The Title Tag

 

The title tag isn't a meta tag but it belongs in the same part of an HTML page as the meta tags (the head). It looks like this in the page's HTML:

<title>Title of this page</title>

Surfers never see the page's title except in the browser's title bar but it is very important to the success of the optimization process because (a) it is usually displayed in search engines' listings and therefore it must attract surfers and (b) it is one of the page parts that spiders use to ascertain what the page is about and to index it accordingly. Here is a typical extract from a search engine's listing:

Blue Widgets
Find all types of blue widget, including maintenance information and direct purchasing.
http://www.example.com

The first line of the listing is the contents of the page's title tag. The most important characteristic is that the title tells surfers what the page is about. If the page is about blue widgets, say so in its title. E.g.

<title>Blue Widgets - Tech Info and Discount Prices</title>.

So the title must be written to attract surfers. However, it should also contain keywords. Most search engines largely ignore meta tags while still considering the title tag, so it is important that it is optimized with your most important keywords. This is where the juggling begins. The length of the title matters. About 4 to 10 words is typical, and it needs to be written so that it contains the important keywords while at the same time it remains attractive to surfers. If the keyword is "Blue Widgets ", the title may look like this:

<title>Blue Widgets - Lowest Web Prices</title>

The keyword is placed prominently and the title should still attract surfers. That is the key. Balance optimization with usability. Keep the title understandable so that surfers will click on your listings. Every page within the site should have a different title to utilize the different information on each page. This enables more keywords to be targeted in the title tags.

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