A page title, also known as a title tag, is a short description of a webpage and appears at the top of a browser window and in search engine results. It is an important element of on-page SEO. A page title should include the keyword for the page it represents.
What Does a Page Title Do?
A page title is the first thing visitors see when they search for something on Google. The title tag tells users and search engines what your page is about in 60 characters or less.
A short, descriptive, keyword-rich title appears in Google results. Additionally, if someone bookmarks one of your pages, the toolbar of his browser will display the title tag as a bookmark name.
Who Needs a Page Title?
As mentioned earlier, page titles are important for search engine optimization. In addition to being visible in Google results, they also help search engines understand what your webpage is about and how it relates to other web pages.
A page’s content is most important in helping search engines understand what your page is about. However, the page title plays a secondary role and can provide valuable information to both users and search engines.
How Do I Check My Page Title?
The location of the page title depends on the type of website you have and who your web host is:
* If you use a CMS (such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla), your page title is automatically generated by the software. The default title can still be changed.
* If you don’t use a CMS, your page’s HTML source code will have the title included within it.
Make sure that your web developer has inserted a descriptive and accurate page title into the code on your website.
The Page Title vs. The SEO Title Tag
The main difference between a page title and an SEO title is that the page title describes what the content of the webpage is about, while the SEO title tag explains how someone can find your site by searching on Google.
For example, if you search for “new york city pizza delivery” on Google, you will see results that match that search. One of those results might be www.delivery-nyc.net, an online restaurant menu that offers free food delivery in New York City.
The Google snippet for this page will display the title tag as Delivery NYC – Free NYC Food Delivery . The page title is “Free Food Delivery in New York City.” Although both titles make sense in context, the SEO title tag will help people searching Google for free food delivery find this page.
The title tag of a webpage acts as a sort of advertisement and should be highly relevant and targeted to the specific keywords you want your page to rank for. The title tag is one of several factors Google uses when ranking pages in its search results.
How Long Should The Title Be?
The location of the title tag on a webpage is set by your web designer, but it should be between 60 and 70 characters long. Google says that titles with these character lengths are shown in bold at the top of search results. However, there is no proof to show that title tags longer than 70 characters will not be displayed in Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages).
Title tags of 80 characters or more will not affect your page ranking, and may even improve it. However, the title tag shouldn’t be too long because it is cut off in Google’s search results.
Since words that appear closer to the beginning of a title tag are seen by search engines as more important, it is best practice to make your first word or words the most important and include other relevant keywords as well.
Is There a Limit To How Many Keywords I Can Have?
Theoretically, you can use as many keywords as you like in a page title. However, there is no proof that having more keywords than necessary will improve rankings or that using too many keywords will hurt a page’s ranking.
We do not recommend you put a comma-separated list of words in your title tag. Doing so may result in the first word being chosen as the most important and displayed before other words, which can affect your page’s search engine rankings. Although Google does not have a character limit on the title tag, it may truncate your title if it is too long.
What If I Don’t Know What Keywords to Use?
Title tags are only used on web pages that have content optimized for particular keywords or phrases, so you can pick relevant words based on the topic of your page. For example, a page about hiking trails in California could have the title tag “Hiking Trails in California.”
This type of general page title may not attract attention from search engines, but it will help visitors understand what your page is about. If you want to attract more visitors through SEO, write specific keywords in your page titles too. For example:
* Hiking Trails in California – Best Wilderness Hiking Areas
* EASY Hikes Near San Francisco – Bay Area Walks For All Abilities
The first example includes more than one keyword and is descriptive of the page’s content. It will get more traffic from search engines than the second, which only ranks for two targeted keywords.
Where Should I Place Titles?
The location of the title tag on a webpage is set by your web designer, but it should be between 60 and 70 characters long. You can also change this length in your HTML. A title tag located at the top of a webpage may be seen before other content, including ads. If you have too many ad units above the fold, it may be best to place your title in an ad unit.
Is a Meta title the same thing as a Meta description?
A Meta title and a Meta description tag are two different things. The Meta title describes the contents of a webpage, while the Meta description tags entice people to click on your link when it appears in search results.
Delivery in New York City.” Although both titles make sense in context, the SEO title tag will help people searching Google for “delivery in New York City” find your restaurant.
What if I don’t know what to write for the Meta title?
If you’re not sure what keywords would be beneficial to place in a page’s title tag, don’t worry about it! Leave it out and Google will generate one based on the contents of the webpage. If you don’t have a title tag at all, Google will automatically create one based on the contents of the webpage.
That being said, creating descriptive titles yourself can help generate more clicks.
What if I want to change my page’s title?
If you decide that your page’s title needs to be changed after it has been published, you can do so by editing it in your HTML or CSS, or by using a page refresher tool.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.