Learn SEO: The Title Tag

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The title tag is an HTML element that defines a document’s title. You can see the contents of the title tag in your browser’s page tab. For example, in this case, it’s “Learn SEO: The Title Tag.” More importantly, it is displayed as the headline within the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for any given result or social media. 

title tag serps

Tip: Some social media follow different meta tags for title, description, image, etc. if specified.

It falls under the metadata content category along with the meta, link, base, script, noscript and style

For search engine optimization (SEO), the <title> is one of the most important on-page elements that we have full control over. It plays a significant role in optimizing for keyword rankings and click-through rates. 

What makes a good title tag

  • Google truncates long titles, so make sure to keep them between 50-60 characters long. There is no exact specification since Google uses max-pixel width to truncate the titles, and every character varies in width. The current max pixel width is 600.
  • Studies have shown that putting the primary keyword at the front of your titles can boost your CTRs
  • Don’t over optimize your titles with variations of the same keyword. Keyword stuffing doesn’t help you rank higher but on the contrary can badly hurt your rankings.
  • Read human friendly titles. If you are using formulas for your titles make sure that they are as user friendly as possible. Even if you are ranking on position one for a certain keyword you are risking low CTRs with robotic titles.
  • Take the time and write unique titles for all of your pages. People appreciate a good title and your analytics will prove that.

How to change your title tag

No matter what CMS you are using, there’s always a way to change your page’s title tag. 

WordPress, by default, uses the heading of the page you’ve created for your HTML title tag. In most cases, SEO plugins such as Yoast or Rank Math can help you optimize your titles more intuitively by providing support and emulations of how good you optimized your title or even what you need to do to make it better. 

Website builders such as Wix and Squarespace offer similar support, and you can quickly identify the right way depending on your CMS by merely performing a Google search. 

Here’s how to change your Wix titles.

https://support.wix.com/en/article/changing-the-title-in-the-browser-tab

And how to change your Squarespace titles

https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205815838-Adding-a-site-title

If you have a simple HTML site and you’d like to change your titles manually, that is also pretty straightforward. 

Open up your FTP or File Manager and find the HTML page that you’d like to edit. Finding the <title> is easy since it’s most frequently at the top of the <head> section of your HTML document.

page title tag html

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