Page Titles

The page title tag is used for the title of the page, or name, of the HTML document. The title is usually displayed in the browser’s title bar or on tabs. The page title is also displayed in browser bookmarks and search engine results pages (SERPs). The title tag is placed between the opening and closing <head> tags.

The <title> tag is required in all HTML documents and it defines the title of the page. The <title> element: defines a title in the browser toolbar.

How Google generates snippets

Google automatically generates page titles and descriptions (or “snippets), the page is rated on the content as well as references which appear on the web. The goal of the text snippet & page title is to be relevant to the page and to describe each search result based on the search term used.

Google uses a number of different sources for this information, for example, descriptive information in the title and meta tags for each page. Google states that:

“we also use publicly available information, or create rich results based on mark-up on the page.”

Google can’t manually change titles or snippets for individual sites, so they’re always working to make them as relevant as possible by automating the page title. Google gives webmasters enough information on how to craft your page title properly, see here:

Creating descriptive page titles

Page titles are often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality & descriptive titles on all of your web pages.

As explained above, make sure every page on your website has a title specified in the <title> tag.

Page titles should also be concise. It is best to avoid vague descriptions. Also avoid unnecessarily long titles – most titles are truncated to 70 characters.

Search engine want you to avoid keyword stuffing as it’s confusing for search engines, visitors and a “spammy” technique.

Things to avoid with page title optimisation

Long page titles which vary by only one piece of information aren’t great for search engines; for example, an unconcise title, for example: ” – View images, videos, guide, reviews and concerts” contains irrelevant text.

A way to ensure that your page titles are all optimised is to dynamically update the title to contain the actual content of the page, for example; include the words “SEO” &” Glasgow”, only if that webpage contains SEO or content related to Glasgow. Another way is to just use “” as a relevant title and then use the meta description to describe the page content.

The homepage page title is a place to include some additional information about your website—for instance, “Smarter Digital – Glasgow based internet marketing agency”, increase your website visibility.” However, having this text in the title of every single page on your site can decrease the page readability and will look duplicated if several pages from your site are indexed for that search term. You can consider including your brand end of each page title. The main way to do this is to separate keywords from the company name with a hyphen or separator.

Example of a good page title which is readable to search engines and visitors:

<title>Smarter Digital Marketing: Visit Our Website Now</title>

Using Keywords in your page title

Using keywords in your page title can help distinguish one page from another. For example, if you have a page title which represents a city name you can target individual searches within that location. Here’s an example of Edinburgh:

smarter search page

Robots.txt Protocol: How to Use It

By using the robots.txt protocol this can stop Google from crawling your pages, however, it may not stop search engines crawling entirely. To display your website in the search results pages (SERPs), Googlebot, will need to use a page title, and because they don’t have access to any of your page content they use off-page content such as anchor text from other websites to display the page title sometimes.

What Google Does When There Is Issues

Even web pages with concise, descriptive page titles will display different titles in the search result pages to better indicate their relevance to the search query. One of the main drawbacks of page titles is that it’s static.

When search engines try to understand the user’s query, they sometimes find text from a page which better explains why that result is relevant. Using this text as a page title aids the visitor. Users are scanning for their query terms or other signs of relevance in the results, and a page title which is relevant for the query can increase the chances that visitors will click through.

How page title snippets are created

Snippets in the SERPs are automatically created from the webpage content.

Snippets are designed to display the page content which is relevant to the user’s search query: this means that a page might show different snippets for different searches.

Webmasters have two main ways to suggest content for snippets, these are:

  • Rich snippet results
  • Meta description tags

Rich results: Webmasters can add structured data to their website code to help Googlebot understand the webpage: for example, a review about a restaurant.

This page details how rich results can improve your site’s listing in the SERPs.

Meta description tags: Googlebot takes advantage of the <meta> tag content to generate snippets, if we think they give users a more accurate description than can be taken directly from the web page’s content.

Preventing snippet creation

If you want to prevent snippets from being created and shown for your website in the Search results pages. Use the <meta name=”nosnippet”> tag to prevent Googlebot or other search engines from displaying a snippet for your webpage in the search results.

Frequently asked questions

We recommend adding your main keywords to the page title of the most relevant page using separators, with your brand name at the end.

Yes, we crawl your website using a tool and then manually optimise all of your page titles, per page.

Google truncates anything after 70 characters for the page title snippet on the search results page.

Google uses your page title snippet in the search results page (the page you see before you visit the website) to motivate potential visitors.

You can either hard code the page title or install a WordPress plugin to help you.

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