One of the most obvious thing that almost every website has in common is a title. However, all titles were not created equal. A title can define your site, create an instant impression and opinion about it, and greatly influence the way that people see the rest of the content.

Titles are vital to the way that the internet – and the rest of our daily lives – function. They provide a surprising amount of information in a very compact amount of space. They allow us to reference and index the information to follow, and let us know what to expect.

This same way of “thinking” works with search engines as well. When you create a title, you need to think about the people who will be viewing your site, but you also need to remember that search engines, both human indexed, and spider indexed, will be looking over the content of your website, and that title will make all the difference to your search engine efforts.

A search engine spider has been programmed to look for certain things within a title. It needs to provide everything that the search engine spider needs to know about the site for quick referencing, search engine ranking, and keyword association.

In fact, many web designers consider the titles to be absolutely critical to their final creation. This doesn’t just mean “Welcome” or a company name. It must be an functioning title with purpose and deliberate choice of words.

Though indeed, using the company name within the title or on all pages will work well within an internet branding strategy, it will not work in your favor when it comes to search engine optimizing for prospective customers who still aren’t familiar with your company name but are looking specifically for the product or service that you provide.

Therefore, if you do choose to work your company name into the title, it should be placed among the rest of the main message, and should not be the main part – or the sole part – of that heading.

Every single page on your website requires its own unique title. Though there may be a single topic that spans over several pages, you will still need to use a title at the top of every page, if only as an index of information for the reader.

Similarly, if your site sells multiple products, then each product will need its own page with its own title. You need to make sure that you know how to make each page stand out. After all, if you can’t do it, how do you expect a search engine spider to find out what is special about the page while it does its indexing and ranking?

Whenever possible, keywords should be included in your title, as this will play in your favor when the search engine spider or indexer goes over your site to see how it should be ranked. Keep in mind that search engines go over each page individually, giving each one a different rank. This is one of the reasons that you need to give each page a title, preferably with its own keywords.

Once you do discover the ideal keywords for each page, the ideal length of the title is usually from 4 to 6 words long, whenever you can manage it. Once you pass 58 characters, the title will be truncated on the search engine results page, so that the prospective customer performing the search won’t be able to see it without clicking on it. Furthermore, the longer a title is, the less weight each word will be given.

Of course, while search engines are all important, you must think of the reader first. Is your title informative and appealing? If not, it needs a change. Your title will make the first impression for every page. You need it to be a good one.