24-Second SEO Tips: Change Your Title Tags in Blogger, WordPress, & Tumblr

On May 18, 2011, wrote:

Do you know that it takes just 24 seconds to improve your SEO ranking performance?

Well, not really. We made that number up because the number catches attention. But catch your attention we certainly hope we did, because this SEO tip we’re about to give you can definitely go a long way in getting you more – and more relevant – search engine traffic. And yeah, they might take about 24 seconds or less to complete.

What are title tags?

To put it simply, title tags are the document titles required in all HTML/ XHTML documents. The term “documents” includes your website or blog. Ideally, your title tags will be used to help identify the contents of the pages of your website or blog.

The HTML code that defines the title of your HTML documents follows a certain format. Let’s take the Lakeshore Branding blog – http://www.lakeshorebranding.com/company/blog – as an example.

<head>

<title>Chicago Marketing Blog | Internet Marketng | SEO | Web Design | Lakeshore Branding</title>

</head>

Where can I see the title tags?

Title tags – or the titles of the pages of your website or blog – can be found in:

The title in your browser toolbar

The title for the linked page in search engine search results

The title of the bookmark / favorite when the page is added to bookmarks / favorites

So why are title tags important?

Title tags are essential in SEO because they help search engines determine the relevancy of your Web pages for certain keywords and search phrases. Say, we wrote an article and compiled a list of 32 photography WordPress themes. Of course, we’d want people searching for “photography WordPress themes” to find that article, so it makes sense to add it as part of our title tag.

However, a number of publishing platforms, content management systems, and blogging platforms don’t necessarily optimize your title tags for you. And that’s where this quick SEO tip comes in: to help you – users of Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr in particular – edit your title tags dynamically and get found more easily in Internet users’ search queries.

So on with the show!

Change Title Tags in Blogger

Go to the Design tab of your Blogger Dashboard. Then, under the Design tab, go to the Edit HTML tab.

The HTML template of your blog should appear, but don’t panic! This is going to be as easy as Sunday morning and as smooth as butter.

Look for this piece of code in your HTML template:

<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>

If you can’t find it, just press CTRL + F and paste the code on the search box to find it.

Replace the code with:

<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType == &quot;index&quot;’>

<title><data:blog.title/></title>

<b:else/>

<title><data:blog.pageName/>  | <data:blog.title/></title>

</b:if>

Click “Save Template” and you’re done!

Change Title Tags in WordPress

You can always get yourself a WordPress plug-in for this. But wouldn’t it be cooler if you did it yourself? (Yes, it would be so much cooler.)

Go to your WordPress Dashboard and click Appearance on the left side of the dashboard.

Go to Editor, then click on the Header.php from the list of templates on the right side. If you’re using the default WordPress theme, the code that you have to replace will look like this:

<title><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?> <?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> &raquo; Blog Archive <?php } ?> <?php wp_title(); ?></title>

To reverse the order of the information on your title tag from Blog Name > Post Title to Post Title > Blog Name (or, as in our previous example, “Lakeshore Branding Blog | 32 WordPress Themes” to “32 WordPress Themes | Lakeshore Branding”), just replace the above code with this:

<title><?php if(is_home()) { echo bloginfo(‘name’); echo ‘ | ‘; echo bloginfo(‘description’); } else { echo wp_title(‘ | ‘, false, right); echo bloginfo(‘name’); } ?></title>

And you’re done! And if this doesn’t work well enough, for you – well, there are always SEO and title tag plugins for WordPress that you can install.

Change Title Tags in Tumblr

We’ve actually covered this before in our “Simple SEO Tips for Tumblr”. But because we love you, let’s do this again, step by step.

Log in to your Tumblr Dashboard and click Customize. Then click the Theme tab and choose the option to “Enable custom HTML”.

You can then look for the title tag and replace it. The default tag should look like this:

<title>{Title}{block:PostTitle} – {PostTitle}{/block:PostTitle}</title>

Replace that tag with this:

<title>{block:PostSummary}{PostSummary} – {/block:PostSummary}{Title}</title>

You’re done! You can start tumbling away again – but this time, with better search ranking performance!

Bonus SEO tips on title tags:

  • Apart from the actual post name and blog name, it might be useful to add relevant keywords to your title tag, too. Of course, this means doing your keyword research in advance.
  • Don’t keyword-spam your title tags, though. Try to limit yourself to 70 characters. Longer titles may be cropped by search engines as the results appear in search.
  • Always check your spellings. A small type error may be all that’s stopping you from achieving great things with your title tags.

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What do you think? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

4 responses to “24-Second SEO Tips: Change Your Title Tags in Blogger, WordPress, & Tumblr”

  1. Ash Blue says:

    These are some really good tips for editing titles in WordPress. I prefer to use Yoast SEO for editing all of our WordPress websites.

    Also I wrote an article on changing the WordPress the permalink structure to increase SEO. Thought someone reading this might find it useful.

    http://www.ashbluewebdesign.com/2011/05/wordpress-permalinks-seo/

  2. Chris Campbell says:

    Excellent article, Ash! Thanks for the kind words about our blog, too, and for the Yoast heads-up. 🙂

  3. Brian says:

    Hi,

    The section about Blogger shows the code, yet the assumption is that readers will understand the code and it’s effect.

    Would you please elaborate for people who are not programmers?

    (1) What will happen when I modify the code using your example?

    (2) Why will this help with SEO?

    Thanks!

  4. Barbara says:

    I agree with Brian who posted on June 28. You haven’t told us what making this change will accomplish. Why is it better? I’d like to know what I’m getting into before I try your tip. But I’m very curious. Please advise!

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