3. Title Tags & Why They Matter
When you search in Google, the search results on the next page each start with a blue underlined link. Here’s an example:
What displays in this blue link is usually what is contained in the title tag of a web page. The keywords you placed in the search box are usually boldfaced in the search results. So, just what is a title tag, and why does it matter for search engine positioning?
According to the World Wide Web Consortium, the Title tag was designed to help people “identify the contents of a document.” When people view individual web pages out of context (often via search), context-rich page titles help tell the visitor a summary of the page. Instead of a title like “Introduction”, which doesn’t provide much contextual background, web designers should supply a title such as “Introduction to Medieval Bee-Keeping” instead. Google and other search engines use these rich contextual clues as a way to hone its search results. On a web page, the title tag is part of the HTML code.
Here’s what the code looks like on Customer Paradigm’s site: Customer Paradigm: Website Design, Development, Email Marketing, Content Management, PHP programming Most end users won’t see the title tag*. But if you remember back to my email tip about subject lines, the title tag is what a subject line is to an email campaign: It entices the end user to pay attention and open the page to read more.
Top Five Most Common Mistakes for Title Tags:
1. Untitled: When many of the popular programs create a new HTML page, it puts ‘Untitled’ into the title tag. It’s up to the Web designer to change this… and since most users don’t see it, sometimes they forget to change it.
2. No Title Tag: Like the “Untitled” tag, another key mistake is simply leaving out the title tag. If you do a view source (Internet Explorer: View —> Source), and the title tag appears like: <title></title> … then you don’t have a title tag.
3. “About” Tag: Another common mistake for title tags is to have the title tag refer to a section of your website. But a title tag that reads, “About” doesn’t tell me much about what the company or website is “About.” Instead, have it read: <title>Customer Paradigm – About the Company: Website Development & Marketing, Email Deployment, and PHP programming</title> This is sure to get more keywords into the title tag, and if you’re searching for a company, you instantly know what they do.
4. No Company Name In Title Tag: We recommend putting your company name at the beginning of the title tag, so that people can quickly see your company’s name when they search.
5. Same Title Tag on Multiple Pages: You should have a unique title tag for each page of the site. Why? As each page is unique, you should have a title tag that describes it’s unique content.