Search Engine Optimization Tip #1: Your Web Page’s Title Tag

I’ve decided to start compiling a series of search engine optimization tips. Each search engine optimization tip will be very specific, should not take a long time to fix (or to check to see if you are following the search engine optimization best practices), and will be rather “short and sweet” and directly to the point.

For this first search engine optimization tip, I thought I would talk about your web page’s title tag. Let’s focus right now on the title tag alone, not on a specific title tag on a specific web page of your site.

In general, the title tag, and what is in your title tag, must describe the content of that web page. In this post, the tag of this page is the title of the blog post. And the title of the blog post is important because it tells you what this web page (or blog post) is about. Take a look at the screen capture below:

Title Tag In the screen capture above, we see that the title tag of the web page is used in the search result; it is what users click on, it describes the web page content that they will see when they visit Jill Whalen’s High Rankings’ page about title tags. Not only does the title tag describe the content of the page, it acts as “ad copy” to “lure” someone in to clicking on the search engine listing so they will visit the site. Since I want to learn about the title tag, I will probably click that search engine listing.

The search engines put a fair amount of weight (some put a lot of weight) on the web page’s title tag when considering the search engine rankings. It’s a good practice to make sure that the main keyword phrases that describe that web page are put into the page’s title tag.

Common Mistake
There are a lot of common mistakes that people make when creating their web sites. Too often, when a web designer creates a web site I see that they have not paid attention to the title tag. I often see web sites that have the same title tag (usually the company name) on all web pages. Each web page is not about the company–it’s about one “part” of the company or it’s about a particular product or service the company provides.

How to check your title tags
If you go to your favorite search engine (let’s use Google as an example), type the following into the search box (where “domain.com” is your web site’s domain name):

site:domain.com

That should bring up a list of all of the web pages that are on your web site. Look quickly at the title tags. If they are the same or very similar, they need to be changed. In many cases, if you have the same title tag on all your web pages, you should notice an increase in your organic search traffic if you update your title tags.

There is a lot more to the title tag than what I’ve described here, such as making sure that you don’t go past the acceptable title tag length and making sure that your keywords are at the beginning of the title tag, not towards the end. Since I promised that these SEO tips will be short and to the point, I’ll keep it short: optimize your title tag and you will see an increase in your search engine rankings.

  • The title tag has been — and probably will always be — one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.

    Thank you

  • Well written and and got some very good points regarding SEO

  • Thanks for the whole tutorial on SEO.

    I just downloaded the links to all 29 lessons so far, because I couldn't find them all in one place on your site.

    Maybe a page called, "Search Engine Optimization Tips" Lessons 1-29 (or whatever) with links to all the lessons.

    Mike

  • Thanks for the SEO tips. Short and to the point, as advertised!