Now that you have a web page created, it’s important to have the search engines crawl and index your new page properly. The page title is one of the most important pieces of code in your web page.
First, what is a “page title” you ask? The page title is the title of the page that shows up at the top of your browser window and shows up as the page link in search engines. It also the first text to show in a screen reader and is the text that shows in a bookmark list.
Here is an example of what a page title looks like in a browser window (Google search for “search engine optimization”):
When you do a search for “search engine optimization” a search result may look like this:
The top link in blue is your page title. This is very important because this is what the search engines show on their search results page.
Here is what a page title looks like in your page code:
<title>Search Engine Optimization – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</title>
If you have the ability to edit your HTML code in your website the above page title code is where you would place your page title. If you use a content management system such as WordPress or Joomla, the page title is generally taken from your page header. Although each CMS is different.
How to write a great page title
1) Think about your audience. Always think about who the page content is written for and then write the page title for them.
2) Research keywords. Which keywords are you targeting in your page? Be sure to research which keywords will drive the most traffic for your page and then optimize your page for that keyword. Be sure your page has that keyword in page content.
3) Include targeted keywords in your page title. This is where the rubber meets the road. Include your targeted keywords in the page title. When someone searches for your targeted keyword you page title will show in the search results.
4) Keep the number of characters limited to less than 90 characters. Search engines such as Google only use about 60 characters when they display a page title on search results. So, anything greater than that will not be shown but is looked at. In general about 90 characters is the limit.
Things to look out for
1) Be sure the page title describes the content of the page.
2) Be sure each and every page of your website has a unique page title. If a website that has 5 pages, and has 5 of the exact same page titles, the search engines will see all 5 pages as the same page and will only index 1 page.
3) Do not stuff a bunch of keywords into your page title. Search engines are aware of this tactic and could get you banned from them.
The page title of an HTML page is one of the most important pieces of code in the page. It tells the search engines and the reader what the page is about and more importantly can help your page get better search rankings.
If you have questions about page titles or SEO, please contact us.