Definition: Title Tag


A title tag is a piece of HTML code that tells other programs what a webpage is called. The code is not viewable on a published webpage but is instead part of a pages “meta” details.

 

Why are Title Tags important?

Title Tags are typically optimised as part of SEO as search engines read Title Tags and often* display them on their search results pages. They are therefore a powerful way to get people to click on your link.

For example, if you search for “best cheese shop near me” you and you get one result with a title of:

“Best Cheese Shops Near You”

and another with:

“Shops | Dairy | Cheese | Location Data”

I know which one I would pick. The first one tells me that the page is what I’m searching for, while the second one – while technically correct – is simply not enticing.

Title Tags are also used in many other places (including social media) and as such are a vital part of marketing a webpage.

To ensure that your webpage is presented well, a title tag should be carefully crafted to represent what is on the page in an informative and enticing way. That way people are far more likely to click on links to your page when they are given the chance.

 

Where are Title Tags used?

Title Tags are used in search engine results. Best practice is to have them be 50-60 characters long to fit the space.

 

An example of a Title Tag being pulled onto a Google search results page.

 

Title tags are also used by browsers to label tabs:

 

Some social networks also use title tags when links are included in posts. Facebook notably has its own version of a title tag (called an Open Graph title).

 

An example of a Title Tag being pulled in on social media.

 

There are also all sorts of other programs which now will replace any URLs written down with the title tag of a webpage. For example Trello:

 

An example of how a Title Tag is used to replace the URL in programs such as Trello.

 

Technical Details

A Title Tag can usually be edited in a site’s CMS. The title tag markup must appear in the head section of a webpage’s HTML and is simply:

<title>Example</title>

Anything between <title> and <title> is considered the title of the page.

 

Top Tip

*Google will often rewrite Title Tags for various reasons when displaying webpages. This however does not make them useless – Google will often display a variation of what was input by the page owner.

 

Other names for Title Tags (synonyms)

  • Meta Title
  • Meta Title Tag
  • SEO Title

 

Not to be confused with

  • H1 tags
  • Document Title
  • A person’s title (eg Mr, Mrs, Dr, Professor, etc)
  • Open Graph Title (this is the version of a Title Tag for Facebook)

 

Summary

A blue rectangular image with the definiton of "Title Tag" which reads: "An HTML element used to label a webpage. Title tags are shown on pages or programs which link to or display a page (inc. browser tabs, search results, social media posts, etc). They do not always display as input however."

 

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