How Important are Title Tags for Good Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization can feel a little intimidating. Algorithms seem to be changing frequently, making it harder and harder to keep up. We wonder, "Are title tags a good thing?", "What's the proper length of the title tag?", "How many tags should I use?"
What are Title Tags?
Title Tags - Every page must have a title in the head section. It is used to identify what your individual pages are about.
Poor Title Tag Example: http://vaforrealestate.com/page352
Good Title Tag Example: http://vaforrealestate.com/search-engine-optimization
In the poor example above, it's difficult for search engines to know what the page is about. However, the good example clearly lets search engines know that the page is about search engine optimization. The graphic below shows how your properly tagged text will show up on in a Google search. Notice that I typed "list of real estate support services" in the Google search field. Every properly tagged page will be listed with the search term in bold and highlighted.
How long should a title tag be?
An acceptable title tag is no more than 65 characters. WordPress Users: The Yoast SEO plugin will help you keep your title tag within the recommended length. Their other great optimization features will help you make your posts and pages SEO friendly.
Think of your page's title as the introduction to what your page is about. Your title tag should be in your title and the body of your text. Search engines will use your your title tag to categorize where your page will rank.
A Word About Meta Tags
In my post, "How to Easily Embed Text into Images", I gave examples of what a graphic looks like when it is and isn't properly optimized. To the naked eye, both graphics appeared to be the same. When you mouse over them, the properly optimized image showed the text in a pop-up. The same thing can and should be done with text.
Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page's content; the meta tags don't appear on the page itself, but only in the page's code. We all know tags from blog culture, and meta tags are more or less the same thing, little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about.
Title tags are very important to getting your posts and pages highly ranked on the search engines. What else do you do for better SEO?