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Act-On Software

Creating Web Page Title Tags

AUDIENCE: Administrators, Marketing Users, Web Developers
OBJECTIVES: 

  • Define the Title tag and its purpose
  • Identify best practices for using Title tag
The Title tag is the most important tag on the page. It helps tell both search engines and searchers what the page is about.

It is displayed when someone bookmarks your page, is shown in search results, and is shown at the top of a browser window when someone is looking at a page. A well-written Title tag that uses the same keywords your audience uses will help your page rank better and will increase the number of searchers who click through to your content.

Best Practices for Creating a Title Tag

  • An effective Title tag is between eight and 65 characters (including spaces).
    • If shorter than eight characters, it will be difficult to effectively communicate what the page is about.
    • Search engines will index up to 150 characters (including spaces), but anything over 65 characters (including spaces) will be hidden from searchers, and is therefore unable to influence them to click on a search result. They will see only an ellipsis (…).
  • The Title tag should accurately describe the page.
    • It is extremely important to use your focus keyword in the title. This is the word (or phrase) that conveys the essence of what the page is about. Someone is more likely to click on your listing if they see the keyword in the title.
    • It is best to use the focus keywords in exactly the same order as you use them in the rest of the page (e.g. 'diabetes symptoms' is different than 'symptoms of diabetes'), but it is not mandatory. It is still possible to rank well when the words are out of order, but your page will not rank as highly as it would when the order matches the keyword your searchers use to find the page. 
    • You have only 65 characters and spaces to communicate what the page is about; it's best to use the focus keyword just once.
    • Make sure the Title tag corresponds with the reasons people would visit the page.
      • 'Smartphones: The top 10 phones for social media' will appeal to a different audience and create different expectations than 'Cheap smartphones'.
    • For a lot of people, the Title tag is their first introduction to your brand. Make sure you make a good first impression.
  • Put the focus keyword early in the title.
    • It is best if you can use the focus keyword starting in the first 10 characters of the title, but don’t sacrifice a great title to force this.
    • Google attributes more value to the first words in a Title tag than the last one.
    • Research shows that the first 11 characters determine whether someone continues to read on or not.
  • Each page of your website should have a unique Title tag.
    • Every page on your website should be unique. It solves a specific problem, addresses a specific need, coveys unique information, etc. The Title tag should reflect this. If the page is similar enough to another page for which you wish to use the same Title tag, do you really need this additional page?
    • If you can’t decide what a page is really about and what makes it unique – neither Google nor your visitors will be able to figure it out either.

References

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