Learning SEO Series – Title Tags
Here is the first post in my Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Beginners series. This first post will look at the title tags of your website.
What are title tags?
The title tag is a piece of code on your website placed in the “head” tag of your site. It places text in the ‘tabs’ of browsers and is also used for SEO.
The title tag should be around 69 characters, stuffed with keywords and different on each page. It could be longer than this but then you risk that it is truncated when displayed on search results pages (see further down).
What are the other benefits of title tags
Title tags can also help the visual design and the usability of the website.
Take a look at this website. It’s a nice looking site, I’m sure you’ll agree but let down by the title tags.
In their title tag they have ‘HERE FOR THE BEER’ which is great but then ‘Homepage’.
They might as well of not put anything in this place as ‘Homepage’ is pretty much useless, unless someone is searching for ‘Homepage’ but are really interested in Yorkshire Beer.
This is how it looks in the search engines.
How do I fix this?
If you want to change your title tags you mean need access to your code. If you have access simple change the line between these tags found in the HEAD section:
If you don’t have access to your code you may need to ask your web designer to change it and it might need changing on each page.
If you have a content managed site like wordpress, it’s possible to set your title tags to be whatever the name of your page is, without you doing a thing! However, try to ensure your ‘slugs’ are something useful and not just ‘blog’. In wordpress you can change your slug and still keep the name of the page. For example:
Your page could be ‘Blog’ but the slug is ‘Tutorials for learning how to knit’. You can also have different menu names if you wanted.
Go to your website and for each page look at what the title tags say. If there’s just the odd word that would mean nothing to a search engine, write down some keywords that could be used to describe that page and then write a new title tag.
If you’ve access to your code, go change the title tag!
If you’ve not got access, get in touch with your web designer…. or of course, the Smart Bear.
This alone, should help your SEO but if you want to know about more ways to get further up the ranking, look out for our next post in this series.