SEO Basics: How to Use Title Tags on Your Website

So, you’ve built your business website. Now you want some traffic.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the traffic-generating tools you have at your disposal.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors outside your control when it comes to SEO. Others can be controlled but take significant time or effort.

But here’s one that’s both fully within your control and super simple: optimizing the Title tags for your business website’s homepage and product pages.

The Title tag determines what appears at the top of your web browser window when visiting a webpage. The Title tag is also what Google, Bing, and other search engines use as the main link to your website in search results. The search engines also use the keywords in your Title tag to categorize your pages, which is why the tag is important for SEO.

One of the biggest, commonly missed SEO opportunities is a business homepage that says Welcome or Home.

Those generic Titles don’t brand your website at all. Nor do they give potential visitors (and search engines) any idea of what your website is about.

There are some different schools of thought when it comes to the perfect Title tag, but in general, the best practice advice is to lead with keywords that are the most popular for the products or services you offer and end with your website/brand name.

If branding is most important to you or you feel your brand name is strong and want to feature it more in search results, then flip the order and use your brand first, then keywords.

You should keep the Title under 70 characters (including spaces). Anything above that will get cut off in Google search results.

Because you don’t have much space, you really have to prioritize the keywords you use.

Here’s an example of our EarthLink Business website. The Title tag of 69 characters leads with the keywords for the main business service categories we offer: IT, Data, Voice & Internet Services for Business – EarthLink Business.

This is how the EarthLink Business homepage Title tag shows up at the top of a web browser (in this case Safari):

EarthLink Business - title tag for business services homepage

And this is how the Title tag looks in Google search results:

EarthLink Business in Google search resultsKeep in mind, you should have unique Title tags for each of your pages, so you need to plan out which keywords to use for which pages. Reusing the same Title tags on multiple (or all) pages is another one of the most common SEO mistakes.

Using the EarthLinkBusiness.com site as an example again, here are Title tags for some of our important business service pages:

Most content management systems (such as blogging software) let you update Title tags by simply typing in new text in the Title field and updating the page.

In the source code for your page, the Title tag is found in the <head> section and is whatever you put between the <title> </title> tags.

If you need help finding popular keywords related to your business website to use for your Title tag, try using this Google Keyword tool.

Good luck with your SEO.

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