How to Create Title Tags

A title tag, which is sometimes referred to as a title element, is an essential part of SEO. Of course, the overall content on your page will really help determine your ranking, but how carefully you create your title tag is not far behind in terms of importance. What exactly is a title tag? It is the text that describes or defines the title of your document. The title tag appears in three different places and is required for any document in the HTML or XHTML format.

Before we get into how you should create your title tag and what it should contain, let’s take a look at the breakdown of some title tag basics. The length of your title tag is limited by search engines to less than 70 characters. Its format is key, and there are two standard formats that you should try to follow for the best results. Here they are:

Format 1: Your Brand Name | Your Primary Keyword and Your Secondary Keyword 

Format 2: Your Primary Keyword – Your Secondary Keyword | Your Brand Name

As you can see, both formats are quite similar, so you should choose the one that suits you best.  Here is how the title tag appears in code:

<title>Your Title</title>

I mentioned earlier that the title tag appears in three different places. Each of these places are key to SEO for different reasons. Here they are:

  1. In the browser – You will find the title tag at the top of the browser window and as the label on the site’s associated browser tab. Obviously, this placement of the title tag will help users with some quick reference as to what type of page they are on.

  2. In the search results – Look in the search results, and you will see the title tag listed atop each result with the website’s link. If a user does a search query for one of your title tag’s keywords, the search engine will highlight those keywords in bold text. Highlighted keywords make your result more visible to users, which in turn makes the probability of them clicking your link much higher. For this reason, keyword usage in title tags is extremely important.

  3. On other websites – If you are on a website like Facebook, you may see links to other sites. These links will usually use the title tag as their defining text.

Creating a solid title

While you want your title tag to be descriptive, you must keep in mind that it must also be concise. In other words, you will have to make your words count. Keep your title tag under 70 characters. Anything past that will be cut off by the search engine, so your full description will not be read by users. 

Using keywords in your title tag is considered by many in the SEO industry to be an essential step to achieving a high ranking. Place your keywords as close to the front of the title tag as possible. A user will be more likely to click on your link if they see their keyword near the front. 

As shown in the two title tag formats above, you can begin with your brand name or keywords. If you have a well-known brand name that you think will persuade users to click, place it at the beginning of the title tag, just as in Format 1.  If your brand name is relatively unknown, place it at the end of the title tag, as shown in Format 2.

Finally, when creating your title tag, think about a user’s reaction to it. There are formulaic guidelines to follow, but you want to make sure your title tag makes a good first impression on a user. Since it is so visible in search results, you want your title tag to be as welcoming and attractive to users as possible.

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