How to write an effective title tag

The title tag is probably the most important on-page element of your SEO efforts. Make sure you do it right.

Why are title tags important?

The title tag for a page is probably the number-one ranking factor of a page. In other words, it’s the one thing you can change on a page to have the most significant impact on your SEO campaign. At the same time, a poorly written title tag can hold you back.

Another reason the title tag is essential because it suggests to Google what it should use when listing your site in the search results. The text from the prominent blue link in the search engine results (SERPs) often comes from the title tag. Recently Google has used title tags as suggestions for what shows up in the SERPs. Instead, Google will write its text to appear in the prominent blue link- to help users. However, if you write a good title tag, you’ll increase the odds of Google choosing yours over theirs.

To be clear: a title tag is not the same as the headline you see when you view a page. The title tag is an HTML element within the <head> section of a web page. You can see the title tag by hovering over the tab at the top of your browser.

A sound content management system (CMS) will allow you to have a distinct title tag from your headline and other pages. If yours doesn’t, you might need a developer to add this ability to your website.

Lately (September 2021), Google has announced that it is dynamically changing your title tag in the search results. While this can be frustrating (if not causing a compliance problem in your industry), there are ways to increase the odds of Google using your suggested title tag.

What should you expect from a good title tag?

A good title tag assumes you’ve done keyword research and determined the most important keywords for a particular webpage. With that, a reasonable title tag should produce more traffic to the page (as people find it for those search phrases). Since these searches will be relevant to the product or service you provide, this should be traffic that is likely to convert- and you should see more as a result, too.

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