SEO Basics – Title Tags
The HTML title tag is an extremely important element of a web page or blog post. Here’s a simple explanation of the title tag from a Wikipedia article on HTML elements.
Define a document title. Required in every HTML and XHTML document. User agents may use the title in different ways. For example:
Web browsers usually display it in a window’s title bar when the window is open, and (where applicable) in the task bar when the window is minimized.
It may become the default filename when saving the page.
Search engines’ web crawlers may pay particular attention to the words used in the title. [Emphasis added.]
The title element must not contain other elements, only text. Only one title element is permitted in a document.
TITLE existed in HTML Tags, and was standardised in HTML 2.0; still current.
Title tags should be no more than 60 – 65 characters.
In WordPress, the default title tag is your blog post’s headline – in other words, the text you use in the large field above the post body portion of your text editor.
There are times when you may want a custom title tag – in other words, an HTML title tag that differs from the headline that displays above the text of your post. Generally, those reasons revolve around maximizing the SEO performance and marketability of your blog post. In the post you’re reading now, the headline is How to Customize Title Tags in WordPress. The title tag – look at your browser tab or the top of your browser – is Custom Title Tags in WordPress | Straight North . Read this if you want to learn more about why you’d want custom title tags.
One easy way to customize your title tag is to install the All in One SEO Pack WordPress plugin. After you activate the plugin, you will see a field below the body text area of your editor, where you can type in your title tag, or Title. It looks like this –
Below the Title field is a Description field where you can enter a meta description – the snippet of text that sometimes appears under the links on a page of Google search engine results.
Another easy way to insert custom title tags comes built in with the popular Thesis WordPress theme, which has a lot of good SEO features. The entry field for the custom title tag looks like this –
Just enter your text in the Custom Title Tag field. Similar to the All in One SEO Pack, Thesis has fields for entering meta descriptions and meta keywords – other HTML elements that help improve your search engine rankings.
That’s it! By paying attention to your title tags, you’ll rank better and search and lead more social media users to your blog posts. If you have questions or want to discuss particulars – please give me a shout.