A title tag, strictly speaking not a type of meta data, basically allows the searcher to find out what a document is about.
Title tag and search engine optimisation (SEO)
Keep the 70 character title tag relevant, taking note of what order words appear and write it to include important keywords first, followed by the least important words at the end of the title tag.
Symbols and the title tag
There has been no evidence to suggest that a specific symbol works best in a title tag. Any symbol works well (e.g. | / : ; ~ ).
Expanding old title tags
Wheeler (2011) did a few experiments to find out the impact of a good title tag. He found that expanding an old title tag boosted hits 136 per cent (Wheeler 2011: online). Expanding a title tag allows you to add a new keyword into the title. Try to create a title tag which uses important keywords within the first few words of the title tag.
Write for humans, not search engines
Once you have wrote a title tag, read it. Does the title make complete sense? Is the title clear? Are important keywords included in the title?
Good title tags vary
If this was not a blog, I would have the following title for this page: How to write a good title tag? The following reasons make this a good title tag:
- It is under 70 characters
- It is clear that this post is about how to write a good title tag
- It contains important keywords, such as, “write”, “good” and “title”.
- These keywords could be used in a variety of ways by a human searcher (e.g. writing a good title, how to write a title…).
You must remember that ‘good’ varies, so what is good for someone might be ‘bad’ to someone else. It is important, therefore, to get into the head of your visitors. What would people search for? What are the most important words to attract your visitors?
Sullivan (2010: online) states that you know what is best for your visitors. The guidelines in this post, however, have been designed to allow you to maximise what is better for your visitors and the search engine.
Don’t cover everything in the title
Search engines will stem words, so “write” will also return “writing”, they may also find similar words (i.e. “write” and “create”). It is important, therefore, not to write for the search engine (e.g. “how to create and write a title tag”) because they will stem and find similar words. This post is aimed at those who want to “write” a title tag: A plain English post would suit a person who uses the word “write”, as supposed to “create”.
A good title tag thinks about what the user is likely to type.
- Schachinger, K. (2012) How to Write Title Tags For Search Engine Optimization. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013] http://bit.ly/A07qGI
- Sullivan, D. (2010) Writing HTML Title Tags For Humans, Google & Bing. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013] http://selnd.com/ehlYTf
- Wheeler, A. (2011) Title Tags – Is 70 Characters the Best Practice? – Whiteboard Friday. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013] http://mz.cm/pUPRLA