Using Powerful Titles for Effective SEO - White.net

Using Powerful Titles for Effective SEO

Using Powerful Titles for Effective SEO

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By Andy MacDonald / March 22, 2008

Page titles are one of the most important elements of site optimization. When a crawler examines your site, the first elements it looks at are the page titles. And when your site is ranked in search results, page titles are again one of the top elements considered. So when you create your web site, you need to have great page titles.

There are several considerations when coming up with your page titles. Here are some of the key factors to consider:

  • Unless you’re Microsoft, don’t use your company name in the page title. A better choice is to use a descriptive keyword or phrase that tells users exactly what’s on the page. This helps ensure that your search engine rankings are accurate
  • Try to keep page titles to less than 50 characters, including spaces. Some search engines will index only up to 50 characters; others might index as many as 150. However, maintaining shorter page titles forces you to be precise in the titles that you choose and ensures that your page title will never be cut off in the search results.
  • Don’t repeat keywords in your title tags. Repetition can occasionally come across as spam and is known as when a crawler is examining your site, so avoid repeating keywords in your title if possible, and never duplicate words just to gain a crawler’s attention. It could well get your site excluded from search engine listings.
  • Consider adding special characters at the beginning and end of your title to improve noticeability. Parentheses (()), arrows (<<>>), asterisks (****), and special symbols like ££££ can help draw a user’s attention to your page title. These special characters and symbols don’t usually add to or distract from your SEO efforts, but they do serve to call attention to your site title.
  • Include a call to action in your title. There’s an adage that goes something like, “You’ll never sell a thing if you don’t ask for the sale.” That’s one thing that doesn’t change with the Web. Even on the Internet, if you want your users to do something you have to ask them to.

All your page titles should be indicated with the title tag when coding your web site. The title tag isn’t difficult to use. Here’s an example of such a tag:

<title>A Descriptive Web Site Title</title>

If your page titles aren’t tagged properly, you might as well not be using those titles, so take the time to ensure that your page titles are short, descriptive, and tagged into your web-site code. By using title tags, you’re increasing the possibility that your web site will be ranked high within search engine results.

What tactics or methods do you use to come up with effective titles for your web pages or blog posts? What do you think makes an effective title? Leave us a comment with your thoughts on the topic.

Guest post by Andy MacDonald, CEO of Swift Media UK, a website design & search marketing company. For daily tips on Blogging, Marketing & Making Money Online, Checkout our SEO & Marketing Tips for Webmasters blog.

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