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What is a Meta Title Tag and How Important Is It for SEO
What is meta title
Title Tag is a title of a page which is almost always used in search engine results. It’s a very important part of SEO as search engines determine whether a page is relevant to certain users’ search queries. Title tags in SEO are also used to attract users attention, they help to understand what information will be displayed on the page. But SERP is not only one place where users see a page title. And it is critically important to understand.
1. Title in html code
Here how title and meta title look like in code. You can copy it in 1 click.
<meta name="title" content ="Free On-Page SEO Checker - Get Your SEO Score Now">
<title>Free On-Page SEO Checker - Get Your SEO Score Now</title>
2. Title in SERP
SERP is may be the most important place, because of organic search is one of the biggest sources for relevant website traffic.
3. Title in social media
Remember that people can share your content in social media. How many people will visit these links depends on how good is your title. User behavior in search engines and social medias differs. Users see a specific SERP in search engine depends on queries they entered. But while they use social media they often have no a clear goal. That is why sometimes better to set another title in open graph tags.
4. Title in browser tab
More open tabs user has while working in browser, more important for him to navigate between them fast. And there are two points that help him in this purpose: website favicon and title.
5. Title in browser bookmarks
Useful links are saved to browser bookmarks. With high probability if user has a lot of bookmarks, he will forgot what page is about. That’s why clear title is a must in this case too.
Why is title important
Title tag is important for two reasons.
- Ranking factor. As one of 200 ranking factors title has influence on would your page displayed in top by keywords or not. Impact of title depends on it contains keyword or not (and it is better if title start with this keyword).
- Conversion factor. This is an average CTR (click-through rate) your page has. This metric we can get if sum CTR from all sources: organic search, social media, browser tabs, messengers etc. Navigating through web user makes a lot of decisions. Each time to visit a page he answers on questions: “does it what I need now?” and “why this page and not another?”. If your title is boring, not relevant and too long, there is a high risk that nobody will click on it.
How to create good meta tag title
The website title line must be filled! Otherwise, the page will not be ranked.
The optimal meta title length is from 60 to 120 symbols, but as the user cannot view more than 60 characters on the query results page, we strongly recommend to create titles which do not exceed this limit.
Title must reflect the purpose of this page, that is to say, it should be relevant to its content. Otherwise, the search systems can choose it on their own.
4. Keyword usage
The most frequent keyword (in the direct entry) from those participating in the page promotion should be included in the meta tag title. As a rule, there is a recommendation that it should be placed as close as possible to the beginning of the text.
5. No duplicates on the page
The tag “title” should be used on the page only once and its place is in the code block “head”, not “body”!
6. No duplicates on the website
If it is possible, create a unique title for each page of the site. You can check the uniqueness using Google, just write the text in a direct match in the search bar and explore the results.
Detect duplicate titles on your website
Crawl your website and find out what pages have duplicate titles
Meta title is shown as the headline of the article in the results of the query (above the page address). Potential visitors of your page will choose to activate the link or not depending on how informative and attractive the title is. That is why meta tag title must attract your audience to help you to sell. The formulation including the particles “how”, “where”, and advantages of the services or goods is the best in this concern.
Title = H1
The often question is can your title tag and h1 tag be the same. It is highly recommended to use the same words and word combinations for the tags “title” and “h1”. But remember, it is better not to use the same text for both of them.
Yes. There are a lot of WordPress sites that have good rankings in organic search even with the same title and h1 on the page. But you should understand that these tags have different purposes.
Title tag is a content that helps user to choose your page among others. Here you can use your brand name, details of geo and price.
H1 tag is a content that helps user only to explain what page is about. There is no need to include your brand name and price here. User has already chosen you.
So, search engines will not punish your page if title and h1 will the same. But website visitors can be confused in some cases.
Why Google can show another title
Sometimes Google use another content to create page snippet, not content from title tag. You may be upset about it. But remember Google collects tons of data. There are may exist queries for which your page is relevant, but title is not. You can not predict all cases.
If we’ve detected that a particular result has one of the above issues with its title, we may try to generate an improved title from anchors, on-page text, or other sources. However, sometimes even pages with well-formulated, concise, descriptive titles will end up with different titles in our search results to better indicate their relevance to the query. There’s a simple reason for this: the title tag as specified by a webmaster is limited to being static, fixed regardless of the query.
When we know the user’s query, we can often find alternative text from a page that better explains why that result is relevant. Using this alternative text as a title helps the user, and it also can help your site. Users are scanning for their query terms or other signs of relevance in the results, and a title that is tailored for the query can increase the chances that they will click through.
Google Search Console Help
In video below, Matt Cutts explains in detail how Google create snippet based on the content of page.
How to audit website for title tag issues
Keep in mind, there are very small amount of websites that have no technical issues. Most likely, your website have some type of problems with titles. To detect them launch audit in the form above. After the finishing you will get a report similar to this picture.
Explore your issues and take attention to the most valuable pages at first.
How Google Search Console can help
Google Search Console can help to find out what keywords are the most relevant for your title. Before publishing a new page you probably made keyword research. After the page publishing you may discover that Google ranks your page by keywords you did not expect.
For example, the first title of the page you are reading now does not include keyword “seo”. But we found that this page begin to rank by phrases that include this keyword. So, we refreshed title and added a new keyword.