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The Definitive Guide to Meta Title Tags

Whether you’re a business owner looking to optimise your newly built website or someone looking to learn SEO, it can be difficult understanding different terms and how to implement different techniques. In this article, we’ll teach you what a meta title is and how you can use it to improve your website’s performance in the search results.

What is a Meta Title Tag?

Title tags form part of a web pages HTML and can be found in the <head> section, specifying what the page is about.

When you view the page source of a website (Ctrl + U or right click and “View page source”) the code will look like this:

<head>
<title>Example Title Tag – Company Branding</title>
</head>

Title tags are displayed in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and, along with a pages URL, can be clicked by people scrolling the search results.

Also known as a “meta title” or “page title”, your title tag is your opportunity to tell the search engines/search engine users what your page is about. It should be a concise description regarding the content that can be found on the page once the link in the search results has been clicked.

Here’s an example of our own homepage meta title, which incorporates the primary keywords we want to be found for.

What is a Meta Title Tag?

You’ll notice the title tag also includes the company branding, which aids the overall user experience for someone browsing the web.

As a rule, you should look to incorporate your company branding on every page you want to be found in the search engine results pages.

How Long Should a Meta Title be?

Most SEO’s would agree that Google typically displays the first 55-60 characters of your title tag.

Titles over 60 characters will often have the end of the title cut off and replaced with an ellipsis. Title’s under 60 characters will have around 90% displayed properly, so it’s best to aim for around the 55-58 mark or experiment to find out what works best.

Another way to measure length in the SERP’s is with pixels. As there is no actual character limit, due to different characters having different widths, Google won’t display page titles over 600 pixels.

If you can keep you page title under 600 pixels and under 60 characters, you have a better chance of the whole title being displayed in the SERPs.

Why are Title Tags Important?

Many SEO experts would agree that title tags are one of the biggest SEO ranking factors, playing one of the main roles in helping search engines to understand what your page is about. This makes sense given that they are the first impression that many people will have of your page, assuming they found it through the SERPs.

Meta title tags are used in 3 key areas, so it’s easy to see why they are so important for search.

  1. SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) – If your site ranks well, your title tag will be seen by people using the search engines. Therefore, it’s fundamental to make a good first impression.
  2. Web Browser Tabs – You may have also noticed title tags being used in the web browser tabs at the top of the page, used primarily as a placeholder for people who have several browser tabs open.
  3. Social Networks – Social media sharing sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, display your website information when a page is shared. This usually includes the title tag, meta description, URL and a specified image. Some social media networks come with own meta tags too, so you can modify a web pages title tags to be different for social media.

Now you’ve learnt what meta tags are, how long they should be and why they are important, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to write an amazing meta title.

With that in mind, we have left you with our own 5 top tips for writing a GREAT meta title tag to improve your website’s SEO.  

5 Tips for Writing a Great Meta Title

Meta titles are a fundamental part of SEO and the customer user experience. It doesn’t take a massive amount of time or effort to write them effectively and the rewards can be huge when they are implemented correctly.

Title tags do require some level of thought and we’d encourage readers to follow our top 5 top tips for a better chance of success:

  1. Think about your meta title length
  2. Don’t go overboard with keywords
  3. Make sure every page has a unique title
  4. Prioritise important keywords at the start of the title
  5. Leverage your brand in every title tag

 

David Williams - Power SEO NewcastlePost written by David Williams, SEO Account Manager @ Design365 Solutions Ltd, one of the leading North East SEO agencies - with offices in Durham and Gateshead/Newcastle. If you require further help with meta titles or SEO in general, take the time to contact us on: 01325 311 909 or email David directly on: david@design365.co.uk.

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