September 24, 2011
Although it seems simple, the title tag of a web page is often both the most important and least understood piece of information on a web page with regards to basic search engine indexing and ranking authority.
The title tag is the main text that describes an online document or web page. It is the single most important on-page SEO element (behind overall content) and appears in three key places:
Browser: In this area, it appears at the very top of a web page in the browser “chrome” area. It’s meant to be an accurate description of the web page content.
Search Results Pages: This is the area that appears when a search engine displays a list of results that include a web page. Search engines display title tags in their results along with another less important on-page factor, the meta description tag.
External websites: Often, external websites (especially social media sites) will use the title of a web page as its link anchor text.
An example of a title tag would be “Charlotte web site design services” as used on this page. It accurately describes the content contained within the page, as well as providing search engines with the correct information to list the page within it’s results. Note that it also contains only 62 characters.
Historically, the title tag has consistently been one of the single most important on-page SEO factors. Before search engine algorithms increased their complexity, the title tag was an easy way to try and determine the topic and relevancy of a page. As search engines evolved, their algorithms started to include additional factors such as link data, social media interaction and traffic/performance metrics. The title tag, however, still holds great value for on-page search engine optimization.
For those that build their own web pages using a content management system or other tools, the title tag is without a doubt one of the most important page attributes to ensure proper page indexing by search engines, as well as providing your web site visitors with a helpful, accurate and pleasant browsing experience.
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