Title Tags and Branding
In this article, we look at the key role that title tags play in search engine optimization (SEO).
I have been noticing more and more often lately, that errors are being made in the use of company online signatures in title tags. This can easily be corrected by those who want to take the time to gain a better understanding of the role a title tag plays and how to optimize it correctly. Google, for example, have made it very clear that as far as they are concerned, company branding should make up part of the title tag. As with all of the Google guidelines though, this is open to interpretation.
When I decided to use our SEO Seattle brand and rank our website in Los Angeles, some people were very doubtful that it could be done and others said that it was impossible. Yet here we are, ranking at the top of Google for LA SEO COMPANY. Of course I used lots of elements to achieve the ranking, but the title tag is way up there in order of importance.
Here is the tag that was used to help support our content getting found for our target Los Angeles SEO search terms. It starts with the main search term that I was looking to rank for, and finishes with our SEO Seattle branding.
SEO Los Angeles | SEO Company | Best LA SEO Services – SEO Seattle
I always put a lot of thought and time into creating the perfect title tag. What makes it difficult is the fact that I consider 55 characters to be the maximum; condensing enough information for the Google bot to understand what the page is about, and also including company branding can be tough. There is a story regarding a government official who wrote the following as an intro to a memo, “I am sorry that this memo is so long, I didn’t have time to write a shorter one”.
The URL tells Google two very important things. First, who you are, and second, what the most prominent topic(s) will be in the content on the respective page. We can think of the tag as being a funnel and the wider the opening the better. When at all possible you should put the specific search term that you want to rank for at the beginning of your title text string. Then, if you use your 55 characters in a thoughtful manner you can make the funnel even wider and finish with the company brand. (Note: This is not an absolute conclusion and this method may be reversed depending upon several other factors). A well thought out title tag is all well and good, but unless it is in alignment with several other elements, then it is worthless. As I said, we can think of the title tag as a funnel that guides the Google bot down into the first page of the website. Our well-written title tag has told it what to expect and for the site to rank successfully, it needs to find the information immediately.
What that means is the title tag has to contain information that can be found in the top third of the page; labelled as the default eye area by Google engineers.
The bot is basically looking at the content and discovering the most prominent keywords and their densities (usage) in your on-page content that match the words in your title tag, and the sooner it finds them the better. I not only put the keywords into the top third of the page but also try to put them into the content as soon as possible. This due to the fact that like us, Google bots read from left to right.
Then there are design issues to take into account. How is your menu laid out? What anchors are on the page that takes you to other relevant content?
I began this article by saying that title tags play a key role in our efforts to rank a website and increase the website’s overall online visibility. I hope that this goes some way to explaining the process of writing killer title tags.
It is all about squaring the circle.
Again, I hope that this has been helpful and look forward to any comments or debate.