If you are wondering what a title tag is, remember what comes in the results when you type in a search query in Google. Obviously, the solution that you are looking for, but the topmost line of those links is blue, that line is called a “Title Tag.” It is a crucial and basic element of SEO.
The text you find on the tabs of browsers is also a title tag. Even social media sites like Facebook & Instagram fetch title tags when you share content. In short, a title tag helps websites, users, search engines, social media, etc. understand the webpage in a better way.
Defining a Title tag: The title tag will be one of the first things to be done for web pages designed using HTML. For the home page of the NFL website, it will look as follows:
<title>NFL.com – Official Site of the National Football League | NFL.com</title>
For websites that are made in CMS like WordPress, it becomes easy to make and edit the title tag. You just have to type it in a title box that comes below the “Add New Page” section.
Why it is important?
A title tag contains some keywords which are crucial from the SEO point of view. If someone puts a query in search engines with the same keywords as those of your title tag, then it will be matched with your web page and the search ranking of your web page will increase. Along with the Meta description (The text that contains below the title tag in the search results), the title tag is indexed by the search engine crawlers to be displayed in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
The title tag also gives a good idea to the searchers about the webpage, what it is about exactly. E.g. when a person reads the words “NFL.com – Official Site of the National Football League | NFL.com” says that it is the authorized website of the popular American league.
Optimizing the Title tag:
Format: The keywords that you want to show on the search engine results should be present in the first 20 words of the title tag. Because of this, people will recognize your webpage to be more relevant and trustworthy.
Character count: Having a long title tag is not advised because in the search results it gets cut off when it’s displayed giving incomplete information to the users. Hence, to avoid this, the title tag should not be more than 50 characters. This is the optimal length agreed upon by all.
But you should know one thing; different search engines will have different spaces for displaying their search results. Thus, character limits will vary. The character length will also depend on the number of certain letters in the text of the title tag.
Letters like “m” & “w” take a lot of space (pixels on the screen), whereas letters like “i” & “l” take the least space. Thus, a title tag with more of w/m will get cut off sooner than that having more of i/l.
Ensure that you don’t make these mistakes while optimizing your title tag:
Avoid stuffing a lot of keywords in your title tag. Search engines will penalize you if they find your title tags to be over optimized for SEO with keywords. The key is to keep it simple and use only the crucial & impactful keywords.
It is not advised to use special characters like punctuations or symbols in your title tag because the search engines tend to ignore them when they index the web pages. This will directly help in the SEO of your web page.
To conclude, your title tag should be compact, yet impactful. The one that has less than 60 characters, only one focus keyword and a couple of others maybe, pipe symbols or hyphens ( | , – ) to separate words or phrases will be the ideal title tag. You can also add power keywords (exclamatory or adjectives) like Unbelievable, Best, Awesome, Amazing, etc. to get more chances of user clicks.