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The actual title of your page is found in the
title element of your code:
This Is Your <a class="zem_slink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_page" title="Web page" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Page</a> Title
For the search engines and browsers to read it properly, this code needs to be placed in the
<head>section of your code:
How and Where Is the Title Tag Displayed?
While your page title is essentially hidden in your code, there are four places it is visible. Each of these places have varying degrees of impact on your potential audience.
When a search is performed, in most cases, Google and other search engines pull the page title to display as the clickable link. This is what most people see, scan and read as they are deciding which site to visit after a search.
More and more, web users have multiple browser tabs open at one time. It may be three or four, or even dozens at a time. Your well-written title tag will help them find your information more quickly as they seek to navigate back to the open page.
Keep in mind that usually only 1-4 words of the title will display in the tab, giving you viewable ranges from 25-50% of the whole title. This might alter the way you structure your title, placing the most important information first.
When pushing content out onto social media channels, the title of your page is usually the title of the link that gets pushed out. If your title is too long or has additional words that are unnecessary (such as company name), this could lead to socialization of a not-so-compelling or interesting title. Since clicks are an important part of socialization, your title should be optimized for that, too.
How You Can Benefit From Good Titles
A title tag serves three main purposes of SEO, usability and socialization. They influence rankings, persuade people to click and increase visibility.
SEO: Influence rankings
As I mentioned before, if I could only make one change to a site for search engine ranking purposes, it would be the title tag. Adding or moving keywords in a title tag can mean the difference between a page not ranked and page ranked on the first page in the search results. Depending on your competition, it can literally have that much power.
Usability: Persuades the click
Since the title tag is (usually) displayed in the search results or on social sites, it is the often the very first point of influence in bringing someone to your site. If your title tag isn’t compelling, then all your top rankings and social shares ultimately won’t amount to a whole lot as potential visitors bypass it for other more compelling content.
Socialization: Increases visibility
When looking for social engagement, the more compelling your title, the greater likelihood that it will be passed and re-passed and re-passed by the masses. Boring titles that get skimmed over don’t engage audiences. Exciting titles do. The higher your engagement, the better visibility your title tag earns you.
How to Craft a Good Title Tag
Crafting a quality title tag isn’t always as easy as it seems. Every display platform has differing limitations and serves a different purpose. Obviously, good writing is essential to being effective. Poorly crafted and structured words are skimmed over at best, and portray a level of incompetence at worst. Using good writing practices will ensure you craft a title tag that is worthy of the attention you want.
65-70 character limit
A good rule of thumb is to keep your title tag under 65 characters. Remember when I said the title tag is the beachfront property of SEO, this is one of the reasons why. Space is extremely limited, so you have to make the most of it.
While different platforms allow for different title lengths, arguably the most important platform is Google. Google will display between 65-70 characters of your title, so whatever you have to say should stay within these limitations if you want to be sure it displays in the search results. My recommendation is to stay under 65 characters so you don’t have to deal with truncated post titles in the SERPs.
The two examples below show the difference in a title that is slightly too long vs. one that is just right.
Recent experiments show that Google no longer cares about character count but instead is looking at overall pixel width for title tags. What is yet to be determined is exactly how many pixels. Nor is there a convenient tool for counting pixel width of your title tags. Until this information is readily available, my suggestion is to break the 65 character limit carefully. Review your pages in the rankings to be sure it doesn’t truncate and edit accordingly.
Lead with your keywords
Keywords are an important part of both SEO and usability. People search using certain phrases because that is how they are thinking about the product or information you have. If you want them to notice your site, the phrases they used to search should be visible to the searcher. If you don’t use the same keywords in your title tag, there may be a disconnect between what the searcher wants and what they believe your content to be about.
When writing your title tags, placing your keywords at the beginning, rather than in the middle or end serves three main purposes:
1) Google weighs information at the front of your title tag more heavily than information toward the end. If you’re trying to improve your rankings for a page, sometimes moving the keywords from the middle or end of the title tag to the front makes all the difference.
2) Searchers scan down the left side of the page. Seeing your keyword where they are scanning increases the odds of the searcher seeing your link and finding it to be relevant. Google will bold the searched phrase in each of the title links, making it easier for them to be seen wherever they are, but for quick scanning purposes, it’s better in the front.
3) When your page is open in a tab, only the first couple of words might be displayed. If your topic keywords are not in the front, then the visitor will have a harder time getting back to the relevant information they need or pass it up for several other open tabs with better title tags!
Be compelling! Common Title Tag Mistakes!!!