Title tags, the first line of code an engine looks at, the first thing a user sees, the first thing to show up on the search result page, and the first thing remembered in a book mark. Title tags seem pretty important these days. So, why do so many sites use the same tag throughout their entire site?
I’ve heard, from the search engine perspective, that duplicate title tags are worth little or nothing. I would have to agree, at least from a user perspective. A site is given allowances for branding, but please don’t use the site name as every title tag. We all know the ubiquitous “sitename | ” and “sitename – ” that are everywhere at this point, and that is a great convention, if it’s followed by a unique descriptor. The most important text on your page for search engine purposes is the title tag, use it wisely and uniquely.
Creating unique title tags is surprisingly easy. Run a news site? Throw in the name of the article. Run a store site? Throw in the taxonomy or bread crumbs. Have a resource site? I’m sure your site is broken out by subject then by article, put that in your title tag. You’re already most of the way towards SEO gold as far as title tags go.
It’s great to append your title tags with extra keywords, as long as they make sense. Don’t stuff your title tags with keywords just because you want to rank for those terms, make the titles logical so that for users. Make sure that users can remember what their bookmarks are pointing to and that they can infer where a link goes. Besides, if you keyword-stuff a title tag the engines can tell, and if it’s over 150 characters it’s doing more harm than good for your site anyway.
Be nice to your title tags and they will be nice to both your users and the search engines.