Is the Title Attribute Important for SEO?

Someone asked me the other day about the importance of the title attribute for SEO purposes.  I never did research on this question, but from a SEO logic standpoint, the answer should be yes.  The title attribute is another way to include important keywords on a website.  Be aware of the duplicate content issue too.  Duplicate content is a major SEO no-no and therefore, I would use the title attribute to include keywords that I don’t have appear as often in the body copy, or better yet, variations of key phrases that don’t fit nicely into the rest of the page.

If it’s not good for SEO, then it’s definitely important from a usability standpoint.  It give the person on your page additional information about the link they’re about to click on or the picture they’re looking at.  A lot of people I talk to don’t know what alt text is and therefore definitely don’t know how to find it.  A title tag appears when you hover over the object, making it easy for users to find.  I think that this feature would have a significant impact on CTR and usability.

Just to be clear, I am talking about title tag usage for both images and links.  For images, the title tag let’s the user know what the heck he/she is looking at.  Any short description of whatever is in the picture (person, place, thing, event, etc…) would give a lot of insight to the viewer as to what the site is about.  For links, the title attribute serves as an extra clue as to where the link takes them.  It can give clues as to whether the viewer is leaving the site or going someplace else for a little while.  If your site is meant to entertain, than the title attribute can also be a way to sneak in some humor without sacrificing the flow of what you’re writing.  I would give you an example, but I’m just not that funny….sorry. 😦

In conclusion, the title attribute if often ignored because of its tedious nature.  Even though there is no proof that it hurts rankings, taking the time to optimize link tags has double the benefits in both SEO and usability.  These two together, can contribute to more visitors….which usually leads to more conversions…which is the ultimate goal, right? Right.

Story of Inspiration: Link Title Attribute & It’s SEO Benefit

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