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Page Title Basics for SEO Success

April 14th, 2009 | | Basic SEO Tips

The titles of pages on your website are important and, outside of the URL itself, the prime place to put your keywords. Unfortunately, this is an often neglected part of on-page SEO.

Purpose of the Title

How Google and other search engines aggregate data is always analyzed and tested to try to figure it out. Back in 96, I remember looking at Microsoft’s function in Word to make web pages and it always wanted you to use Titles and Headings (H1-H6). As annoying as I found that, I realized that there was a purpose they were trying to silently declare. “Keep your stuff organized!” By them giving you a tool to create a web page, they realized they needed some sort of way to organize the barrage of web pages they wanted people to create so using these headings and titles is reminiscent of the “Od School Outline.”

We remember those, don’t we? An outline of topic sentences organized with roman numerals, capital and lowercase letters, and numbers. It was a powerful tool for writing an essay to see if you had anything worth saying and it also kept you on task.

The power of the Outline should not be underestimated:

I. Animals
A. Mammals
a. Humans
1. Greg
- owes me $20

The title in this example is “Animals.” That’s the topic and its how we organize information of interest. As in a web page, each step from my above outline can be separated into a title tag
with different Headings – being “Animals,” H1 is “Mammals” and so on. The title is what your main purpose of your website is about, why it’s there and why your business exists.

Common Use of the Title

The Title Tag has the unfortunate problem of being demoted to a simple welcome message. “Welcome to our Website!” can be found a lot. Other misuses haven’t even been that creative and would simply state the purpose of its existence on the website food chain with titles such as “Home,” “Contact Us,” “Services,” “About Us.”

Using Keywords in Your Title

The Title Page is the pride and joy of your page. It’s an opportunity to shine forth your purpose! Expanding your page title to include your keywords will dramatically enhance your on-page SEO. “Rare Classic Car Parts” “Trade show Giveaways” “Cheap Airline Tickets” are examples of what would make a more purposeful title than “Welcome!”

Think about what people are typing into a search engine, these are your keywords. Just for fun go ahead and type in “Welcome to our website” and see what comes up.

Using Titles for Local SEO

Competition is fierce when your business website is pitted against countless others peddling what you have. If your business has a local client base, the title page a way to separate your company from the others:

Gardening Supplies, Tools | Springfield, OH

That little character between “tools” and “Springfield” is called a pipe and shares the same key as the backslash on your keyboard. It’s a handy separator visually.

Using Titles for Navigation

The popularity of search engines and, in my opinion, larger screen resolutions has led a segment of the population to use search engine boxes for typing in web addresses or company names rather than typing them in the address bar. It’s quicker for some and to accommodate your potential clients inside that population, it is wise to place your url or company name in the Title as well:

Carnival Games, Rentals | Lawrence, KS | examplesite.com

Keeping Titles Lean And Mean

It’s important to note that your titles should be as short as possible and also kept free of as many “stop words” as possible. Stop words are words that are commonly skipped over by search engines. These words include “a, and, the, or” etc. You can find a list here.

A title page can be revised from this
“Welcome to the only source for your parachuting needs in Billings Montana!”
to
“Parachute Supplies | Billings, MT”

Take a look at all your titles and see where you can improve them.  Keep them to the point and make each word count!

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  • http://www.actv-tec.co.il קידום אתרים

    I think the best tip you have here is to keep the titles lean and mean, all titles should be as focused a s possible.

  • http://www.seoboy.com Eric

    Thanks! Be sure to check out my next post on navigational searches. After compiling some data, it’s really eye opening on how many people rely on search engines to move about the web.

  • Jamie

    thanks for the great article.

    so if a company supplies “blue widgets” and my main keywords were “blue widgets” and “blue widgets sydney”

    would my title be

    “blue widgets sydney | company name

    “blue widgets | sydney | company name”

    or perhaps

    “blue widgets, supplies | sydney | company name”