There are indicators on your page that a search engine looks for when it determines relevancy. The HTML title tag is one of these. If you look at your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.), the text you see at the top of the window is the title tag text. If you’re looking at your HTML code, the title tag is up near the top in the “head” area.
The search engines heavily weight your title tag when they determines relevancy. The theory is that if your webpage is about three-pronged widgets, you’ll probably include “three-pronged widgets” in your title tag. Think of the title tag as something like the title of a paper you write for school. If you’re writing a paper on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, you wouldn’t write “America’s Greatest Hot Dog Eating Contest” as the title, would you? No. Why not? That’s not what your paper is about. Likewise, good title tags will accurately describe the web page.
The title tag is also what people see in the search engine results. A good title tag improves what’s called the click-through rate (CTR). CTR is the percentage of people who click on your link after they see it. Which page would you most likely click on: “Index of Three-Pronged Widgets” or “Three-Pronged Widgets Directory: Find Your Widgets Fast!”? Probably the second one. It is more compelling. It holds out a benefit to the searcher.
Did you notice that I put the words “Three-Pronged Widgets” first in the HTML title tag? It’s best to put your keywords right at the front. This is because search engines give more weight to words in the beginning of the title tag than words in the middle or end. The result? More traffic to your website!
One more thing. Come up with some unique content for each title. You don’t want a lot of duplicates on your website.
Want more information on writing good, compelling HTML title tags? Head on over to the Search Engine Workshops and read about title triggers.