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Title Tag Optimization Guidelines

Most of us on our home page tend to place "Welcome to" as the TITLE tag text.

This is not a good practice, especially if your site name is not relevant to your subject area. Many search engines use the title tag as an important part of relevancy and therefore ranking.

For example, my home page title was originally "Taming the Beast Online". It didn't describe my site at all. All my most important keywords should have been in there. I would have been much better off with a tag that read "Free Web Design Resources, online courses and tutorials at Taming the Beast". I made the change, and at that time, suddenly shot from obscurity to No.3 on a major search engine on a competitive term during the next database refresh. We don't hold that ranking any more as we constantly change our tag to give us exposure to a wider audience (and to experiment), and our direction has changed, but our strategy remains the same.

The TITLE tag should be kept between 60 - 90 characters in length. I've read many conflicting reports on TITLE length, but a good practical guide is Google. On search results, Google currently displays only approximately 60 characters of the title - some engines display more. Keeping this in mind, keep the most important keywords at the beginning of your title.

Here's an example:

<TITLE>Tibetan Spider Farming resources - free arachnid tutorials and tools</TITLE>

NOTE - always remember to close your tags e.g.

In FrontPage 2000 editing TITLE tags is simple. Right mouse button click on a clear area of a page while in edit mode and select "Page properties'. Simply complete the field that states "Title". Click OK and you're done.

When you carry out a search via one of the major search engines, it is not uncommon for the results to show a good deal of "garbage" headings. This is because the site owners do not have a correct title tag (in some cases, none at all)... There has been something else in the content that has attracted the search engine spiders attention.

The TITLE coding can be found by viewing the html of your is always located before the <body> tag

Remember to use different, but suitable title tag text on each page of your site. Most search engines don't just look at your index page. They'll follow links ('spider') the entire site. This will help increase your listings chances. Even if a user does not initially access your home page from these search engine results, they can quite easily navigate to your top page - as long as you have the appropriate links of course! Think of your site as a house with as many doors as it has pages.

The way that visitors find their way to your site via search engines can be on the strangest criteria. We've been noticing a number of hits on the term "enema" (not that we really want that traffic!). This has happened as a result of one of my articles being entitled "Site Upgrades - A digital enema"!

It isn't wise to try and fool the search engines either by consciously implementing irrelevant titles, it will soon be detected and your page ranking will drop, or worse still, your site may be removed from the index.

Gaining higher search engine rankings with just a good title tag won't cut it either, there is a lot more to search engine optimization than that. You can read further articles on our site that will assist you in this area. Search engines are constantly changing the algorithms in calculating page rankings, so what works today may not work tomorrow...

... but there's nothing like a good challenge ;0)

Related articles:

Keyword Optimization Tips-Tools, Keyword Density Analyzer, Meta Tag Analyzer

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
Tutorials, web content, tools and software.
Web Marketing, Internet Development & Ecommerce Resources


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