SEO: Optimizing Page Titles

So, you want to handle your search engine optimization in-house and don’t know where to start. Well, if you already have a website and domain name, the next thing you will want to look at are your web page titles. Here is a short how-to guide on optimizing your web page titles.

Optimizing titles can be very easy, as long as you keep these rules in mind.

Before we get into how to optimize title tags, you need to consider a few basic facts of life on the internet. While most people think that the top three search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo, the truth is, that they are Google, Google, and Google. Google services as much as 3 times as many searches per day than ALL of the other search engines combined. Google Owns YouTube, which has more than 30 million visitors and 1 Billion video views per day. Google also displays images within approximately 12% of its search results. What this means for you is simple, optimize for Google.

This guide assumes that you know how to edit a web page title. We will cover content editing in other blog posts. For now, here are the basics of creating a good title tag for your web page.

  • Title Length – Google typically displays the first 50 to 60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, our research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly.
  • Keyword Placement – The most important keywords should appear at the beginning of your title tag. Keywords that appear at the end of a long title are given less value by most, if not all, search engine algorithms. This is just a fact of human existence, everybody wants you to get to the point.
  • Keyword Frequency – Sometimes, it can be beneficial to repeat a keyword in a page title; however, it should be natural. Keyword stuffing should be avoided at all costs. Google has invested a huge amount of money into artificial intelligence, with a significant portion of that money going to develop AI that can read and categorize text and context. In general, only use a keyword once unless it is natural to do so. For example, “red bikes, blue bikes, green bikes” would be keyword stuffing while “dirt bikes and cross country bikes” is more natural.
  • Location – An old SEO technique that is still very effective is to add your location to a title tag. This is very good for “local” businesses. If you don’t service a multi-city or multi-state area OR if you have location-specific websites, adding the location can be very helpful. For example, “John’s Dirt Bikes • Sarasota, FL” can help a site show up for searches like “bike stores in Sarasota.”
  • Balancing Brands, Products, and Location – It can be difficult for a business to decide between using their brand name(s), product and services. For example, you know Nike makes shoes, but you may not know which specific shoe your friend was wearing. On the other hand, you know you need your oil changed and don’t know the name of the closest service station where you can get your oil changed. In these two cases, you could expect to see titles like “Men’s Training Shoes.” as opposed to “Valvoline Instant Oil Change Bradenton, FL, 7105 State Road 70 East”  The key here is to think like a consumer who is looking for your products or services. Do you already have brand recognition and loyalty or are you competing heavily for product and service market share? The heavier the competition, the more ubiquitous your product or services are, the more important the location and product keywords become.

Here are a few good and bad examples of page titles.

Good Title Tags:

  • 30 Minute Oil Change at LubeIt, 100 East Dr, Sarasota
  • Joes Bike Repair Shop Sarasota, FL
  • TIG Welder Supplies at Joe’s Welding Supply of Sarasota

Bad Title Tags:

  • John’s Service Station, Home of the 30 Minute Oil Change
  • Kids Bikes, Adult Bikes, Bike Repair at Joes Bike
  • Joe’s Welding Supply

Still have questions? Contact us and let us know how we can help.

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