SEO for Title Tags Tip 2 Character Length

by demtron on Sunday, October 05, 2008 11:04 PM

Neither search engines nor visitors care to see a whole slew of words in the title.  In general, SEs cut off any title after 65 characters in length, and many visitors won’t look past the first three words, either.  Stuffing multiple city names and product names is usually not worth the effort.  Consider these titles:

Bad: XYZ Company – We Design Web Sites for Businesses in Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis Using PHP and MySQL

Good: Chicago Web Site Design, PHP, MySQL – XYZ Company

In the Bad Example, the title is entirely too long and everything after Chicago will be truncated.  The alternate cities as well as the technology names will be lost and not impact SEO.  In the Good Example, we use 49 characters and convey the most important aspects of the page.  There are many factors to go into good title tag development, some of which I’ll cover in later segments.  For right now, I’m assuming that this company wants to attract customers in the Chicago Area for we site design services using PHP and MySQL.

One aspect of good site design is that each page has a separate topic and focus.  A short and simple title tag reinforces this notion as it forces us to think about what the pages is really all about.  What kinds of visitors should be attracted to this page?  What are the most important points of the page?  Keeping this in mind will make it easier to determine short, relevant titles.

SEO for Title Tags Tip 1 Titles on Every Page

by demtron on Sunday, October 05, 2008 10:14 PM

Web page title tags are the most important aspect of on-page SEO, yet I find so many sites that completely ignore this very important concept.  If you want your site to have any chance of being found in search engine result pages (SERPs), attention to title tags is a must.

This article begins a series here related to title tags, their importance to SEO, and how to enhance your title tags for better impact in SERPs.

TIP #1 - Titles on Every Page

Make sure that every important page on your site has a legitimate title tag.  Any pages without tags, default titles like “untitled page”, or just the company or site name are the KISS OF DEATH for web page SEO.  Nameless or redundant pages tell search engines that there’s not much important content in them.  Doing this is like advertising in the phone book with just your business name under a category named “Unknown” and without your phone number.  It doesn’t make any sense for phone books or for SEO.

Ideally, every page on your Web site should be unique, so every page title should be unique as well.  The title should pertain to the content on the page (we’ll talk about this in a future tip) and use keywords found in it.  When a visitor finds your link and goes to your page, you’ll improve your chances of that visitor staying on your site if the page content is relevant to the title tag shown in the SERPs.

Committing to The SEO Process

by demtron on Thursday, October 02, 2008 06:13 PM

The power of the Internet and search engine technologies has increased interest in making Web sites appear prominently in search engine results.  According to Opinion Research Corp. for Performics Inc., 58% of adults conduct on-line research prior to making a purchase.  This underscores the importance of a business to have a Web site.

The majority of traffic from a search query will go to those sites listed on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page).  Those sites have a clear advantage in capturing attention, clicks and conversions on their sites.  Sites that do not appear there will likely be ignored completely.

Those well-positioned sites didn’t get there overnight.  SEO takes consistent action and reaction.  What works today for SEO may not work as well in the future.  Competition for high positioning intensifies over time for any keyword phrase as more businesses find out about SEO.

By committing to an SEO strategy over time, a small business has a great opportunity to drive significant amounts of traffic to its site and lands great positioning.  What do you need to know to do to make this commitment?

  1. Assess your current site and positioning.  Where have you been, where are you at, and where are you going?  By knowing your current positioning, you have a reference point for understanding the results of your present and future efforts.  You may be surprised at how well some parts of your site are performing!
  2. Know what to change.  There are over 200 factors that Google considers to determine ranking of pages in its results.  Many can be controlled your site design and profile, and there are a handful that provide the greatest return on your investment.  You might consider hiring an SEO consultant to help you identify what will work best for your site.
  3. Make meaningful changes in increments.  Unless a site has poor content, navigation, and suffers from serious neglect, there are probably areas that are doing reasonably well to attract traffic.  Making too many across-the-board changes too quickly may negatively impact those well-performing areas.  Plus, it may be difficult to identify what changes made the biggest difference.
  4. Measure your effectiveness.  It’s important to periodically check your ranking among the major search engines to gauge the impact of your changes.  Do this for the first week or two after your changes.
  5. Measure your traffic.  Typical analytics tools can tell you statistics such as number of visitors, traffic sources, which search terms yielded visits and page popularity.  The metrics derived from these tools are important for guiding you ongoing SEO enhancement efforts.
  6. It takes time.  Don’t expect the results to happen overnight.  If your site has not ranked well in the past or is not established, it may be several months before your site’s ranking rises substantially.  Search engines need time to crawl your pages and your competitor’s pages to pick up changes and analyze them.  Ranking for high value phrases may prove to be a significant challenge.

The proverb “good things come to those who wait” is particularly important in SEO.  If you need help developing a comprehensive search engine optimization plan, contact us to get started.

Duplicate Content and SEO

by demtron on Wednesday, October 01, 2008 07:34 PM
Duplicate content is bad for SEO - Demtron can help!

I was recently asked to review a site that was ranking poorly and not indexed well in search engines, especially Google.  The site looked well designed, had nice internal linking, and a fair amount of SEO performed on it.  A quick search on Google and Yahoo uncovered the problem - duplicate content!

Duplicate content plays tricks in search engines, and that's nothing but bad for you SEO efforts.  For example:

  • The popularity of any one page that's duplicated is diluted, reducing the likelihood that it comes up in search results
  • Some of all of the URLs may not appear friendly to a visitor, thereby reducing the likelihood of that visitor clicking on it

Upon finding duplicate content, Google will remove content it finds duplicated and only show one link that appers to be the "best".  Larger sites will often have dynamically generated pages with little change in content, URL, title, or keywords.  This is an immediate RED FLAG and will cause Google to remove the offending pages.  Any SEO done for the tossed pages has also beed tossed out the window.

If you think your site may have duplicated content, our SEO services can help you.  Contact us for more information.

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