookmark lists will contain a lot of "Home Page" listings. How will they determine which "Home Page" is yours two months from now?
- Google and other search engines present the results of a search by displaying page titles as links in the first line of each query result. Search engines doesn't like to display "Home Page" as the best they can do for a user searching for "purple people eaters," for example.
- Most search engines will order the results of a search engine query based on the relevancy of your page to the keywords used for the query. One of the factors in determining this relevancy is how closely your title matches these keywords. If your small startup company makes purple people eaters, don't give your home page the title "Unknown Business, Inc." It's not relevant to the search. Of course, many people will conider "CNN" or "Time, Inc." as relevant for the keyword "news." When you get to be as well known, you can use your name as your title.
You can see that the title of your web page is highly visible to others, and it can impact the search engine ranking of your web page. It is therefore worthwhile to spend some time carefully writing each page title.
Practial tips for writing title tags
Here are some practical tips you can use for crafting an effective web page title.
- Start by thinking hard about how your potential visitors will search for your site. What keywords or keyword phrases will they use for a search engine query? Use one or two of the most important keyword phrases for your title. In our example, the home page title could be "Purple People Eaters."
- Don't just use the same title for all your web site pages. Your About page title could be "About Unknown Business, Inc., your Source for Purple People Eaters." Your Order page title could be "How to Order Purple People Eaters."
- Don't include your company name in the title unless it is a commonly recognized name or the page is about your company. Use the limited real estate in a title for relevant keywords. You can include your company name in the description of your web page.
- Make sure the title does not exceed 66 characters. Google will not display more than 66 characters of a title in the search results page. Truncated titles irritate search engine users.
- Don't use more than 7-10 words in your title.
If you understand what the title tag is, why it is important, and follow these practical tips for writing your web page titles, your internet visibility will be improved, you will improve your search engine ranking, and you will get more visitors to your web site.
Copyright © 2005 by Kempton Smith, All rights reserved.
Kempton Smith is a web specialist who helps internet businesses increase their site exposure and gain more visitors. He operates the Ad Buddies banner exchange network.
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