Jennifer Laycock

Jennifer Laycock

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It's no secret that about the single most important on-page factor in terms of search engine rankings is your Title Tag. After all, it's what humans often use to categorize your site, so why shouldn't search engines pay attention as well? If you use Google's free Blogger service to power your web blog, you may have been frustrated with the default settings that allow you very little control over your title tag. The good news is that all it takes is a quick and simple edit to your code for you to gain some power over your unruly title tags.

You see, unlike typical web sites, Blogger runs off of a hybrid of standard HTML and proprietary Blogger code. This allows users to make posts using a simple WYSIWIG style editor that Blogger then uses to create pages, navigation and content from. The problem with this is that nearly all Blogger templates simply include code to use the name of the blog as the Title tag on every page. Since Blogger titles can't be edited with straight HTML, you have to know how to edit your Blogger template using Blogger's own coding language. The default code looks something like this:

Back when I first launched The Lactivist, I was able to find some code that modified this default setting to allow my post title to act as my page title. Well that code worked quite well for giving me strong, relevant page titles on individual blog posts, it put me in an even worse spot for my front page. With the new code in place, my front page actually showed NO title. That meant that while browsing, you'd see something like this:

If you went hunting for me on Google, you'd find individual pages showing up with great titles, but my home page showing up with a horrible snippet of broken code that I simply could not get fixed.

Then I ran across a post in the Blogger Hacks section of Freshblog that offered up a great solution.

Take a look at this new snippet of code:

This snippet of code allows you to separate control the title tag of your home page and of your individual post pages. Now I still have the advantage of being able to have my post titles run as my page title on individual pages, but I can also set the title tag of my home page to read "The Lactivist Breastfeeding Blog."

Since the site currently ranks #3 for "breastfeeding blog" with no title tag in place, I imagine that I'll see some nice movement in the next update.

If you're using Blogger and haven't already taken the time to add this hack to your code, you need to take two minutes and do it. Your search engine rankings will thank you for it.

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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Control Your Title Tags in Blogger

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.