In March of 2009, I posted an article on the Exclusive Concepts Blog titled: Constructing a Proper Title Tag. At the time this article was an accurate summary of what the major search engines, particularly Google looked for when analyzing this section of a web page. Well it is now September of 2010 and although the title tag is still one of the Most important areas if not THE MOST important section the search engines look to I have decided to revisit this as much has changed in the SEO world.
In the past year or so, the SEO landscape has gotten even more competitive as people become more educated on what SEO is and accept that it is an essential piece to their online presence and viability. Also, the search results pages have become even more diluted. With the incorporation of the 3 column search results, filtered results, personalization, instant search, etc. It is becoming essential to not just rank on the first page, or even the coveted top 3 results too gain a good click through rate but number one.
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In light of all these changes, the search engines have gotten smarter. And so should you. Here are a few best practices when optimizing your title tags on 2010.
- Front Load your important keywords first in the title tag. The search engines, much like a child with add will pay attention to the first few things you say but then they begin to get bored and want to move on to the fun stuff.
- Modifiers. Modifiers are an excellent way to grab extra search traffic. Adding modifiers such as cheap, unique, and discount I have noticed will typically help your click through rate, conversion rate, and revenue as these are more targeted buyers with an intent to purchase.
- Three letter acronyms. One sign that the search engines are becoming smarter with semantic technology is this. If you google search engine optimization. You will see that the search engines have bolded instances of the queried term in the results as they have always done. But they are also bolding the common TLA ( three letter acronym) for Search engine optimization which is SEO. This is proof that google is aware that there is a semantic connection between the two terms and is able to decipher the semantic connection. Therefore you don’t need to waste precious space in your title tag for terms where there is a common acronym.
- Having Keywords in your URL match your Title tag. For example if you have a widget website and are looking to rank your blue widgets page for the term blue widget, I have found that if the title tag and the URL match their keywords this shows a strong sign to the search engines. So a url www.example.com/blue-widgets.html and a title tag of Blue Widgets – Buy cheap blue widgets. Free Shipping. | Example.com would be a good way to go.
Matching your H1 with the main theme of your title tag is another great way to show relevance to the engines. And if you have it in the url as well this is the trifecta. So to play off my last point, if you have the term blue widgets in your H1, url and title tag, the engines are quite aware that this page is all about blue widgets.
In conclusion, The title tag has and most likely always will be THE most heavily weighted area of a page. So take your time when crafting these tags. Look into your analytics data if you have it and see how people are reacting to your site for certain keywords. Pay close attention to bounce rate, time on page, and obviously revenue and average order value if you are an e commerce. This is all valuable data that is in one way or another feedback from your customers. So don’t overlook this.
That’s it everyone. I hope you enjoyed today’s SEO Monday presentation.
Also, please remember Exclusive Concepts offers free SEO audits, PPC, and Conversion audits and Email audits. You can fill out the contact form on our website or reach us at 1800-504-4324