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How To Make A Good Page Title

A key to get traffic through search results all has to do with the page title. Make that big blue link to your site in search results entice your target market to your site with a few simple guidelines.

As a small business ever wonder what attracts people to a website? Did you know there is a small but very important element to every web page on a website that is displayed when listed in search results. That element has a name, it is called the Page Title, and it can be controlled by you. A page title is that big blue text that appears in each entry of a search engine result page. Carefully crafting a page title can entice users to your website and gain a bump in SEO.

Important Aspects of a Page title

There are a few things you should know about page titles before you simply create one. First and most important, page titles should contain keywords that a web page is to rank for. Second is every search engine has a character limit for page titles. The limit varies between search engines but ranges from 60 to 70 characters. A character is a single letter, number, symbol, or space. Third a page title should be descriptive enough to give the user an idea of what the web page will be about. Fourth there is an unwritten rule about a good page title format. That rule is the important stuff comes first.

Creating A Useful Page Title

With the above aspects in mind take a look at the following examples.

“Services”

“Recent News”

“Company Name – Graphic Design News”

“Company Name provides professional quality graphic design services for small business owners”

“Graphic Design for Small Businesses – Company Name”

Now which one(s) would make a useful page title for a website? Let’s take a look at them individually.

“Services”
This is a prime example of a very poor page title. Initially it may seem like a logical choice, given your wording for a menu item and keyword selection. Place it in a list of search results and it immediately loses any value it once had. What makes this so bad is that it does not tell the user anything about the page. Sure one might guess it contains services, but what kind of services? It could be design services, financial services, or even escort services of the 1920s. Being within the character limit, the title is still way not acceptable because it is too short since there is no value for the user. If you saw it in a list, would you click on it?

“Recent News”
Another good example of what not to use as a page title. This one gives a little more indication than the previous title given it has two words. “Recent” infers time that has just passed, and “News” indicates something important possibly relevant. However, it still lacks value due to additional description. Despite having two words in the title, it contains only a single keyword “News”. Like the previous example, this title is too short because it does not provide enough value. We are moving up in the world but still not quite there.

“Company Name – Graphic Design News”
Now with this page title we are getting some where. But it still has it’s flaws. First of all, the structure is bad, because the meat of the title comes last. A business name may seem important but it doesn’t provide any substance. Again we must think about providing value for the user. “Graphic Design News” is a huge improvement over the previous page titles. It is clear about what kind of news one can expect to find. The dash may seem unimportant but actually saves space and cuts out unneeded words. The best thing about this title is the keyword selection. “Graphic Design News” make for 3 great keywords. Another strong point is that the title is within the character limit but not so short that value to the user is lost.

“Company Name provides professional quality graphic design services for small business owners”
Avoid this kind of page title plain and simple. Being the statement that it is, for a title it is just too long. It exceeds the character limit of search engines so the last half of the sentence won’t be seen in search results. The structure is also bad, because again the meat of the title is in the last half of the sentence, so the user will not see the most relevant part. Also over half the sentence is filled with words that lack real value. Being a business one assumes it “provides” something, is “professional”, and provides “quality” work. So those words can be removed without harm. “Owners” is questionable because it could be used as a keyword, but yet it doesn’t really provide value when you mention small business already. Both the keyword selection and amount of keywords are a strong point in the title. Having more than one keyword in a title increases your chances to be found.

“Graphic Design for Small Businesses – Company Name”
Here is a page title that you should set your sights one and aim for every time. It is within the search engine character limit. Structure is excellent with the meat first, so if it exceeds the character limit the title still has value for the user. There are no unnecessary words. “For” helps the user make sense of the page. Again the dash is good because it eliminates excessive wording and saves space. Having the company name at the end is best because it is less important to the user than the actual content. All the name does is provide an owner or recognizable source for the information. If it is hidden due to the character limit nothing is lost. This title also has a strong keyword selection, and the best thing is that the title is composed almost entirely with them.

What to Remember When Creating a Page Title

The single most important aspect to remember is think about your users or target market, and provide value for them. By providing value it shows that your website may be useful to them and potentially satisfy their need. To provide value put the main content and keywords of the title first followed by less important. Keep the wording to a minimum, remember a title is just meant to give meaning and entice. Think book or movie titles. Also remember search engines have a character limit, and anything beyond that limit is not seen. Lastly remember that a good page title will be relevant to the content on the page and be helpful in your ranking on search engines.

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