How Much Do Title Tags Really Matter?

Conventional wisdom says the first impression people have of your business is your homepage. In fact, the first impression occurs before they visit your site — when it appears in a search engine results page. This includes the title tag, which tells searchers what your site offers, and prompts them to either click on it or keep looking.

The title tag is the title of a web page that appears just before the URL on a search engine results page. The title may not be an exact match to the search query, but it’s close enough that searchers can trust the content on the page contains the information they want — that is, if the tag was properly formatted.

But how much do these title tags matter to your marketing strategy? Keep reading to find out.

Why Do Title Tags Matter?

Title tags are important because they can have a big impact on your SEO strategy. Most people don’t have time to click every single page that appears in search engine results, so they need a quick and clean description of the content. The title tag provides that.

When one of your web pages appears on a search page, people read the title tag to see what the page contains. If it matches what they were searching for, they’ll click it. If not, they’ll go somewhere else. If your title tag offers a vague or broad description, not only will people be less likely to click, but search engines will be less likely to boost its ranking, too. That’s why title tags need to be a top priority in your SEO plan.

What Should Go Into Title Tags?

Title tags are important, so you need to make sure it describes your business in a succinct and accurate way. These tips will get you started.

  • Keep It Short: A search engine will typically show the first 50 or 60 characters of a tag. Everything else is cut off and replaced with an ellipsis. That doesn’t mean your tag can’t exceed 60 characters — it just means it won’t be as prominent as a shorter tag would be. Having said that, a shorter title tag will look better on a search engine results page, so keep it as short as you can.
  • Focus on the Basics: Your ranking in search engines will depend in part on your title tag. That’s why your SEO strategy will influence your title tag strategy. Incorporate the most important keywords from your SEO strategy into your title tag. This may include:
    • Company name
    • Location
    • Core products or services
    • Other keywords and phrases

Also, eliminate nonessential words like “and” and “etc.” They just take up valuable real estate on the page and they do nothing to enhance your ranking.

  • Format Tags Properly: Now that you know what you’re going to put in the title tag, put them together the right way. Arrange them so they’re readable on the page and clearly state what your business has to offer. Place the most important terms at the front of the tag. This the first thing people see, and it’s more likely to be crawled by search engines.

Also, separate keywords with pipes (|) rather than commas or underscores. This makes it easier for searchers to understand what you offer, and it helps search engines distinguish keywords, thus ensuring your site appears in front of anyone searching on any one of those keywords.

How do people know what to expect from your website? Title tags will tell them. Keep title tags in mind when mapping out your SEO strategy, as they provide a brief introduction to your website and not only impact the number of clicks, but also the success of your SEO strategy.

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