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Optimizing the HTML Title Tag

The HTML title tag is something that is not typically seen when viewing a web page in the browser. Nonetheless, its importance in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) and user navigation cannot be understated. The World Wide Web Consortium calls it the “most important element of a quality web page.”  Why?

  • Search engines give very strong weight to the words found in the title tag, at least if those words are representative of the content.
  • The title tag is the first thing displayed (and linked) for each search result returned.
  • The title tag is what is used when you bookmark a page.
  • The title tag is what appears in the tab for a page in your browser window.
  • The title tag is what is used in your browsing history (e.g., if you click and hold the BACK button in your browser).

Best Practices

  • Do not exceed 70 characters (including spaces). Otherwise your title can be truncated (in misleading ways) in the search results.
    Note: When entering the HTML Title Tag field, bear in mind, that “ – Miami University” will automatically be appended. This saves you from typing this in for each of your pages but means that you only have 51 characters left for the front part of your title tag.
  • Type the most specific information first (on the left), because the right-hand part of the title tag gets truncated on tabbed windows or history listings.
  • Provide sufficient information to provide necessary context only.
  • Remove words that add little meaning such as articles and prepositions.

 Examples

Near the top of the hierarchy, creating the title tags is fairly straightforward. The Department of Biology home page, for example, could be Department of Biology – College of Arts & Science. Recall that “Miami University” will be automatically added. Although it is not the formal designation, one could make an argument for Biology Department – College of Arts & Science; this puts the highest information carrying word on the far left.

When deeper in the hierarchy, one needs to be a little more careful in crafting good title tags. Let’s take the biology “about” page: About the Department of Biology. One could even go with About Biology. If we have enough characters we could still keep College of Arts & Science or shorten it to Arts & Science if necessary. But does an external user really need to know that biology is within CAS? Probably not. Besides once they go to any of the biology web pages, it will be clear that the department is in CAS.

Rick Ingersoll; January 27, 2014

Locations
Luxembourg
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
Oxford
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

    Directions

    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/voalc

    Printable Floor Plan
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Middletown
    Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Contact and emergency information for the Middletown Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    Contact and emergency information for the Hamilton Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Oxford
    Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    Contact and emergency information for the Oxford Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency