For the sake of this writing I’ll assume a basic understanding of meta tags, what they are and their importance. With that in mind let’s focus on properly constructing a title tag.
For any gains you might want to acquire in the organic rankings your title tag must be, well, optimized. Now by optimized I mean simply it must contain the keyword or phrase you are trying to obtain for that page in an order that provides maximum effect while utilizing the limited number of characters that each search engine recognizes. For example, Google only recognizes up to 65 characters while Yahoo & MSN recognize 70 and sometimes more. For this example let’s use smashed cups and crushed cups as our two key phrases.
To simply optimize a title tag for these phrases you could place them in that order and call it a day. Believe it or not this is an optimized title tag that would serve well for those phrases in conjunction with a proper on-page and off-page optimization strategy. That being said the tag would be great for the generic searches of those terms. Let’s say the intent of the page is to actually sell smashed cups and crushed cups at a discount. If that is the case you might try something like this. Although you lose the company name you are able to tell the visitor and the engine exactly what the page is about, keep your generic terms in play and bring in the keywords buy and sale all while staying within the Google maximum character count. Now if you went ahead and added the company name you would fall outside of the Google character limit but still be safely inside the limits for Yahoo & MSN.
Optimizing a title tag to be effective involves more than placing keyword after keyword in it. Character space is limited and thus every character must count. As with any optimization technique, be creative but be sensitive to both the user and the engines.