Title tags derive from mastheads in old school print newspapers and magazines.
The masthead is the title block at the top of a page – like The Sun or Mirror or Vanity Fair – and the subheading alongside that sometimes adds some information, like ‘Tomorrow’s news today’.
Title tags have evolved in search engine optimisations (SEO) to the HTML code in a web page that browsers look to for the content to slot into the tab and into the title bar. Search engines also return them in organic searches.
Here’s a look at the html for the title on a page from this web site:
<title>Search Engine Optimisation Professional Consultancy Services</title>
Compare the title tag with the tab wording by rolling the mouse over the tab and you can see they are the same.
Any other part of the browser’s hard code that grabs the <title> tag will also take the same content.
For SEO purposes the title tag is quite important, as you would expect, as the search engine assumes the title tag gives keyword information about the web site’s main topic.
Pages without title tags are missing out on a basic SEO plus point as they are making the search engine guess what they are about – and search engines do not guess very well.
If you have filled in your title tags but they are not showing in the browser, this could be for a couple of reasons.
The main problem is the tag is too far down the page. Title tags should be at the top, below the <HTML><Head> but well before the <Body>.
Look for the default <TITLE>Your title text is here</TITLE> and replace the wording between the tags with your key word phrase.
To check out your page’s title tags, find the view source command in your browser to reveal the html and look for the title tags at the top of the page.
A couple of points about SEO with title tags –
• Don’t have the same title for every page; optimise each title tag to reflect the keywords for the content of the specific page, like a product name.
• Don’t make the tags too long or too short – Search engine’s work to between 40 and 60 characters, so don’t make them longer as the information will be clipped
Sometimes pages have two title tags – that confuses the browser, so delete one. It could be your web site content management system or web page template is slipping in the second set.
Here’s the line to look for in a page template for a WordPress theme which lifts the site title from‘Settings’:
<title><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?><?php wp_title(); ?></title>