How Important Is The Title Tag For SEO?

website title

The title tag is VERY important for SEO; perhaps the most significant on-page search engine ranking factor.

Just check out this recent survey taken by 72 top SEO experts. According to my experience, and this survey, using keywords in your title tag holds the most significant weight when determining a page’s search engine ranking. Almost as significant – where you place keywords in the tag.

So, as you can see, once you’ve determined which keywords to target, the title tag should be the first place to start optimizing for those keywords. I’ll go into optimizing your title tag shortly.

Where is the title tag found?

Typically, the title tag is one of the first tags found in your page’s source code; it is located in the head section, and will look similar to this:
html title tag
The title tag is also one of the first tags read by the search engine spiders as they crawl your website. It is used to identify what the page is about, similar to the title of a book.

When a user views your website they will find the page’s title at the very top left-hand corner of your web browser and on the browser tabs.  Also, when a user searches for your product or services they will see your page’s title on the search engine results page (SERP), and that will link them directly to the related page on your website.

web page title in Google search results

Google only shows the first 70 characters of the page’s title on the SERP; and I don’t recommend using more than 70 characters in your page’s title either.

How to optimize your title tag

There are 4 important criteria you should consider when optimizing your title tag:

Keyword Prominence – measure of keyword importance indicating how close a keyword is to the beginning of the title.
Keyword Density – measure of the percentage of keywords to the general number of words in the title.
Keyword Frequency – number of times your keyword is used in the title.
Keyword Proximity – how close keywords that make up a key phrase are to each other.

While it is important to understand the four main criteria – in my opinion – and according to the above noted survey; the most significant criteria to focus on is prominence, i.e., how close your keyword is to the beginning of the title. A good rule of thumb is to always put your keyword at the very beginning. If you remember to do this on every page, then you will have already done most, if not all, your necessary title-tag search engine optimization.

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