Judge a (web) Page By It’s Title?
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?
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