In SEO there are a number of things you can do to your on-page content to make it more search engine-friendly.
None of these may be as important as the Meta Title of your page. The Meta title of your page is a line of code located in the head section of your document that is chock-full of important information for the search engines, including links to your style sheets and suggestions by you on how the search engines should crawl and index your site.
Why are Meta Titles Important?
Your Meta Title, also known as your Title tag, serves a number of purposes. When you’re on a web page, the Meta Title of the page is the line of text located at the upper left of the page (see screenshot 1: left). Your Title tag is also The first thing people notice when they do a search for key phrases related to your content and are the blue highlighted part of the listing in the search results (see screenshot 1: right). Finally, and probably most importantly, your Meta Title is the very first thing the search engine spiders read when they come to your page and if they are not optimized, it could make it difficult for the spiders to know what your page is about.
Optimizing Title Tags – SEO Best Practices
We have established the visibility and importance of your Meta Title tag. So, how does one optimize the tag so it will appeal to both search engines and users performing searches related to your web page? The answer to this question is relevance.
You have already done your research for the page and have probably written the content – or are well on your way – so you should have a pretty good idea what keywords are most important. To write a good Title tag you really just want to make sure the most important key phrase is include and the tag gives a really good idea of what the page is about. For example:
If I were writing a Meta Title for this blog post (which I will) I will want it to be as short as possible (search engines stop reading at about 70 characters), informative and highly relevant to what I am talking about (Optimizing Meta Titles in WordPress Using SEO Ultimate).
Now, that would be fine, except for that pesky word “in”, which is what is known as a “Stop Word”, or a word that is ignored by Google and other search engines. By removing this word and rearranging our Title tag a bit we can make it even more search engine-friendly:
Optimizing WordPress Meta Titles Using SEO Ultimate
There; perfect! And since we have gotten to this point in creating our Meta Title tag, why don’t we go ahead and use SEO Ultimate to add it to our blog post (Awesome segue!)
SEO Ultimate is quite possibly the best and most powerful SEO plugin available for WordPress and was created by SEO Design Solutions. To install the tool you can either go to their website, which I linked to from the tool name, or do a search within WordPress and install it from there.
Once installed, SEO Ultimate offers every tool you will need to make your blog a search-friendly powerhouse, and while we will get to those over time we are going to focus on Title tags in today’s post.
Are you ready to optimize a Meta Title? Simply go to an existing page, post or create a new one and scroll down the page under where you add the main body of the page. There will be a section titled SEO Settings that allows you to optimize Meta elements, like Titles and Descriptions, and add “no follow” and “no index” robot tags (DON’T DO THIS RIGHT NOW!!! – there is a time and a place which we will discuss later).
The very top section of the SEO Settings area is entitled “Title Tag”. Enter the optimized Meta Title you created into the box and then hit the update button on the right side of your screen.
It really is THAT EASY!!
Well, hopefully you have a better understanding of Title Tags, why they are important to SEO, and how to optimize your Titles for your posts and pages in WordPress.
Our next post will discuss Meta Descriptions and why they are still important to SEO no matter what other search engine optimizers may say.