October 11, 2007
It’s amazing to me, the number of people who still do not take proper advantage of the power of the title tag. The title tag, is arguably THE most important on-page factor in SEO (and much more as you’ll soon learn).
If you happen not to be too versed in HTML coding I’ll explain what the title tag is.
The title tag is found within the and tags of a webpage. It’s format is as follows: “Your Page Title Here”
The title tag is important for two very simple reasons.
- The title of the page is given an enormous amount of weight by the search engines. It always has and it always will. It’s of less importance today than it was 6 or 7 years ago, but it is still the most important on-the-page factor a page has. After all, it’s sole purpose is to describe the page so it *should* be considered important.
- The title tag is also used as the anchor text of your listing in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). When someone visits a search engine and runs a search for one of your products, if one of your pages comes up in that search, it is the title tag that the visitor will see (along with a short description) and be able to click on to visit that page.
The problem is a LOT of webmaster’s simply don’t understand or make proper use of the title tag. Instead of name the page using keywords relevant to that specific page, they use their company name, etc.
Unless you are FORD, GE, or some other multi-million dollar company you should NEVER have your company name or website name (unless it’s an SEO’ed website name) in the title tag. Are people going to be searching for your company or website name or are they going to be searching for keywords related to your product or service?
Let’s look at a quick example from a real search I ran earlier today:
So a ran a search for “lawn chairs” clicked to page number two and there sitting at #14 is a site with the title “Brookbend”.
Now, this particular site actually has a LOT wrong with it, but for now we’ll stick to the title tag, or lack-there-of as this particular site’s title tag actually just said “Untitled Document”. As a result, Google replaced that with the name from the URL which Google will often do when a webmaster does something stupid such as this. 😉
As I said, this particular listing was the 14th listing for “lawn chairs”. That is actually VERY good considering it doesn’t have a title tag. Imagine what it could have ranked if it had actually made use of the title tag? Possible using something along the lines of:
*Beautiful Outdoor Furniture, Lawn Chairs, Patio Tables*
Think they may have been able to achieve an even better rank? I would venture to say yes.
Now, there is also a second problem with their lack of a title tag and that is that their listing in the search engine is simply “Brookbend”. I don’t know about you, but if I’m looking for “lawn chairs” I’m probably not going to click on a listing that just says “Brookbend”. For one reason, it doesn’t contain either of the search terms I used in the title. For another thing, it isn’t very “clickable”.
You see, a title tag should do two things. It should incorporate that pages most important phrases and it should make someone want to click on it. You will notice in my above example, for the title I used “Beautiful Outdoor Furniture… “. That is because, while I wanted the keywords in there, I also wanted it to read well and entice the surfer to click on it. After all, it doesn’t do much good to get a top ranking if no one clicks on your listing.
So, when you are designing your pages always remember to:
- Decide on what that pages target keywords are
- Incorporate those keywords into the title tag of the page
- Make sure the title tag is enticing enough to make the visitor WANT to click on it.
Do the above three consistently and you will see the results in no time.
See you at the top!
Author: John Buchanan is a veteran search engine optimization specialist with over 9 years experience. For more information, visit his site at http://www.sesecrets.com or his newest site http://www.seovideoanalysis.com where he will provide you with a professional SEO Video Website Analysis of your site.