SEO Basics – Writing good Title tags
Updated: Oct 19
Some people say that the Title tags are one of the most important factors to consider when optimising your web pages for search engines.
We agree. Businesses often overlook just how important they are!
What exactly is a Title tag?
When you visit a website, you’ll usually see the contents of the Title tag displayed at the top of your browser window. As the name suggests, it is simply just the title that has been given to the page by its author.
Take a look at the very top of your current browser window. Depending on which web browser you’re using, you’ll probably see something very similar to this:
The Title tag is your chance to describe exactly what sort of subject/product/service your page covers. Search engines typically pick up only 65 characters in the Title tag so keep it brief and targeted!
How does all of this apply to search engines?
Not only do your Title tags show at the top of your web pages, but they’re also a golden opportunity to encourage people to read the page in the first place. They are the mini sales pitch that will entice people towards your site.
“How so?”, we hear you ask. Title tags are also frequently used by search engines as part of the results pages. Take a look at the following Google search:
You’ll see Title tag is being used to create the link to the website, followed by the Meta Description, or a snippet of text taken from the page itself (depending on which is deemed more relevant/available by Google).
It’s suddenly not difficult to see the real importance of creating a good Title tag. In effect, it’s acting as a free advert for your site and will play a strong part when a potential visitor decides whether to click-through to your site or somebody else’s. Let’s be honest, it can sometimes be difficult enough just ranking for competitive keywords, so when you do rank well, it makes sense to try and stand out from the other results.
The benefits of Click-through rates
Google and other search engines often track which of the results listed have received clicks. Whilst this is largely speculation, it is plausible that this click-through data might be used to improve results further.
For instance, a search engine might see that the result they’ve ranked at #10 for a query typically receives three times as many clicks as the result at position number #1. Whilst it’s highly unlikely a single user alone could have any effect on search results, hundreds or thousands of users showing a similar trend towards result #10 is potentially a very strong signal as to which result is considered popular to web users, helping it to rise in rankings.
If you are paying for Adwords or even writing an advert for the local newspaper, you would spend time writing good ads, wouldn’t you? So the same applies here – except doing your own Title tags is free SEO, so you might as well make the most of it!
Coming soon…good v bad Title tags. What NOT to do!
For more help optimising your company’s website… contact us!