I think this is something big, that every site should be aware of. Think about how to use the
title tag! I’ve seen so many websites doing this wrong, so I want to explain the method which is in my opinion the best.
You have to see where title appears, in order to know how important it is.
Title Bar of the browser
That’s the only thing where title plays a role – for some IE-only users and webmasters. Most people focus on this, and therefore titles can be very long.
This is very much related to the title bar of the browser. You expect every program to have the same title in the title bar and in the task bar.
Since nearly every browser uses tabs for comfortable navigation, this becomes more and more important.
These where important locations where a title is displayed when you actually visit the page. But there are more.
You can’t go back only one page. Most browsers show you a list of recently viewed pages, click on a title to jump back to that page.
See which sites you browsed last week.
Bookmark pages you like. Normally, the title tag will become the bookmark title.
The ScrapBook extension stores your pages on your local hdd and you just have to click on a title to view it. The title is important here, too.
Search engine rankings
Have you thought of that? The title appears in the search results!
The correct format
Now that you have an idea where the title tag appears, it comes to the right format.
This is most important. Think about the correct structure and how the visitor will have a benefit from it. As you know now, the title appears nearly everywhere.
The primary information comes first. Not just because you read it first, no. Have a look at the screenshots above. If the titles would be longer, you just wouldn’t get all the information you want. That’s the big mistake. So don’t put the website title first.
Yeah, excellent. I’m on CNN.com – but what was where? Until you click through the tabs or wait for a tooltip to appear, you simply have no idea.
That directs me to the following:
The primary information is the document title, not the website title. Then you can add secondary information, like the category, and finally you can add your website’s title.
The title for a blog article would look like that:
Example Article | Category | Blog name
Unfortunately, many websites are doing this wrong, even the ones following web standards. I think there should be a standard for title tags.
What you can do to improve your titles
Follow the guidelines above :-)
Well, additionally you can search for your site at Google. Are you satisfied how your pages turn out? Are the titles clear and easy to understand? Could someone else understand what the document will be about?
Then bookmark your own page or open it in multiple tabs and ask yourself the same questions.