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How to SEO in2019
  • On page optimization
  • + User behaviour optimization
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How to SEO page title tags

Very effective SEO activity

Very effective SEO activity

This activity carries a strong weighting in Search Engine Optimization. It may need to be carried out alongside other tasks in order to be fully effective. Read the text carefully for further details on how to SEO page title tags for maximum impact

Your page title tag isn't actually visible on the page itself. It is placed within the code of the site and displays in the browser tab.

Some search engines use it in the search results as shown in the blue text below:

My lovely page title
The text here is either taken from the meta description, a snippet from the page itself or a snippet from elsewhere on the site.

However search engines like Google may decide to use a different piece of text from your page or site if they feel it is more relevant to the search that the user has carried out.

As such do not assume your title tag will be displayed in the search results but bear in mind that it often is and so it should be an accurate, descriptive and attractive piece of text that describes the content of that page.

How can you see a current page title tag?

Using Firefox open the page, right hand click in a blank area and select View Page Source. The title tag will be near the top of the code surrounded by <title> and </title>. Here's an example:

<title>My lovely page title</title>

Optimizing the page title

Search engines place a great deal of weight on the contents of the page title tag so long as it is backed up by other signals from the page. In other words if your page is about New York but your page title tag is 'Everything you need to know about Kansas' then expect it to be ignored. You won't rank for Kansas just because it is in your title tag.

Most search engines will show up to 89 characters of your title tag in the search results but that doesn't mean you have to use them all. Waffle dilutes.

Just make sure that it:

  1. Contains the keyword or keywords that you are trying to optimize for
  2. Is written in a way that users would find attractive and want to click through.

So if you are targeting the keyword phrase 'about New York' then:

  • Poor title tag - "About New York"Contains the keyword or keywords that you are trying to optimize for
  • Good title tag - "Everything you need to know about New York in one place"

The poor title tag contains your keyword phrase but it is not appealing and won't motivate users to click through.

Setting your page title tag

Most platforms like WordPress use your page title as your title tag which is the correct approach. Plugins like Yoast allow you to be more specific about what your tag contains but you should have a special reason for doing this as search engines are naturally suspicious if you are showing them one line of text while showing visitors another.

One example where you might want to do this is to show your brand name when users share your content on social media. Some platforms like Facebook also use the title tag when content is being shared (if you have not defined the title via Facebook tags).

So having a title like "Everything you need to know about New York in one place • The New York Sniffer" helps increase awareness of your brand while closely matching the main title of your visible content.

I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimisation and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.

If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.

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