Title Tag

What Is a Title Tag?

The title tag is an HTML element that, as its name suggests, specifies the title of a web page. It helps both search engines and people know what the web page is all about. 

Title tags are important for SEO, usability, and social sharing. They may not play the same role in SEO as they did a decade ago, but they are still very important and there are many reasons not to neglect this low-effort, high-impact SEO action.

Title tags are huge factors in helping search engines understand what your page is all about. The title tags are useful for search engine results pages (SERPs), web browsers, and of course, social networks.

Title Tag Preview Tool
example.com > Books > A Tale of Two Springfields

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times, it was the ...

Display titles in Google results have a 600-pixel width limit, but most are truncated before that at the nearest word break. Play-Media Academy recommends keeping your titles under 60 characters.

Why Are Title Tags Important?

One of the main reasons why title tags are vital is that they help search engines understand what your page is about, which allows them to rank your website properly. Other than that, title tags are the first thing users see when they discover your site through organic search. So, it’s important to make a good first impression. 

Title tags appear in a few different places: 

  • Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
  • Web browsers
  • Social networks (Facebook, Twitter)

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS)

One of the most important places where your title will show is definitely SERPs. Even if your site ranks well without a good title tag, having one can still influence whether or not someone will click on your link.

SERP Play Media

Web Browsers

The title tag appears on the top of each new tab you open in your web browser. This is very useful, especially for people who keep multiple tabs open at the same time. Your tags must be easily recognizable and unique, so they can stand out and immediately be differentiated from other open tabs.

Web Browser Title Tag - Play Media

Social Networks

Some social networks let you customize your title tag for their platform. You can optimize tags for each network specifically and customize them for the audience you’re trying to reach.

Facebook Title Tag

Social Media Title Tag.

Twitter Title Tag

Title Tag for Twitter - Play Media.

Write a Good Title Tag

There are a couple of things you need to focus on in order to write a good title tag. Pay attention to your title length. Keep in mind that Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of the title tag. 

By keeping your character count under 60, about 90% of your titles will display properly. As you can see, there are no hard and fast rules regarding the length of title and meta description tags, however, the recommended length is 600 pixels. That’s because some characters like M and W take up more space than others.

Don’t overdo SEO keywords, you can run into problems with search engines if you start stuffing your title with keywords. This is a general rule, keyword stuffing is the thing of the past.

Think about unique titles because this can help search engines understand that your content is valuable. Avoid titles like “Home” or “New Page” because this can make Google think you have duplicate content across your site. Also, it’s recommended to put the brand name at the end of the title, so keep that in mind when writing your title tags.

Why Is Google Changing Title Tags?

Sometimes, Google won’t use the title tag you wrote. Google rewrites most title tags depending on the user’s search intent. As a matter of fact, it rewrites about 60% of title tags. In some cases, Google will only change one word, while in other cases it will rewrite the entire title. The reason is delivering the best possible results to each user, so custom-tailoring the titles based on their intent is a common practice.

However, you should still write title tags for all pages you want Google to index even though Google will change some of them in SERPs. There is nothing we can do about that, but it isn’t an error, which is the most important thing.

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