SEO Basics – Title Tags

image of light bulb with seo in filament the text says title tags

Welcome to SEO Basics – the foundations of what you need to know to help your site rank in Google. This post covers title tags, but first check out my post on choosing keywords. You can also learn about meta descriptions and alt text.

What are title tags?

Title tags are the headings on the search engine results page (SERP).

They’re usually in the above format, with the website name and a phrase or the page title, separated by |

How to use title tags for SEO

Because title tags are one of the first things a searcher will see if you do show up in Google, they need to be written with humans in mind (like all SEO…).

That said, they’re also a great way to help Google understand what the page is about, so make sure to naturally include your keywords.

What should a title tag say?

Using our gnome example, where the targeted keyword for the page is “hand painted garden gnomes”, the title tag could be simply:

“Hand Painted Garden Gnomes | Gnomes ‘R’ Us”

Simple, no?

How long should title tags be?

Google will truncate (cut off) title tags after 50-60 characters including spaces, so try to keep within this. This shouldn’t be an issue unless your business name is very long or you’re trying to target a very long tail keyword.

If you were targeting “buy custom hand painted garden gnomes in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch“, consider using “buy custom garden gnomes Wales” instead.

That’s all, folks!

That’s all for our SEO Basics whistlestop tour! It’s just barely scratching the surface of what SEO involves, but if you don’t have the foundations right you’ll struggle to rank whatever you do.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post and SEO in general. Do you feel daunted by the prospect of tackling your site’s SEO or are you feeling confident? Leave me a comment below or…

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