The importance of the title tag

Sabahan.com alerted us of an article about simple rules you can follow to ensure you take the most advantage of your <title> tag.

Most experts seem to agree that the <title> tag accounts for a fairly large part of how the relevance of a page is calculated. What the article covers is fairly logical and makes a lot of sense to me.

However, web a few nuggets attracted my attention, stomatology and this is that your focus should be on the last mile before it gets to you. Once the user has entered her query, now she is faced with a plethora of choices, and that’s where the human factor kicks in. And she does not click, all your efforts are for naught.

One first interesting data point to keep in mind when crafting a title is that the result might be cut off before getting displayed to the user:

Although Yahoo will display up to 112 characters and MSN up to 70, by limiting your <title> tags to Google’s limit of 63 or less, you’re increasing your chances you’ll get your entire <title> tag displayed on all three major engines.

And I can not stress enough that your title needs to be readable by a human! To me, this should be rule #1. Sure, you’ve got to get that page near the top of the search results, but if in doing that, you make it so unappealing that nobody will click on it, what have you gained?

Because the <title> tag is displayed as the headline for your page in the search results, its role is to motivate people to click your link. Therefore, the <title> tag becomes the headline for your page. Its job is to reassure the searcher that, indeed, your page’s content is all about exactly what they are looking for. Otherwise, why would anyone bother to click your link?

So next time you sit down to write your next page or article or post, keep your reader in mind.

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