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TITLE of Web Pages: Best Practices, Mistakes and SEO

There are all sorts of Title tags out there. Do you write good ones?
Samyak Lalit | May 20, 2014 (Last update: September 23, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Every web page in a website is supposed to have a TITLE element in its HTML code. This element describes what the web page is all about and is one of the key basic SEO aspect of on-page optimization. However, you will surprised to know that hundreds of millions of web pages present on Internet do not have this tag at all! And the pages that do have a title, a large number of them have it written in wrong way. Often webmasters do not realize the importance of properly writing title tag.

There are all sorts of Title tags out there. Do you write good ones?

There are all sorts of Title tags out there. Do you write good ones?

Today I am going to teach you best practices on how to write good titles for your web pages and how to avoid commonly made mistakes.

So, what is the TITLE tag?

The title tag (HTML element) is written inside the HEAD tag of a page. You must be aware of it already, but still the syntax is as below:

<title>Learn Blogging from TechWelkin</title>

Content of title tag appears in tab of the browser in which the page gets opened.

Alright, basic information is now done with. Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Why this tag is so important?
Title tag is like a nameplate. It tells the readers and search engines about the content of the web page. This is why title tag must be properly written so that it conveys the right information about your page.

1. First and foremost, title must be there!
The very first mistake a lot of webmasters make is that they omit the title tag altogether! As I said before, there are hundreds of millions of web pages on Internet that do not have a title tag. In such a case, the browsers usually show “Untitled Document” as the default title text in tab.

Omitting this tag is a blunder, in fact one of the biggest blunders that you can make in SEO of your website. So, if you want to professionally manage your blog, make sure you diligently write title for every page you make.

2. Too long title tag
Some webmasters go overboard and write a small novella in title tag. This serves no purpose. Earlier, several years ago, search engine optimizers told their clients to put as many keywords as possible in the title tag. That is perhaps one of the reasons why we see way-too-long titles.

Although, Google can and does read very long titles but the ideal length of title tag is about 60 characters. Google and other search engines curtail the remaining characters in result pages (SERPs) and therefore those curtailed characters are not much of value.

3. Too short title tag
Objective of this tag is to clearly convey crisp information on the page content. If you will write too short a title —it is likely that you’re not being as descriptive as you should be. Too short titles may also result from “meaningless” titles. Just as many people do in case of file names —web page titles are given just to fulfill a formality. “ABC”, “My page” etc. are such titles which do not convey anything about page content.

Always write a meaningful and properly measured title. It’s important!

5. Blog/website name as part of the title
Although this practice has a small benefit but overall it has been long held without anyone doing much critical review and evaluation. A large number of webmasters believe that appending blog name in title helps increasing SERP rank. But this is not true!

Adding blog’s name in your page title does brand your page in SERP and may encourage users to come to your website if your brand name is well trusted. But this practice does not contribute anything towards elevating search rankings. On the contrary, blog’s name unnecessarily eats up the space that is actually meant for some more useful information in title.

As such, it is not harmful to add blog’s name in title. It’s just a trade-off between a little branding and more space for actual title text. You want branding or you want to SEO for your blog / website? The choice is yours to make.

6. Prefixing blog/website’s name in title
Now if you choose to add blog’s name in title —never add it in the front. That is to says that the title must not begin with your blog’s name. A common user is not that interested in knowing which blog or website it is —his primary interest lies in the information that could possibly be found on the web page. So, the title must begin with the real title text. You may add blog’s name at the end, if you choose so.

Prefixing blog name has another disadvantage. It weakens the overall keyword strength of your title. It is an accepted fact that search engines give more importance to keywords if they appear towards the beginning of title. As the crawler, moves forward in title text, it keeps on reducing the importance of new keywords found.

7. Begin title with most important keyword(s)
Continuing from the previous point, it is advisable that you try to keep all important keywords in the beginning. This, however, should not be done in an aggressive manner. You should not write an absurd title in a bid to shove keywords upstream. Remember, title must be meaningful and easy to understand.

8. Stuffing keywords in title
Avoid stuffing keywords in title as much as possible. An easily understood title with one less keyword is far better than a complicated title that covers all the keywords. As mentioned earlier, keywords must not be aggressively stuffed.

9. Don’t use same title on multiple pages
Google looks down upon a blog or a website if it contains multiple pages with the same title text. Every page in a website is supposed to be unique and therefore title of each page should also be unique. Some web developers simply copy-paste title text across pages. It is very bad practice and you must avoid it. Do not repeat title. Do not duplicate title. Such a thing will greatly harm your SEO attempts.

10. Go natural
It is always better to be natural while writing content for your web page or the title for that matter. Just forget about keyword stuff and write as though you’re mainly writing for humans and not for search engines. This is perhaps the best approach and it will get even better as Google will further polish its algorithms.

With these tips, I hope you’ll begin to take title tag of your web pages rather more seriously. Trust me, it will most certainly help you get higher search ranking and therefore more traffic.

I hope this was useful for you. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions on this topic. I will be happy to try and help you. Thank you for using TechWelkin.


One response to “TITLE of Web Pages: Best Practices, Mistakes and SEO”

  1. Greg Ichshenko says:

    The fact that every website needs to have a title element in its HTML code isn’t something I knew about at all. So I was surprised when I found out about this.

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