Alright, so you have just started your own website and you heard that SEO or “search engine optimization” is a great way to get found in Google. Now what? Hiring an SEO firm may be a bit premature for your growing business, so I am going to teach you one of the most important factors in getting found and clicked on in the search engines.
The Title Tag. Yes that’s right that little blue bar at the top of your browser. This is also the main headline served up in the search results.The best way to conceptualize this situation is to think of the Search Engines as having a checklist of criteria that your website must have to rank for a certain phrase. One of the first things that is taken into account is your URL or actual web address.
So if you are still building this out or plan to in the future make sure you get your keywords in there first. Next, when constructing your title tag, it is important to note that having a unique title tag for each of your pages is the best way for the engines to differentiate all of the pages within your site. If all of your pages were to have the same title tag you may miss out on getting your entire site indexed in the search engine results.
Finally, different search engines display a different number of characters in your browser as well as the search results. So understanding the intricacies of each will be beneficial to your specific strategy. To my knowledge this is the current breakdown of the different search engines and how they serve up Title Tags. Please note this is only “display characters”. I believe Google will read as many characters as you place in the title tag. However it is not best practice to cram this area with content.
So now that you know how different engines serve up title tags differently you should base your strategy accordingly. At eXclusive Concepts, we typically keep the tag at 75 characters and under. To better accommodate all 3 engines. But this is just the beginning. You must now determine what you are going to say in the title tag. This is a very crucial step. Do your research and find terms that you feel best describe what this page is about, while still using keywords that will bring you traffic. Google’s adwords keyword tool is a good way to get a rough approximation of search queries for a term. However you may need to do a little more research to determine competition on these keywords.
It is important to remember just because you have the term you want to rank for in the URL and the title tag this does not mean you are going to be ranked on the first page. It’s just one step closer to being optimized. Having a good gauge on your competition will be one of the best barometers of your ability to rank for a term. Some SEO firms may even have in-house programs that they use to determine competition levels; these can be most helpful when constructing a proper title tag as well as fully optimizing the foundation of a website.
By Joe Mesgleski
Jr. Web Marketer @ eXclusive Concepts, Inc.