What are Title Tags in SEO?

SEO, SEO for Beginners


Have you ever wondered what are Title Tags in SEO, why are they important, what does a title tag looks like, or how to write a title tag? I'll bet you've asked one, if not all, of those questions. Let's dig into one of the most common elements we optimize when doing SEO on a website or blog. Title Tags are an important part of your website or blog's SEO. 


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What are Title Tags in SEO? 


A Title Tag is an element we add to every website page or blog post we want people to find in Google. It can be a maximum of 60 characters, including spaces, and is the first thing your potential visitor sees in the search results. It helps them determine if they want to click through to your website or not. It gives them an idea as to what your content is about. It's also a Google SEO element that helps Google decide when to show your website to searchers based on the keywords they're searching and what you're using in your Title Tags. 



Why is a Title Tag important to your SEO?


A Title Tag serves two purposes. First, it helps potential customers understand your page or post and hopefully entices them to click on your page to learn more. Second, it helps the search engine understand what your page is about to rank you higher in the results when people search for terms related to your business.

Google looks for clues about your content in specific places called SEO elements. A page or blog post's Title Tag is one of those elements. You want to use an SEO keyword in your Title Tag (and all of your other SEO elements) to help Google understand what that page or blog post is about. 

If you use the same (or a very similar) keyword in your Title Tag (and other SEO elements) that someone searches in Google, then your website is more likely going to show up for them in the search results because Google understands that your page or post is about that specific keyword.


Title Tag Example: What does it look like on Google?


Let's start with what a Title Tag looks like to your potential customer. Here's an example of a Title Tag in Google.




Your Title Tag is directly below the URL for your website page or post  (in the example, SEO Expert Rachel Lindteigen | Etched Marketing Academy is the Title Tag) and is the first thing a potential customer sees when they see your result. Generally, people read the Title Tag and decide if it's worth clicking to learn more. If the Title Tag is interesting enough, they may move on to your Meta Description, the line below your URL, or go ahead and click through to check out your website and see if you can help them. 



Here's what your Title Tag looks like on the back end of your website or blog.



what is a title tag on your website



Your admin panel may look slightly different, but you'll likely have a space to add a Page Title or Title Tag. You'll want to add your optimized Title Tag in that area. If you're using WordPress, you'll add this in the Yoast SEO plug-in at the bottom of the page. If you're on Squarespace you'll edit your Title Tags in the Marketing section. 




How do I write a Title Tag for SEO?



You'll want to write a Title Tag that encourages the potential customer to click through to your website to learn more. Research shows that you can get up to a 30% increase in click-through rates when you use an action verb in your Title Tag. For example, learn, shop, find out, visit, etc. If you can incorporate an action term in your Title Tag, you may get more traffic than if you don't use one.



In your title tag, you should use your page's most important keyword. Ideally, the keyword should be closer to the beginning of the tag so that people see it quickly when they browse through the results.



It used to be very important to add your business name to your Title Tag, but Google has recently started appending the business name to the tag, so it's not as important today. In the example above, I have used my business name, but as I edit older blog posts and make updates, I'm removing it and using more copy to connect with a potential reader instead since Google often adds the business name for me automatically now. 



Your Title Tag is a maximum of one sentence. It's limited to 60 characters, including spaces, so you can't write much here. Remember, you want to provide value and entice someone to come learn more about the subject they're searching for on your website. 



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There are several ways that you can write Title Tags for SEO


  1. Sentence form – Learn what a Title Tag is on the Etched Marketing Academy blog (62 characters, may truncate the end of Academy)
  2. Keyword & pipes form – What is a Title Tag | Etched Marketing Academy (46 characters, will show fully)
  3. Combo – Learn What a Title Tag is | Etched Marketing Academy Blog (58 characters, will show fully)



You can write your Title Tags in any of the three ways above. I try to use an action verb to help with my click-through rate. I also use the pipe | to help add white space in the Title Tag so that it's easier to read.



Have you optimized the Title Tags on your website yet? If not, it's a great place to start working on your SEO. They're a quick & easy way that you can update your website or blog and start helping you be found more easily in the search results.



Request a copy of my Beginner's SEO Guide, and I'll walk you through creating Title Tags and other SEO elements on your website or blog.