How to Write a Better Title Tag

(Ping! Zine Issue 37) – The title tag might be a feature many people overlook, but it is just as important as having a nice looking web site layout.  Some might even say it is the most important thing, because it is often the first thing a web site visitors sees.  Today I’ll be telling you what the title tag is and what you can do to make yours better.

What is so Important About the Title Tag?
The title bar is important because it tells your readers what they can expect on that page.  If you are missing a title tag, often the Internet browsers out there just name the actual file name as the title.  If that happens, the title tag is not doing the job of telling the web site visitor what that page is about. Title tags are also used by search engines. The title tag is typically used as the first line of the search result.  Once again, this is another reason why it is important to use a title tag.

How do you Write a Better Title Tag?
Now that we have gone over the importance of a title tag, let me tell you how to write a better one.

Keep the title under 65 characters. This is mainly for search engine optimization reasons, so your last few words or your title don’t get replace with a “…” when showing up on the search engines, like Google.

Use keywords phrases specific to your web site. Now this one might seem overly obvious, but some people still forget it.  Use your most popular keywords that lead people into your site, or that best describe your site in the title tags.

Put your web site name at the end of the title tag. Now some people put the site name at the end, some people put it at the beginning and then some people leave it off, all together.  Unless your site name is keyword rich, like “Best Coupons for Hosting” – I would say bump it to the end of the title.  It helps to identify what page you are on.  Then you can put the web page title before it, such as:

How to Write a Better Title Tag – Web Hosting Show

There you have the page’s name first, and the web site’s name second.  Both are relevant when describing the web page in question so both should be mentioned in the title tag.

Re-use your title tag in your web site too. Your web site’s title should mirror your headline title on the web page you are editing.  This is easy to remember to do with blogs, however it might be overlooked with hand coded HTML web sites.

There you have it.  Those are my own personal tips to help you write a better web site title tag.  Have any other advice or tips to share?  Give me your feedback in the comments.
BIO:  Mitch Keeler, web hosting guru and the self-proclaimed web hosting industry media rock star works web hosting support by day and hosts his own podcast by night.  You can check out the Web Hosting Show podcast at WebHostingShow.com.

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