The page title defines the title of the document. It is coded into the page by the web designer. The title tag:
- defines a title in the browser topbar
- provides a title for the page when it is added to favorites
- displays a title for the page in search-engine results
It is extremely important to your site’s search engine ranking, but it is often written incorrectly.
Page titles appear across the top bar of the browser. They tell the visitor and the search engines what the page is about. They allow you to tell the search engines which keywords define your website.
A title should be able to stand on its own and clearly communicate the contents of the page to the reader.
Titles should always contain your keywords and phrases as they are broadly used by search engines to index what the page contains. Each page of your site can, and should, have its own title. It allows you to steer the search engines to specific pages of the site by keyword. This also allows your website to be found with a larger number of keywords.
Here are some good page titles:
- Cardiology, heart and vascular disease, Pasadena, Southern California Heart Specialists
- Dry Cleaning, Laundry, Free Pickup and Delivery – BRYAN’S Cleaners and Laundry
- Rose Bowl Stadium – Sports, Special Events, Film Location
These titles use keywords and let the searcher know what the site will be about.
Bad page titles which we found on the web:
- Ubunto Home Page
These titles are useless unless the searcher already knows and is searching for a particular company. They do not assist in either page ranking or search visibility.
Search engines, such as Google use the page titles to index the page. They display the page title, or a portion of the title, at the beginning of their results.
It is very important that you use your keywords in your page title. They should appear before your company name and should appear in order of importance. Put the keyword or phrase you’ve chosen as most important first and then the next most important and so on, ending the title with your company name (see examples above).
Google displays the first 64 characters, including spaces, of the title while Internet Explorer and Firefox displays up to 95 characters. Therefore you should ensure that your keywords are prominent in the first 64 characters.
CityCenter Co. uses the page title “Website Design Los Angeles, CA, web design, redesign, programming – CityCenter Co.” It uses 82 characters with spaces. It is displayed completely in the web browsers. Google displays the title as “Website Design Los Angeles, CA, web design, redesign, programming…” The keywords are all displayed for the searcher to see.
The title is also saved when you bookmark a page. It will remind the user of what the page is about each time he checks his favorites.
Page titles using well chosen keywords and phrases assist the search engines to properly index and display your site information. They help the people searching for your company to make an informed decision even before they get to your site. They keep your information in front of users who have bookmarked them.
In the next post we will discuss how to use keywords in creating your website’s content.