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What’s In a Title Tag?

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(In this article, called ‘What’s in a Title Tag?’, I talk about the importance of HTML Title tags for Search Engine Optimization. It’s one of a recurring theme of posts I’ve written in an effort to introduce the fundamentals ofwpengine.com/sitegeist SEO…)

One of the missions we take seriously here at Splat is the commitment we feel to client education. “Knowledge is Power,” we like to think. (When we’re subject to the laziness of talking in cliches…) More than that, though, knowledge also bridges gaps in understanding. And that helps us better explain our services and why they cost what they cost.

Search Engine Optimization is often regarded as an arcane black art by new clients of ours. When we begin any new client relationship, then, we make an effort to give an overview of what SEO entails and some of its fundamentals. One easy-to-grasp principle is the significance of the HTML Title Tag.

The Title Tag, very simply, is what a website visitor sees in the tab of their browser window every time they visit a new web page. How important is the Title Tag? In a word: very. In its every-other-year round up of SEO Ranking Factors, SEOmoz ranked Title Tags as the fourth most important factor for search engine results ranking, overall.

“Fourth most important,” means that Title Tags are, well, pretty darn important.

Which brings us to our first major point.

  • Every page should have its own unique Title Tag.

Newcomers to SEO often suffer from the perception that entire websites get “optimized” for search. In fact, though, individual webpages are actually the subject of SEO. When all the pages of a website have been individually optimized, they add up to a website which is SEO ready. Individually, as we’ve discussed in other posts, pages should be written to target researched keywords. Those keywords form the basis around the content of that particular page. For instance, the keywords describing a shoe made of alligator leather might be “alligator skin dress shoes…” Once those keywords are known, the Title Tag should be written using those exact keywords. A couple other points the survey from SEOmoz makes, include:

That’s pretty much it for a beginning primer on Title Tags. If you’ve been listening closely, here are the major points to remember about Title Tags:

  1. Correctly written Title Tags are one of the most important criteria affecting search engine rankings.
  2. Title Tags should be based on keyword research performed on a page by page basis.
  3. Keywords should occur as close to the beginning of the Title Tag as possible.

If you want to learn even more about the importance of Title Tags and SEO, visit the SEOmoz’ “best practices” page.

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