Search Engine Optimization: The Title Tag

By Daniel Scocco

Welcome to the third video post on Daily Blog Tips (there is a category just for them now). On this video we are going to talk about the most important SEO factor: the Title Tag.

If you are using WordPress you can use this code to create an optimal title tag (just paste it in the header):

<title><?php if (is_home () ) { bloginfo(‘name’); }
elseif ( is_category() ) { single_cat_title(); echo ' - ' ; bloginfo(‘name’); }
elseif (is_single() ) { single_post_title();}
elseif (is_page() ) { single_post_title();}
else { wp_title(‘’,true); } ?></title>

Here is a rough transcript of the video (the blog used for example was PublicRecordsGuy.com):

Hey guys, today we are going to talk about one of the most important search engine optmization factors: the Title Tag.

So what is the Title Tag? basically it is tag inserted in the head section of a web page that is used to tell both search engines and human visitors what the page is about

Search engines will get the information about the title tag on the source code of a web page, while human visitors will be able to see it on top of their browsers.

The title is so important for 2 reasons: first of all it is the part of your website that will have the greatest impact on your search engine rankings.

Secondly, given your search rankings, the title tag will also affect how many clicks you will end up getting because it is the text that search engines will use to display your pages

For example, you can see that the title tag on the homepage of Seobook.com is “learn, rank, dominate – seobook.com.”

And the title tag on the Seobook blog is only seobook.com.

Now if you go to Google and search “seo book” you will see that the headline for the homepage is the same as the title tag, “learn, rank, dominate, seobook.com.”

And the same thing for the blog section.

Now if we think about blogs, there are mainly 2 places that you should be worried about your title tag: the homepage and the single post pages.

That is because the majority of your search engine traffic will go to those pages; secondary pages like categories or archives usually do not rank well for competitive terms.

__________

So what should you include in your title tag? Keep in mind that an optimal title tag should:

-be unique to each page of your website
-include the main keywords of each page
-be concise
-and should appeal to humans as well

On the homepage, therefore, you should use a title tag that includes the main keywords of your blog, and that describes your content and your brand.

If you are not targeting any particular keywords with your website as a whole, you could leave just its name on the title tag for the homepage.

If you are targeting specific keywords it would be a good idea to place them first in the title tag because they will receive more value that way.

________

On the single post pages, on the other hand, it would be a good to make your title tag dynamic, so that it will reflect the headline of your post.

One common mistake that bloggers make is to include the name of their blog on the title tag of single post pages as well

If you check this blog, for instance, you will see that the title tag on the homepage is looking good, but on the single post page, apart from the headline of the post, you also have the name of the blog.

Why is this a mistake? because the name of the blog will almost never be relevant to the topic of the single posts, and by including it on the title tag you are adding irrelevant keywords and diluting the value of the relevant ones.

To illustrate the problem, lets suppose that a search engine gives an algorithmic value of 100 to the title tag of every website.

As you can see the main keywords of this post are “bernie,” “ward,” “changes” and “plea.”

if you use as title tag the same headline of the post, each keyword will receive an individual value of 25.

If, instead, you add the name of the blog to the title tag, you will be adding irrelevant keywords and the value of the main keywords will be dilluted to 14.3

As a result of this value dilution it would be harder to rank well when someone searches for “bernie ward changes plea” or something related to it, which is the main topic of the post.

So that is it. I hope the example made it easier to understand title tags and how to make them more efficient on your blog.



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25 Responses to “Search Engine Optimization: The Title Tag”

  • Jane

    I like your video. I’ve been trying to figure out what “title tags” are for months! We see the option and request a value, but I’ve never been able to figure out what they are at all. Your video walks us through the answer to this question. It SHOWS us. Thank you.

    Not sure yet what “subtitle_tag” is, though.

    One thing to confirm: I think that this doesn’t improve search engine rankings, correct? It just puts the tag in the browser tabs and on the tltle bar, correct? I’ve changed many of the title tags since I saw your video and still the ranking is LOW. Like a “3”.

    Thanks.

  • medyum

    I use the post title and then the name of the blog because the name of the blog is relevant to my niche. Is this a good idea since home design is closely related to every post? I’m kinda new to this whole blogging thing but SEO is key in my niche. Thanks

  • fabiano

    where can i put the code as above? in the header section in which? thank you

  • Chris D dot ca

    Great post. I’ve been using the title of the blog along with post titles for years. I didn’t think it would take away from the keywords, but I guess you do learn something new everyday.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Yaw, if “home design” is relevant to the majority of your posts than it is OK to keep it there.

  • Yaw

    Hey Daniel,

    I use the post title and then the name of the blog because the name of the blog is relevant to my niche. Is this a good idea since home design is closely related to every post? I’m kinda new to this whole blogging thing but SEO is key in my niche. Thanks

  • Matej

    Thank you Daniel for answering me, I really appreciate it!

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Matej, if you are targeting “heroes spoilers” I would create a special page about it, and use as title tag only those 2 words.

    I only target keywords with my single post pages, not with the homepage. Check them and you will see the title tag is the same as my article headline.

    You can use categories as meta keywords. In fact that is a change I wanted to do something ago as well.

  • Matej

    Nice video, but it just got me confused more than I was about SEO…

    I’m interested if I’m targeting ” Heroes Spoilers” keyword, should I include it in my tittle without Heroes Television or with it?

    Daniel, why don’t you have keywords you are targeting for in your tittle? I’m thinking especially about Daily Bits.

    Should I use categories as my meta keywords?

    Thanks if everyone has time to answer

  • Napster

    Great SEO tips!

  • Daniel Scocco

    @caTcode, I prefer hard code whenever I can do it.

  • caTcode

    Which is better, using Plugins or insert this code? i have using Plugin for my blog, but after i read your article i wanna try this code too. how if i use both of them.. :mrgreen:

  • team ray

    good info as i plan my blog launch

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Jeremy, it depends if you are targeting any keywords related to “uncovering the facts.” If you are not, it is irrelevant under the SEO point of view, so just make it the way you think it sounds better.

  • Jeremy

    @Daniel Thank you so much for your review. I admit I was almost afraid to click the play button on the video. I just made the change to the post title and will see what effect it has.

    Do you think I should keep the Blog Title Public Records Guy | Uncovering the Facts or should I change it to Uncovering the Facts | Public Records Guy ?

  • Muscle Post

    Ya using the ALL IN ONE SEO plugin in WordPress is very helpful for this. Doesn’t even require a second thought. I’ve done this on my blog:

    Muscle Post

  • Destination Infinity

    Actually its a good tip. I never used to concentrate on the title because i would like to deceive my readers with an unexpected twist. But the maximum traffic was for a straight titled post. We welcome your tips, even though they are simple ones.

    Destination Infinity

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Rajaie, you should NOT have the blog title after it 🙂 .

  • Rajaie

    I always knew that the post title should come first, but never that I should have the blog title after it!
    Thanks for the tip Daniel!

  • David Shaw

    Another Great Video Daniel.

    I also like to hard code many elements on my blog!

    Makes me feel more in control!

  • Daniel Scocco

    @What Sells Online, it is elementary but as you said, many bloggers still need to work on the Title Tag. I should experiment more with mine as well.

    @Brad, I like to do most things on hard code. If I can do it without a plugin, I will. I just use plugins where it is absolutely necessary. That keeps my WP installs as light as you can have it.

    @MrCooker, welcome.

  • MrCooker

    Quite funny you mention this Daniel. Was just reading a post on another blog that was writing about the same topic.

    However, he did not mention to remove the blog name from the single post pages and that’s the first thing I’m going to do right now.

    Thanks for the tip, always appreciated.

  • Brad @ http://bradblogging.com

    So thats how they do it without the ALL IN ONE SEO plugin..

    Interesting.

  • What Sells Online!

    Pretty elementary point. However, I know many bloggers and websites that have yet to get this done though. The wordpress title tag would be very helpful!

Comments are closed.