Multiple choice pop quiz! What’s the most important element of onsite SEO? Choose wrong, and you’ll be stuck on the fifth page of Google for all eternity.
a) 3.5% body content keyword density:
Today, we will discuss comfortable shoes for sale. Your life will significantly improve after reading what we have to say about comfortable shoes for sale. . .
b) The meta keywords field:
meta name=”keywords” content=”comfortable shoes, comfortable shoes for sale, comfortable shoe, sale for comfortable shoes. . .
c) H1 Header:
<h1>Comfortable Shoes for Sale</h1>
d) The Title Tag:
<title>Comfortable Shoes | Comfortable Shoe | Comfortable Shoes for Sale</title>
Admittedly, the title of this blog post gives away the answer, and that thumbnail image was also a hard to miss clue, but we thank you for participating. So, if you didn’t already know, now you do. Title tags rule. Don’t believe me? Here’s a credible source to back me up:
Now that you’re aware of just how important the title tag is for onsite SEO, how do you go about implementing it on your website? Many have tried, but few actually get it right. Here are some pointers:
1. A title tag is something you stick inside the <head></head> section of a webpage. Title tags don’t actually appear on the webpage itself. Instead, it’s an element that is placed inside the page’s source code. Meta description and (arguably) meta keywords fields should also be incorporated here, although these have much less clout than title tags when it comes to SEO.
2. Google may use your title tag as a link to your website in search engine results. This is why you don’t want to go all willy nilly and stuff your title tag with dozens of keywords, because there’s a good chance it will show up on Google looking rather unsightly. Moreover, if Google doesn’t like your title tag, it may decide to use a different element of your web page instead. Google can be a little strange and unpredictable sometimes. You don’t want this to happen.
3. Google will cut off your title tag if it exceeds 69 characters. It’s like one of those old Vaudeville shows. If your act goes on for too long, you get dragged off stage by a giant cane.
It’s not just about appearances either. The more keywords you stuff in your title tag, the more you see diminishing returns. They’re at their most potent at a lean 65 characters.
4. | Pipes | are commonly used to separate keywords in an onsite SEO title tag. Search engine spiders ignore these characters, so this part boils down to preference. If you want to be bold and stand out from the pack by using a comma or something crazy instead, then more power to you. This writer personally feels that
is a better visual separator than
Plus, SEOmoz uses pipes in their title tags. Just saying…
5. Title tags typically end with a company name. This also comes down to preference, and it’s ultimately your call. If you have a title tag that’s already dangerously close to 65 characters in length, and you just have to stick in another keyword, then by all means, leave out your company name. It’ll only get cut off or replaced by Google anyway.
Following this advice is important. You really want Google to like your title tags. Stray too far from the proper title tag protocol, and Google may replace your tags with something less beneficial in terms of onsite SEO. Think of it like being grounded for not listening to your parents. Google will take your keywords away if you don’t behave.
If you own a website, and you’re concerned that you may not have utilized HTML title tags to their potential, comment below or contact a BBEX project manager. We will get back to you very soon.