September 21, 2014

Improving Search Engine Results with Title Tags

Improving your ranking in search engines is one of the best ways to get your blog more traffic. That and of course writing quality content that is updated every day.

Focusing on title tags though we must first tell you what they are if you don’t know. Title tags are found in the section of every one of your pages. The head section is what helps the browser you or your readers are using know what’s going on in your page. You can put meta tags like keyword and description (which we’ll talk about soon), you also direct the browser to know where to find the stylesheet if there is any, and other java, and browser related goodies. Also here is the title tag .

If you look in the top left hand corner of your browser window you’ll see some description of what this web page is, Blog Tips for Part-Time Bloggers, and if you’re on just a single post you’ll see something like “Name of Post” >> Blog Tips for Part-Time Bloggers. Those titles are exactly what shows up in search results and what people see before clicking through to your page.

Now lets say everyone of my pages used the generic WordPress title. My titles would go something like, “Archives – Date – Blogging On Empty.” What does that tell the user about your pages? Nothing. What does that tell search engine spiders and rankers about your pages? Nothing. Instead you should switch your title tags to promote your keyword heavy post titles that you should be using. :)

For this particular blog I use this little bit of php code to use what wordpress has stored in certain values, there’s a whole bunch of ways you can change the values around but the main ones you want to deal with from wordpress are as follows. Oh, and don’t worry, if you use other php based blogging platforms there is a good chance the use some sort of title function(described below) to display the title at the beginning of each post. You can use that to display the title as well as these other functions, with the browser:

bloginfo(‘description’) – this uses the description you enter in the general options section of your dashboard
wp_title() – this is the wordpress title you enter in the general options section of your dashboard
the_title() – this is the title give to each of your posts, this is the most important one.

Focus mainly, as I have been eluding to, on the the_title() function. This will allow the titles of your posts to be displayed as the title of your pages as read by the search engine spiders and your readers browser pane. If you use these php functions instead of hard coding everything then the title of each of your pages will change with the title of the post or page your reader is on and that the search engine spider sees.

For information on exactly what several people that I would call foremost authorities on the subject check out.

WordPress and SEO at the undersigned
Make post titles page titles over at Problogger.
Keywords in URLS at Blog Herald.

These are just some of the resources out there but the main idea is to use the titles of our posts for the titles that are displayed in your readers browser and thus displayed as the titled for search engine results. Having good keywords is a major plus and having good titles exploits that.

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