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SEO – What is a Title Tag and how to improve them

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation = an ongoing strategy to make your web pages rank higher in Google, Bing and other search engines.

A title tag is part of the meta data within a web page.

Title tags help search engines to understand what the page is about.

They are important as they are a Google Ranking Factor and they act as headlines when people read SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages, i.e. the pages delivered by Google when you search for something).

Why are title tags important?

Title tags are important because Google reads them.

They are one of the 200 or so Google ranking factors.

If you want your products or services to be found online, effective title tags will help you.

Another way to see a title tag

If you visit your website homepage, hover your mouse over a text area and right click with your mouse, a pop-up box should appear.

One of the options should be:   View page source

If you click on this option, a new browser window will appear. Use Control and ‘F’ (Command and F on an Apple Mac) and search for:  title

….this should highlight the title tag.

Where do title tags appear?

Title tags appear within search engine results pages (SERPs).

They look like headlines, which is one of the reasons that they are so important.

Within a SERP results page, title tags are clickable.

They also appear in web browsers (at the top) and social media networks.

How to write a title tag

Writing effective title tags is part art and part science. They have to work as headlines for human beings, which is where the art of copywriting comes in. In addition, they have to work for Google, Bing and the other search engines, which is where the science of SEO comes into play.

I recommend that you begin your title tags with the primary keyword, if possible.

Then use a secondary keyword.

A ‘pipe’ symbol can be used to break the text up.  They look like this:   |

On a full size keyboard, the pipe symbol is in the lower left, near the shift key. To make it appear, press shift and |

…and Voila! there it is.

How long should a title tag be?

Up to 60 characters including spaces is fine.

If the title tag is too long, it will be cut off and it will end in a series of dots; the technical name for these is an ellipsis.

I hope that this marketing encyclopedia entry has helped to answer the question: What is a title tag?

Nigel Temple offerGoogle SEO training and he is a digital marketing consultant and trainer.

Here is an online SEO course that Nigel has created.

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