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How to Optimize the Title Tag

The Title Tag Should Contain your Most Important Keywords

The title of your web page is one of the most important features on a webpage where keyword ranking is concerned. It displays words that show up in the top of browser window above where you put in a URL. You need use your most important keywords or you will have a harder time ranking for them.

Use Keyword Phrases in the Title Tag

Use 3-4-5 word phrases for the title instead of single words as shorter phrases have more competition. Arranging the words so they make up multiple keywords will help even more, i.e., I use Professional Web Design Services as the title on my home page which gives me 2 three-word phrases in one ("professional web design", "web design services"). Don't use characters such as pipes "|" or arrows ">" to separate words as it can affect ranking unless the person searching also uses those characters.

If your business services a local area then you need to include your city/state on most page titles but put this on the end.

Title Problems with CMS or Blogs

Some CMS programs default to the same title on every page and this may affect your ranking so be sure and set up unique titles on every page. Some blog or CMS software programs do not allow the use of unique titles on every page, in which case either upgrade your software or see if you can't insert unique titles manually.

Over-optimization of Title

Google will not allow you to rank very well for your title if you use the exact same words in multiple places on the web page so vary the words slightly from the text on the page. Also don't repeat your main keywords in the title. Use synonyms, i.e., instead of repeating "blue widgets" also use "aqua thingamajigs".

Length of Title

Most search engines and directories allow about 65 characters and spaces for the title but some engines will use it all and others will cut off the words on the end so don't put the most important words on the end. The main keywords that describe the content on the page should be viewable in search engines for the benefit of the person doing the searching (search engines will still give you credit for the words that are cut off but too many words will water down the most important words).

If your company name is in your domain name you don't need your company name in the title, for ranking purposes, except for the home page, about page and any other page describing your business. You will always rank #1 for your domain name unless your site has been penalized or there are other companies using the same name with hyphens, etc. Always place your business name last as your product description should be first.

Use the Same Keywords on Several Pages

If you incorporate your main keywords on several page titles of your website the search engines will be more easily able to know this is the focus of your website.

Changing the Title

Only change your title tag if you really need to because it can cause a temporary drop in rank for that page while search engines index the changes and adjust their ranking for that page.

Choosing the Right Keywords

If you put your main keyword in strategic places mentioned above you have a good chance for high keyword ranking in the search engines. However, finding quality backlinks with your main keywords in the link text is also important.


Lori Eldridge
Copyright, © July 5, 2001, updated 10-31-12
All rights reserved.

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