SEO Title Tag — What is it and How Important is it?

The SEO Title Tag is one of the most important and simplest parts of On Page SEO.

What is the Title Tag?

The title tag, AKA page title, AKA meta title, AKA title, is what shows up in your web browser's tab bar when you run the mouse over it.

In the following picture, I've run the mouse over a tab and the title tag for that page has popped up as "Basic 'On Page' Search Engine Optimization | Dallas SEO Geek"

This is a quick way for you to check the title tags for your pages without having to look at the source code.

You can also choose to do "view source" on a page and it look for "<title>...</title>"  Whatever is inside those 2 tags is your title tag.

Here's the example above's code:

Why is the Title Tag Important?

  1. Google uses the title tag as one of the strongest signals for what the page is about.  You only get 1 per page and so Google gets a lot of meaning out of it.  In fact, there are no other signals that are significantly stronger for a web page.  Only the URL of that page can even come close to competing and, really, URL and Title are about the same in importance.  Everything else on your page has far less impact on your rankings!
  2. Google will use your title tag in its SERPs (search engine results pages).  Therefore, your title will affect the CTR (click through rate) of your webpage from the search results.  And, as a result, it could directly affect your rankings if your title is very interesting or very boring.

How do I Update a Web Page's Meta Title?

Well, it depends on your Content Management System (CMS) or lack thereof.

Furthermore, even within the same CMS's, there can be different settings and methods for changing this title.

If your website is hard coded with HTML, then, you simple edit or add a line with the <title> tag as shown above.

If you are using the most popular CMS on the market by far, WordPress, then you may be able to edit it in the following 2 locations within your page editor:

The above page title is, "SEO Title Tag -- What is it and How Important is it?"

Now, this first one can be confusing because with some WordPress setups, this actually edits the H1 tag, so make sure to check the page once complete.

Sometimes with a lot of "SEO" plugins, there's a section down further in the page where you can edit the page title as well:

This comes further down within the page editor.

Also, notice that I'm over the 60 "max recommended characters."   Oops!

This is not a big deal, but Google, officially, will only read the first 60 characters for SEO.

Additionally, they only display up to 60 characters in their SERPs.

So, make sure you pay close attention to your page's titles.

If you want help with your website's page titles and a full SEO analysis & recommendations, then contact me.