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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Meta Tag Solutions Part III

Title Tag

Editors Note: We know that the title tag is not a meta tag, but since its usage goes hand in hand with the keyword and description meta tags, we are including it in this “meta tag” discussion for simplicity sake.

The Title tag is probably the single most important item on your page. While it is important for your body text to be written effectively and be properly optimized, proper keyword optimization it is even more important in your title tag.

There are two specific reasons why the Title tag is important. First, because it is weighted heavily by most search engines when determining ranking for your site, and second, because this is the first thing a searcher looks at when determining whether your site, or the one above or below, will be clicked to. Let’s look at the latter first.

Virtually every search engine uses the title tag as the hyperlink from its search results to your page. Lets say your company, we’ll call it “Global Rings”, sells custom made rings. Your search terms might be “custom rings”, “gold rings”, “diamond rings”, etc. A poorly optimized title tag might look like this:

1. Welcome to Global Rings Industries Home Page
Your Meta Description would be here.

An important keyword “rings” is used in the title tag which might, along with many other factors, help you achieve top placement for your search terms, however the title doesn’t offer much that compels the viewer to click. Assume a set of search results looked like this:

1. Welcome to Global Rings Industries Home Page
Great selection of rings for all fingers and toes. Nose, belly and tongue rings too!

2. Custom rings: gold, diamond, silver. Value priced.
Great selection of rings for all fingers and toes. Nose, belly and tongue rings too!

Assuming the description tags being equal, which of these sites would you be more likely to click to? The second result, with a nicely worded title and interesting enough description would ultimately be more compelling to the viewer than the first result, which has a poorly worded title and an equal description.

In this case, the site with the #2 listing is likely to get substantially more clicks than the #1 listing because the title offers a compelling reason to skip #1 and click on the #2 link. Again, all things being equal, a properly optimized title tag may be what attracts the viewer to your site rather than your competitors.

The other important factor in writing the title tag is how the search engines rate the importance of this tag. Most search engine give the title tag a great amount of weight when analyzing a page for rankings. Considering only about 5-8 words will be considered by any search engine, real estate here is premium and word use must be very carefully thought out. This makes the job of any optimizer even more difficult.

In example #1 above, the keyword “rings” is in the title tag. This helps achieve top listings. However in example #2 the search terms “gold rings”, “diamond rings”, “silver rings”, “custom rings”, and even “value priced rings” can all be found in the title tag alone. For a search query for any one of these terms, this site has an added advantage with each of the individual words being found in the title tag.

Unfortunately, not everyone’s keywords can be broken down so easily for the title tag. This means you must be very selective about which terms you want to optimize each page for. It is extremely tough to balance keyword usage while making a compelling statement for the viewers. What is important is to create a title tag that utilizes as many keywords as possible while also being compelling to the searcher.

Understand that it is not always necessary to have your keywords in the title tag to achieve a top ranking, however doing so will give you an edge in search engine placement for the terms that are included. I read somewhere once that a word that is not one of your search terms should never be in your title tag. For ranking purposes this is probably a true statement, but creating a compelling sentence with only keywords is much more difficult.

I agree, use your keywords as much as possible, but a list of keywords separated by commas will probably not make a very compelling sentence to the searcher, causing your site to be passed over for another.

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