April 21, 2009

SEO Basics: The Importance of Page Titles

Filed under: Blog Articles — Tags: , — Jeff Weissberg @ 1:14 pm

When asked to evaluate the SEO on a new site the first place I look is at the website key landing page titles. The web page titles are ideally added to the page code as the website is developed.  The webpage titles are visible at the top of your browser bar above the address window.

Sample Page Title in Browser Window

Sample Page Title in Browser Window

I consider the page title to be the tip of the SEO iceberg and generally very indicative of the level of SEO throughout the website.

Sample Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Sample Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

When you search for a specific keyword string (ie. plush bath towels) the search engine results page (SERP) will use the page title in its first line of your sites description.

As most of us scan through the results we may be unaware that we are actually reading the page titles exactly as they appear on the sites. Therefore, the more accurately your page title describes the page content the better. The page title should include the keyword phrases that you know people use to find your site. Using the example of searching Google for “plush bath towels”, one of the sites that appears high on the page has the following page titles: “Luxury Cotton Bath Towels & Plush Bathroon Rugs”.  The closeness of matched keywords from the search to the page title results in this page consistently coming to the top of the search results list.

Of course page titles are just one component of on-site Search Engine Optimization. Search engines also evaluate rankings for your website pages based on relevant keyword content, page descriptions, page keywords and several other factors. But remember that the page title is like the point of an arrow. If you want to hit the bulls eye and have your site rank high, remember to begin your on-site SEO efforts with keyword rich and page relevant page titles.

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