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  • Using Powerful Titles for Effective SEO

    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.


    12 Responses to “Using Powerful Titles for Effective SEO”

    1. G SEO says:

      Title is really important!

    2. Always a great starting point to optimize your sites title – can play a major factor when supported by some good relevant on-page content.

    3. socialmedia1.com says:

      Using Powerful Titles for Effective SEO…

      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….

    4. I’m curious…you mention using symbols at the beginning and end of your title tag…what type of effect does that have on SEO? For instance, you want your primary keyword first and with a limit of 50 characters for some engines that is prime real estate. Any thoughts?

    5. Hi,

      Yeah you are right, in that it is valuable real estate, In my opinion i think you should only use the symbols to gain attention if you genuinely have the space left over after using your primary keywords etc. In terms of it affecting your SEO, the search engines know to ignore symbols in meta tags, so you wouldn’t benefit from using such a tactic SEO wise, but in terms of gaining attention from the public, its probable you would stand out over your competitors.

    6. Joe Williams says:

      Are you having a laugh?I do hope so, but the tone of the article and comments doesn’t suggest so.

      Load the gun and remove those bullet points, please! There are a couple of elements of truth, but very misleading…

    7. I understand the thinking behind the bullet points but there’s definitely some negative reasons why you wouldn’t follow these too:

      1) Remove brand – if you can build up an online brand you have to start from somewhere and getting remembered because someone notices your brand appear for 4 or 5 searches is certainly a good thing.

      2) Page title tags – I’d be concerned with Google mainly here, optimising for a maximum of 64 characters, unless the majority of your search traffic is referred from a search engine with a lower cut-off point.

      3) The order of keywords is important and if the tag doesn’t make sense without the duplicate I’d leave it in there. A plural variation could be an option but I’d focus on the actual keyphrases which are important rather than individual keywords.

      4) Special characters, looks very spammy in my opinion. It might draw your eye to it but probably not for a good reason and it would actually put me off clicking. I’d use characters such as “|” “-” “>” to separate keywords or the brand name but that’s it.

      5) This seems to be getting too confused with PPC ads where your looking to entice conversions rather than clicks. I wouldn’t recommend this, the main purpose of a title tag is to describe the theme of the page to users and the search engines. I’d use the description tag if I wanted to add a call-to-action but “Product Name Longtail keyword | Brand” in my opinion would be far more effective to rankings as well as clickthrough rates than “Buy Product Online Today From £…”

    8. Yeah all of you guys do have a point, and nobody is wrong here. By taking the advice, your not breaking any of the SEO no-no’s, but it all depends on what type of site you have, and what you want your visitors to do when they get to your site.

      The advice contained within this article will be applicable and will work well with one type of site, but could be the wrong approach for another kind of site.

      Its up to the owner of the site, and just gives a different perspective on trying to stand out from the pages of links contained within the SERPS.

    9. Here are some more tips from SEW

    10. [...] your keywords in, but be pithy and sell the click. Andy and Tad have already written good articles powerful titles for SEO and on SEO [...]

    11. 12 Ways To Squeeze Every Last Drop Of Traffic From Your Current Rankings : SEO Relief says:

      [...] your keywords in, but be pithy and sell the click. Andy and Tad have already written good articles powerful titles for SEO and on SEO [...]

    12. aion gold says:

      after read yr article , I found my web is really sth keyword stuffing . must correct it .seems very important containning the decriptive words . By the way , how to do with u mentioned above “Include a call to action in your title.” . I m newbie . really knows little …tks !

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