The TITLE tag is one of the most important part of any webpage. That is what tells your browser to put up at the top of the screen between the BluE and ‘- Internet Explorer’ or the Firefox logo and ‘-Mozilla Firefox’ or after the compass in Apple Safari . It is even in a distinct color from the rest of the browser. This is what gets listed in the tabs of your browser to help your visitor get back to your site while switching between the others sites competing for your attention. The TITLE tag is also a trusted part of what Google determines your webpage is about.
But most importantly, this is the underlined, Bold and Blue text that shows up in Google’s’ results page (SERP) – This is where you get to 1st sell your potiential visitor that they need to click on the link and come visit YOU! This text is your best chance to get a person to decide what that your site will meet their desires better then the 9 or 99 other pages listed next to it. This is where if you fail, it is pretty clear it is your fault for not meeting the needs of your potiental visitor.
So how to get your potential visitor to choose you?
- Don’t waste it. Don’t use ‘generic’ titles that are written from the perspective of the website – Home, About, Contact. There are 4.2, 4.1, 2.6 Billion pages you are competing against respectively compared to 436 Million for Fire, or 126 Million for Pizza (95% easier to rank at the top of).
- Don’t be too specific. If people are searching for your business name – ‘Smith’s Itailan Bar and Grill’, then use that. But usually they are not, they are searching for a restaurant. You potential customer probably does not know he is looking for you specifically, but what solution as a good or service that you provide. List that good or service from the customers perspective. If they know your restaurant’s name, they are a different kind of prospect. They deserve a separate page with ‘their’ own Title. That may well be the ‘Contact page’.
- Don’t be too general, there are 327 Million restaurants sites listed on Google. Of course they are all over the world, and all types of quality and cost. Some of the sites are not even about specific restaurants, but related to restaurants – including goods and services for restaurants. If your customers are looking for you, they won’t be looking for your vendors selling your restaurant cleaning supplies. Typically this is where you want to get geographical – Naperville Restaurant limits the selection to 1.7 million pages. Again, another reduction by 95% in competition. But you may need to limit yourself down some more – Naperville Pizza Restaurant – cuts the pages down to 63,000 – again cutting your competition by another 95%. Balancing 2 and 3 can be a challenge – the key is to look at how your visitor will look for you. The perspective is from your visitor’s search box, not from your business or web design
- Sell your site. This is where the advertising industry earned their living for decades. How to write quick headlines that attracted you to read their ad further, in a short compelling fashion. If you had the following titles which would you click on:
- Joe’s Bar And Grill, Downers Grove
- Downers Grove’s restaurant for dining-Joe’s Bar and Grill
- Downers Grove’s best restaurant for casual dining-Joe’s Bar and Grill with nightly chicken dinner specials ranked by Zagat’s review
The third one tells a story like any good headline should, while at the same time giving the search engine the information it needs to place it well for your visitors search terms on Google.
Now that you are on the right track on how to craft a TITLE tag, perform some searches from a visitors perspective for your site. Look at the different Titles and see what catches your eye as well as what communicates that the page is what you are looking for. Search similar topics on Google and Bing to see how effective Title tags are constructed. Take some time to learn what is most effective at drawing you to click on a link. This will help you learn how others are looking at your Title tag.
When you are crafting your Title tag, take some time and even consider soliciting some feedback as to what best attracts someone to your site.
Once you have crafted your Title tag to meet these criteria, consider testing – try different titles every 2-4 weeks and see what creates the most traffic based on your Google Analytics (free) or whatever tool you use to track your sites traffic.
How did you craft your Title tags and what did you learn along the way?
In browsing around I ran across a quick list of SEO Tips – 5 SEO Tips For Bloggers
As with most good tips they are focused on –
- Making it easy for humans to read and understand your ideas (quickly).
- Making it easy for Google and Bing to understand what is important (oh, and for humans to understand what is important)
- Be unique to your own voice.
These tips are geared for blogging in particular, but can be very useful for a traditional website. In fact, the advice is probably best applied to normal websites since ‘normal blogging’ will more naturally use these styles compared to most website authors who get ‘stilted’ in their prose rather than focusing on clear communication with an honest voice.
I had not read Aaron’s book before, but I have seen his material elsewhere (or at least his logo) and it stands out as worthy of study.
One of the steps in a good search engine optimization strategy is to create a list of keyword phrases to focus on. While it might seem you want to rank well in everything, it actually can generate a lot of waste (you really don’t want someone calling you who is not a real prospect). Additionally, it is impossible to rank well in everything. So the next step is to determine what you do want to rank well in. How to determine your list of keyword phrases? Read Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail” which discusses focusing on more complete phrases rather than a single keyword. There are a lot of articles that explore that in depth, but in the world of automation, computers can be a great help.
It is not the best, but certainly the place to start – Google’s keyword tool. https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordTool – it’s integration into itself for knowing what to really focus on, and use for and AdWord campaigns make it a logical 1st stop for most. Of course, for many clients the price is also useful – FREE.
Another tool that has been around since the last millennium is Wordtracker – they have a free 7 day trial. I have used them on and off over the years, and have not been disappointed.
This still requires you to come up with some initial phrases and if you miss entire areas, the tool may not recommend them. For example, if do not mention any geography in your phrases, more than likely the tools won’t. If you only use industry jargon, then it may not recommend lay versions of the term. So be sensitive to how your audience will be looking for you. Not how you would look for yourself. As always it is about the customer not about you.
What tools have you used and tried?
I just heard that Google has reclaimed its marketshare that Bing lost while Microsoft was spending tons to launch its new revamping of its search engine.
It seems that many people checked out Bing and decided to stick with Google. Keep this in mind as you dedicate your resources on optimizing your sites for the search engines.