4 Quick Tips for Getting Started with Title Tags

March 2, 2011

Each page on your website has a small snippet of code that identifies a “title” for that page. These titles show up in your browser, in search results and when your pages are shared on sites like Facebook. They’re also a heavily weighted component when search engines rank your site. All things equal, a page with an accurate, well-written title will always rank better than one with a broad or general description.

Webpage title

Browser tab

Google search result

If you’ve never given any thought to your page titles, now is the time. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1) Establish a Pattern

Choosing a standard convention, pattern or template for your creating your titles is a great place to start. A common structure includes a description of the page followed by your brand or company name, usually separated with a hyphen or pipe character. For example, “Organic Fruit in Chapel Hill - Paul’s Produce”

2) Use Keywords

Using the example above, notice the keywords and identifiers. Instead of broad terms, dig deeper and get descriptive. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and use the keywords, terms and phrases they would search for when looking for your products or services.

It’s important to note that using keywords doesn’t mean being spammy. Don’t cram together keywords that that don’t accurately reflect the content on your page. Stay on-topic and review the actual content of the page to help guide the page title. 

3) Be Concise

Keep your title lengths relatively short -- generally around the length of a normal sentence, including the company name. (40-70 characters)

4) Unique is Better

If you can’t write custom page titles for each page of your site, focus on your most important pages and allow your CMS to generate the others automatically based on the page content. Whatever you do, make sure that your site doesn’t use a single title tag throughout for all pages.


When it comes to applying your new page titles, it will depend on how your site is set-up. With a good Content Management System you’ll have the ability to control page titles on both the site and page level. If your site isn’t on a CMS you’ll need to make the changes directly to your page code. Either way, it’s a task and topic well worth your time!

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