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What’s in a title? A lot, actually

And you thought mattress tags mattered.

Sure, mattress tags are important. So important that we’re afraid we’ll go to jail if we remove them. But any web copywriting enterprise or expert will tell you that some other tags – title tags and meta tags – are infinitely more important.

So much of search engine optimization boils down to the same crucial principle: making sure searchers can find your site in the first place, preferably on the first page of Google and other search engines. But there’s more to it. In the case of title tags and meta tag descriptions, having users find your site in organic search results may not be enough. If you want the right users to click on your page – or anyone, for that matter – your tags should be written to properly reflect exactly what product, service or content you offer.

Partially because of the way many website and content management system “dashboards” are structured, it’s easy to take these tags for granted. The little boxes where we enter the extra information aren’t part of our main content “body,” so they can feel like afterthoughts, right?

It’s important not to treat them that way. In the case of <title> source code, it’s crucial not just to put the title of your company or site, but to include a descriptive tagline or call-to-action with it. “Award-Winning Bakery in Toronto – Tommy’s Bakery” will give searchers a much better idea of what and where they’re searching than simply inserting “Tommy’s Bakery” as the home page title tag. Remember, if you don’t fill out the space, a search engine like Google will try to fill in the gap for you and likely won’t do it was well as you could.

It’s not as common in web content development circles to completely forget a title tag; description meta tags are the fields that get neglected more often. Once again, it may feel like an afterthought, but the information that appears under your title in search results pages is crucial.

Think about your own experiences as a user. Excluding established juggernaut sites like ESPN or CNN, how often do you click a search result that has no information below the title? We much more commonly choose the one full of rich and useful information and tells us more about what we’ll find if we click it. Meta tag optimization is key.

So, what’s in a title? Quite possibly, the difference between high click-through ratesand low bounce rates.

The ranking of your business, service or product in Google’s search results is critical to your success. Toronto-based Content Writer and Local SEO Expert Ray Litvak understands the art and science of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and using the right words in the right way to increase your rankings. Discover how greater exposure on Google can drive more traffic, increase leads and grow your business. Many of Ray’s clients consistently rank on Google’s first page of results and have grown their business as a result. You can do it too – and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Call Ray locally at 416-226-8676 for a free assessment of your specific needs today. You’ll be glad you did!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at 12:23 pm and is filed under Google Best PracticesSEOWeb Design Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through theRSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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