Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Name This Plant Page

“Originally we were going to title it "The Daily Show With Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays Off," but it was too long.” ~ Jon Stewart, American Comedian
Today we are going to talk about the “title tag.”

Ok, it's not a sexy topic… but an important part of your optimization efforts.

Having a proper title tag can make a big difference to your rankings. They are equally as important as your visible text copy and the links pointing to your pages — perhaps even more so.

What is it?

The HTML title tag is what the engines use for the clickable title of your page in your listing. It's also the text that appears in the reverse bar of someone's browser when they view the web page. You place this text between the TITLE and /TITLE codes.

This text… how your listing appears should be a critical aspect of your SEO campaign. After all, if you have high search engine rankings you still must convince searchers to click through to your page, right?

So, what are the best words to use?

a. The name of your business?
b. The purpose of the page?
c. Your sites relevant keywords?
d. All of the above?

It’s best to choose the most relevant keyword phrases from your page and incorporate them in your branding. Combine them as a compelling phrase.

If you can’t think of the right phrase, you might have a copy problem.

Here is an example, if your company is "Plants Nouveau" a company that markets new plants, you shouldn’t place only the words "Plants Nouveau" in your home page title tag, but instead use something like "Plants Nouveau - Introducing New Plants to the World.”

This allows your company name to be searchable as well as the keyword phrases “New Plants” and “Introducing New Plants.”

I use a hyphen between the phases. The bottom line is to convince the searcher to click on your listing. And the added descriptive keywords increase the odds of acquiring that click.

What is Plants Nouveau?

Beats me. I don't know from that title.

Ah, ...but using "Plants Nouveau - Introducing New Plants to the World” tells you in the title, right?

Well kinda of... ah heck, I'm still not sure but it sure sounds interesting... I'm going to click through and check it out.

B-7.... BINGO!

A much more engaging... appealing ...and influential title.

Keep in mind... you might what to test different text to see what ranks higher and converts better. You might just find that your non-high ranking title actually gets your page more clicks/page views/conversions.

Please note that some content management systems (CMS) and blog software such as WordPress automatically generate the title tag for you using the blog name, and the name of the page.

If this happens… it probably also uses the same text for the headline, navigational link, and the URL. You don’t want this redundancy,

You want your page listing, for it's the first look at your business, to be more compelling than that.

It needs to compell them to click. No pressure, eh?