This article previously appeared in Amy's blog, Contentious.

I've got to say it. It really bugs me when I see great content presented on a Web page for which no page title (or a poor page title) is specified.

I realize that many writers neglect to specify page titles either because they are unaware of the existence or importance of this key Web page element or because they don't know how to specify a page title.

However, if you publish content online and you want people to find your content easily via search engines, bookmark lists and other common online way-finding tools, it's pretty important to understand what a page title is, how to specify it and what makes a successful page title.

It's easy. Here's what you need to know….

What Is a Page Title?

I'll show you.

Launch your Web browser and go to the main page for my Rename RSS contest. Look at the top of your browser window, above all the menus and buttons, and above where the URL is displayed. See text that says “RSS Nickname Contest: CONTENTIOUS” at the top? That's the page title for that page.

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Amy Gahran is an editorial consultant, journalist and writing trainer/coach based in Boulder, Colorado. She helps people and organizations communicate effectively online and in print. For more info, see She also publishes the CONTENTIOUS blog, which offers news and musings on how we communicate in the online age.