Does A Page Title Matter Anymore?

are page titles still important?As search engines evolve, businesses may well struggle to keep their websites optimized for the latest algorithm.

Failing to update a site is a huge mistake, and the subsequent drop in rankings can cause setbacks for a brand – and putting it right costs time and resources. Most of the changes implemented by Google are designed to improve user-experience and help sites of the highest quality perform better, but falling behind can be hugely annoying (to say the least). Knowing how to stay in-line with the latest trends, though, is hard.

The Confusion Surrounding Title Tag Construction

Title tags are one area causing confusion, with some uncertainty surrounding their importance. In a recent Google+ hangout, Google’s John Mueller (Webmaster Trends Analyst) revealed that a page’s title tag has far less impact on its ranking than its content, as the search engine will index a page with no title tag yet a lack of content makes ranking a site more difficult.

However, title tags must be constructed properly. While most of us recognize that keyword-stuffing is a poor attempt to manipulate search engines, businesses thinking they can add excessive keywords into titles as a way to cheat their way to better rankings are easily spotted.

Mueller said: “We do use [the title tag] for ranking, but […] it’s not worthwhile filling it with keywords [to make it a primary ranking factor]. In general, we try to recognize when a title tag is stuffed with keywords because that’s also a bad user experience for users in the search results.”

So, is this groundbreaking news? For businesses, yes. Those with limited knowledge of SEO and effective optimization may well try to fill their title tags with keywords in the mistaken belief this will help their site, rather than hinder it. The key point is to write for users instead of search engines – make sure a page’s title is relevant to the content, but give users a real reason to click on it in the results page.

Three Key Points for Effective Title Tags

Here are three things to remember for good title tags:

1) Use keywords sparingly, to ensure maximum clickability and appeal: be specific and informative as concisely as you can.

2) Your titles should read like newspaper titles, telling users what they can expect to find in the content to follow.

3) Keep your title tags at 80 characters or below: Google displays the first 66 in its listings, but still takes the other 14 into account.

At Nett Solutions, as an SEO agency in Orange County, we can help your website stay up to date with Google’s latest changes, ensuring your rankings remain stable even in major shake-ups. Our team will discuss the best title tags for your site, and work with you to construct the most irresistible ones.

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