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Title Tag SEO
Johannes Luger
Johannes Luger

Head of SEO @ SEOschmiede

Title Tag SEO

Title tag optimization is still one of the top OnPage SEO measures that help increase the visibility of your website. But what is a title tag and what does it do exactly?

Definition: The Title Tag is an HTML element that describes the title of a web page and is displayed in search engine results. It is one of the most important factors in search engine optimization, as it helps search engines understand the meaning of the page and provide the most relevant results for a search query.

Here's what you'll learn:

Alternatively, the "Title Tag" is sometimes referred to as: "Title Element", "Title Metatag", "Page Title", "Page Heading", "Title Attribute", "Page Title Tag" or "Title Identifier". However, since some terms are simply incorrect or misleading, we refer to "Title Tag" here.

Are you tired of your website not appearing high in search engine rankings? The title tag is one of the most important factors for search engine optimization. It indicates what title a particular page on your website has and is usually the first impression users get of the page.

With an optimized title tag, you can improve your SEO rankings and drive more traffic to your website. In this article, we'll show you how to optimize your title tag to get better search engine results."

What is a title tag?

The title tag is the title that is displayed in the search results (SERPs) and together with the meta description forms the so-called snippet.

Organization - Text

As you can see in the image above, the title tag and the meta description are something like the display of your business. Accordingly, the entire snippet should be designed in an appealing way so that as many users as possible click on it and thus come to your website.

A great website alone is not enough to attract visitors. Without clicks on your snippet, it remains undiscovered.

What is the function of the title tag?

The title tag has an important function in search engine optimization. It indicates the title of a particular page and is displayed in the SERPs. A well-worded and meaningful title can increase the click-through rate in the search results and thus drive more traffic to your page.

Another important aspect of the title tag is that it is considered by Google to be an important factor in determining the relevance of a page to certain search queries. If the title tag is related to the content of the page and contains the relevant keyword, this can help the page to be found better in the search results.

Although the title tag as a possible Ranking factor it is important to note that Google may use other methods to determine the title. That it is an SEO ranking factor has John Mueller from Google in a YouTube video confirmed. In it he says: 

We do use [the title tag] for ranking, but it's not the most critical part of a page. So it's not worthwhile filling it with keywords to kind of hope that it works that way.

How is the title tag structured?

The Title Tag is an HTML element defined in the header of a web page. It is used to display the document's heading in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) and in the browser's title bar. The Title Tag usually has the highest hierarchical importance within the headings of a page and should therefore be chosen carefully. An example of a Title Tag code looks like this:

				
					My Website | A Sample Page
				
			

In this example, the heading "My Web Page" is displayed in the SERP and the browser title bar, followed by a pipe symbol (|) and the subtitle "A sample page". This format allows both the brand and a more specific description of the page to be included in the title tag.

It is important to note that the Title Tag is the most important heading on the page and therefore should be carefully chosen to support the relevance of the page for specific keywords.

How long should the title tag be?

The title tag should ideally be placed in Google between 50 and 60 characters long. This is considered the ideal length to be both fully displayed in search results and to give users a meaningful impression. It is recommended to keep a close eye on the length of the title tag to ensure that it is fully displayed in the search results.

If the Title Tag is too long, there is a risk that it will be truncated and thus not fully visible to users. In this case, it would be important to reduce the length of the Title Tag to ensure that it is fully displayed in the search results and contains the most important information.

If the Title Tag is too short, there is a risk that it will not be meaningful enough and thus will not inform users sufficiently about the content of the page. In this case, it would be important to increase the length of the Title Tag to ensure that it is meaningful enough.

Automatic Title Tags: If you don't change your title

If you do not define a title tag for your web page, Google will attempt to automatically generate an appropriate title based on the content and structure of your page. As a result, the title generated by Google may not be optimal or representative of the actual content of the page.

In such cases, customers may have difficulty discerning the purpose or value of your website from the search results, resulting in a lower click-through rate (CTR) and possibly lower positioning in the search results.

Where can I change the title tag in my CMS?

Depending on the CMS you use, you can change and edit the title tag in different places. The good news is that you can change the title tag in any case using HTML code.

To change the title tag using HTML code, you need to go into the source code of your website. You can either use the developer tools of your browser or directly access your files on the server.

To edit the title tag, you need to find the "title" element in the "head" section of your HTML file. It looks something like this:

				
					This is the current title tag.
				
			

To change the text inside the "title" element, you simply need to replace the existing text. For example:

				
					This is my new title tag.
				
			

Make sure that the title tag of the page is unique and meaningful. It should contain a clear and precise description of the page. It is also important to note the length of the title tag (56-60 characters), otherwise it will be truncated in Google search results.

When it comes to WordPress, we strongly recommend using an SEO plugin such as. SEOpress, Yoast SEO and RankMath.

Since we have been using SEOpress ourselves for several years, we can really recommend this plugin. The free version already offers many features - but for the full SEO power we recommend to buy the pro version. Title Tag and Meta-Description can be easily created and adapted with SEOpress:

From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins and then click "Install Plugins" in the top left corner and then "Activate".

WordPress - Website

You have two options how you want to use SEOpress: Either you activate the meta box - then you have access to your SEO settings on every page in the frontend, or you stay with the classic view, where you can make SEO settings in the back-end on each of your pages:

Online advertising - Digital display advertising

If you go through the Intalation Wizard, you can activate the meta box. After that, you will find a blue button on each of your pages that will take you directly to your SEO settings for that page:

Water - water supplies

Or you stay with the classic view: Then you will find a separate section on each of your pages under "Edit" - where you can make various SEO settings and of course also adjust the title tag and meta description:

Website - Online Advertising

Now you can adjust and optimize your SEO settings on all pages. Make sure that you check the settings of your individual pages from time to time.

If you are using Wix as your CMS, you can follow these steps to change the Title Tag for each of your pages:

Log in to Wix and open the page whose title tag you want to change.

Click on "Edit" to activate the edit mode. Click on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) and select "SEO". You will be redirected to the "SEO Settings" page. Here you can edit the title tag of the page by changing the text in the "Title" text field.

Save your changes by clicking OK. To ensure that your changes take effect, republish your website by clicking Publish and confirming Publish in the pop-up window.

Google has also published a video about it on Google Search Central itself:

Why is Google changing my title tag?

Google is changing the Title Tag for several reasons to optimize the user experience in search results and improve the relevance of the displayed results to the user:s search query. Here are the main reasons why Google changes the Title Tag:

  1. Relevance of the search query: Google analyzes the user's search query and compares it with the existing title tag. If the original title tag does not optimally match the search query, Google can replace it with an automatically generated, more relevant text.
  2. Click-through rate (CTR) improvement: Google wants to increase the click-through rate for search results to deliver better results to users. If Google believes that a changed Title Tag will improve CTR and user satisfaction, it may change the original Title Tag.

  3. User's search intention: Google takes into account the user's search intention, i.e. whether the search is transactional (with the intention of buying) or informative (obtaining information). The title tag can be adjusted to better match the user's intended search intent.

  4. Title Tag Length: If the original title tag is too long and therefore gets cut off in search results, Google may replace it with shorter and more concise text that is easier for users to understand.

  5. Content quality: If Google finds the content of the page to be insufficient or misleading, it may change the Title Tag to better reflect the actual content of the page. By aligning the Title Tag with the page content, the goal is to increase user satisfaction by providing searchers with more accurate information about the page's content.

  6. Brand and domain name: Sometimes Google includes the domain or brand name in the title tag to give the user a clearer understanding of which website is behind the search result. This can increase the credibility of the search result and encourage users to click on it.

  7. Avoid duplicates: If multiple pages exist with similar or identical title tags, Google may change the title tag to avoid confusion and provide users with different, relevant results.

To reduce the likelihood of Google changing the Title Tag, care should be taken to create accurate, relevant and unique Title Tags that accurately describe the content of the page and take into account the user's search intent. Optimizing the Title Tag and Meta Description can help ensure that the original Title Tag is retained in search results.

Digression: Title Tag Update

In August 2021, Google introduced an update that adjusts the display of title tags in search engine results pages (SERPs) more than before. The goal of this update is to improve the user experience by displaying more relevant and concise titles in the SERPs. Google generates the changed titles based on various factors, such as the content of the page, anchor texts from incoming links, and the headings of the page (H1, H2, etc.). The changes to the title tags do not directly affect the ranking of the website, but they can influence the click-through rate (CTR) and thus indirectly the ranking.

Some experts have found that the automatically generated titles are not always better than the original ones and can sometimes even be less relevant or helpful. Therefore, it is important for website owners to create precise, relevant and unique title tags that accurately describe the content of the page and take into account the user's search intent. This can help reduce the likelihood that Google will change the title tag.

In order to minimize possible negative effects of the update, website operators should carefully monitor and optimize the performance of their pages. This includes regularly checking the click-through rate and ranking to see if the update has any impact on their website.

In summary, Google's update to adjust title tags in search results highlights the importance of a good user experience and the need for website owners to continuously optimize their title tags and page performance. By creating relevant and meaningful title tags, operators can ensure that their website continues to perform successfully in the SERPs despite the changes.

Frequently asked questions

You can find the title tag in the HTML source code of a web page. It is located in the head of the page between the and tags. The title tag itself is marked with the and tags. To view the HTML source code of a web page, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Open the desired web page in your web browser.
  2. Right-click on an empty area of the page.
  3. In the context menu, select the option "Show page source" or "Show source code" (the exact name may vary depending on the browser).
  4. In the now open window or tab that shows the HTML source code of the page, search for the tag. You can use your browser's search function by pressing Ctrl+F (Windows) or Cmd+F (Mac) and typing "<title>" in the search box.</li></ol><p>The text between the <title> and tags is the title tag of the web page. This title is displayed in the search results of search engines like Google or Bing.

The word "title" comes from English and means "title" in German. In the context of web pages, the term "title tag" refers to the title of the respective web page. The title tag is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO), as it provides users and search engines with a short and concise summary of the page's content. Search engines such as Google and Bing use the title tag to evaluate the relevance of a web page for a particular search query and display it in the search results.

  1. Open the desired web page in your web browser.
  2. Right-click on an empty area of the page.
  3. In the context menu, select the option "Show page source" or "Show source code" (the exact name may vary depending on the browser).
  4. In the now open window or tab that shows the HTML source code of the page, search for the tag. You can use your browser's search function by pressing Ctrl+F (Windows) or Cmd+F (Mac) and typing "<title>" in the search box.</li></ol><p>The text between the <title> and tags is the title tag of the web page. This title is displayed in the search results of search engines like Google or Bing.

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