Fix Those Darn Title Tags

Considering that page titles are probably the number one factor search engines consider for ranking pages, it is surprising how many websites have poor wording of title tags and in some instances the complete absence of a title tag - the ultimate sin!

The title tag also appears in the search results for most of the major engines, making the tags even more important. Having made the point on why you want a title tag, I now want to show you how you can improve traffic by creating REALLY GOOD title tags.

To explain how it works let's look at a sample search result for "low cost airfares" in one of the major engines:

Results 1 - 15 of about 11,342 containing "low cost airfares"

  1. worldtravl taks you further!
    online, inexpensive, low budget, low cost, budget, discount, low fares, discount airfares, family trips, index discount air
    www.demosearchresults.com/3/40/41876.asp 
  2. Untitled
    Optional image. Go Back to Home. View Itinerary. Contact Us.
    www.demosearch.com/info.asp 
  3. UNITED TRAVEL SERVICES HALF PRICE AIRFARES
    AIRFARES HOTEL RESERVATIONS INTERNATIONAL DOMESTIC INSURANCE TRANSFERS
    www.demosample.com/airprices.asp

Now, which of the above examples would you look at? One has misspelled words damaging the credibility of the site. The second isn't even using a title tag, which is why it's listed as "untitled" and the third example is all capitalised making it hard to read.

Other results offered were:

Results 1 - 15 of about 11,342 containing "low cost airfares"

  1. Does your travel agent offer you half price airfares?
    Check our most competitive airfares and discounted cheap mid-week flights.
    www.demoresults.com/airfares.asp 
  2. Airfares discounted to 50%!
    Can't afford to pay big $$$ to fly? Think again!
    www.demosample.com/discounted_air.asp 
  3. Stop paying too much for airfares!
    Airfares available for when you want, at the lowest possible price.
    www.demosearch.com/air/lowprice.asp

The point is, if you were reading down a list of titles such as the six detailed above, which ones would you read? If your title is more effective than sites that are actually above you in the ranking, you may get the traffic anyway, simply due to the effectiveness of your title tag.

By the way, did you also notice how the second search results had a nice description under the title link? Most popular search engines show your "Description" tag underneath your page title. If you don't have a description tag, the search engine will show some of the text from your web page, which can be confusing. Having a description tag can help customers decide which web site to visit.

Creating Great Title Tags

Let's look at some tips for creating title tags that work, and then some mistakes that will cause your site to be passed over in the search results.

  • Make sure to include your most important keyword or phrase at the beginning of the title. This is what the spiders will look at when they visit your site.
  • Create some sense of urgency
  • Offer something free (just an idea)
  • Use powerful language that is compelling and exciting
  • Ask a question
  • Include a title tag on every page of your website

Remember that titles are being read by human beings as a result of searching a search engine. Make sure your titles read well, do not use endless strings of key words or 'AAA' methodologies. If the title tag is boring, unprofessional or does not make sense, guess what?

They will not visit you.

Create your title tags in such a way that they will serve as an online marketing campaign for your site. Remember that a well-written and effective title can make up for a lower search engine ranking.

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