What are Title Tags?
The title tag of a web page can be seen in a few places. Of course it’s in the code, with metadata, but it is also in the page tab and comes up as the page name when someone bookmarks the page. Title tags show up in search results as the main, blue, bolded title at the top of a search engine result. A hyperlink on that blue title tag leads from the search result to the page. Title tags are not the page headings, or page titles, though you can use the same words in the H1 and title tag, if you desire.
Why are Title Tags Important?
One of the most important SEO factors on a page is its title tag, because search engines read the title tag as the page tile – the description of the subject matter the page covers. For this reason, the main keyword you select for a page should be in the title tag. Only 70 characters, including spaces, will show up on search results, so keeping your title tag under this length is a good practice. Sometimes I see a website with more than 100 characters in a title tag, a silly strategy that makes no sense.
How to Select Words for Title Tags
First of all, the title tag for each page of your website should be different. Part of it can be the same, like your name or practice name, but the subject (keyword) should differ for each page’s tag. The title tag must be relevant to the page’s body text. I like to match SEO keywords to the site navigation, giving each page in the site a title tag, even before the site goes into copywriting and development. At the same time, I can assign the page’s keywords, headings, links, and URLs. This navigational map, then, works for both copywriting and SEO during development of the website. All of the team is on the same page.
Another important consideration goes back to keyword selection. Don’t shoot for the stars on every page at first. For instance, don’t make every page’s title tag include the words “Houston Dentist” if you have a site that’s new to the Houston market. Houston dentist is a highly competitive term, and while your long-range goal can be to rank high for this phrase, don’t put all of your SEO eggs in that keyword basket. Instead, perhaps use Houston Dentist as the keyword on the About page, but on other pages mention specific services and either suburbs, regions, or districts from which you draw patients. An example might be North Houston Dentist or Downtown Houston Dentist, if you’re in Houston proper. Zip codes are sometimes good keywords for metropolitan areas, as well. Doing your keyword research before selecting title tags isn’t just important, it’s a deal breaker.
Tips for Title Tags
- Integrate keywords that describe a page’s body content
- Shorten to 70 characters, including spaces
- Use title case structure (every word is capitalized)
- Use hyphens or bars (|) instead of underscores
- Each page needs a different title tag
- Don’t shoot for the stars on every page
If your dental practice needs copywriting, SEO, website, or marketing help, call the experts at MDPM Consulting today: 972-781-8861, or email us at [email protected].