Page Titles and On-Page SEO.png

The title tag is a required part of all HTML/XHTML documents, and plays an important part in both user experience and search engine optimization. The title tag’s intended use is to provide a concise and accurate description of the content on a webpage and plays an important part in improving user experience. By including relevant keywords, webmasters can make a significant impact on a website’s ranking; making descriptive and keyword-rich title tags one of the most important aspects of on-page search engine optimization.

The title tag is displayed to users in both search engine results, and almost every major browser, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Opera. In a browser, the title tag is displayed either at the top of the window or in each active tab.

Example of title tag displayed within browser tabs
Example of title tag displayed within browser tabs

Like with the meta description, search engines will only display a limited amount of characters in search results, and page titles that exceed that limit will be shortened and an ellipsis (…) will replace the clipped content. Webmasters and website owners can avoid this cut-off problem by limiting page titles to 70 characters or less. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that every single title should try to use the entire space available the title can be short as long as the it is descriptive and informative.

Search engines like Google, will bold any matching keywords and phrases from a user’s search query, giving users greater visibility when making searches.

Example of title tag highlighted within Google search results
Example of title tag highlighted within Google search results

The best way to create effective page titles starts with creating a list of relevant keywords for a page. Once keywords have been selected, webmasters should create a page title that reflects these keywords. Page titles should ideally be formatted in one of two ways:

  • Primary keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
  • Brand Name | Primary Keyword & Secondary Keyword

Note: It is not absolutely necessary to include a brand or company name in the title since they will take up space; however, doing so is good for branding purposes.

The more important a keyword is, the closer it should be placed to the beginning of the page title. Creating page titles that reflect the order of keywords on-page is also beneficial to search engine optimization.

For example, if a page has a section for affordable tables, one for blue tables, then one for wooden tables an appropriate title could be “Affordable, Blue, Wooden Tables”.