Nothing could be simpler than the title you give to your web pages right? Unfortunately, the vast majority of the websites I visit these days have absolutely terrible titles that hurt their online business. The title of your website is a very important part of getting good rankings on most of the major search engines. A good title also goes a long way towards getting your prospects to click on your listings.
If you go to Google right now, and type any search phrase you want, you get back a listing of web sites that match the keywords you entered in. If you look closely, you'll notice that each search listing' hyperlink is also the title of that website. The title you choose needs to describe to your prospects what your website is all about. It needs to be able to entice your prospects to click on your listing over any other listing. If your title is simply your company name, you are most likely loosing lots of traffic. You will also find it difficult to rank highly on relevant keywords to your site.
Here are some things to consider:
1. Make sure you use relevant keywords
Keywords are simply search terms that your web site prospects will type into a search engine in order to find you. The keywords you are targeting need to be included in your title. Your keywords also need to be as close to the beginning of the title as it makes sense to do. For example, if you were selling shoes online and you were targeting the keyword "children shoes", you could have a title like "Children's shoes for hard to fit children." Notice how the targeted keywords were at the beginning of the title. Putting your keywords at the front of your title speaks to keyword prominence. Prominence refers to the importance of your keyword in the title. If your main keywords are at the very beginning of the title, it is said to have a prominence of 100%. If they are at the very end of the title, they have a prominence of 0%. As much as possible, you want to have your main keywords appear towards the beginning of your title.
2. Consider using your main keyword twice in your title
If you are optimizing your site to rank well on Google, you should also consider finding a way to include your main keyword twice in the title. The trick is to do this without making the title sound stupid. One way I do this is to use the pipe character | between your main keywords. For example, if I was writing a title for a fishing website and the main keyword I was targeting was 'fishing charter' I could repeat the keywords this way, "Fishing Charter | Are you ready for a fishing charter you won't soon forget?" This example gets my target keyword at the beginning and manages to repeat it again without making it look stupid.
3. Persuade your prospect to click on your link
The link that your prospects will see when they do a search of your website on a search engine will almost always be the title of your website. Even if you get to the first page on a search engine for the keywords you are targeting, you still need to persuade your prospect to click on your link over all the others around you. If you title is not persuasive, or even non-existent, you won't get the traffic you expect even if you are number one in the listings. Your title must be persuasive.
4. Say what you want in 65 characters or less.
Almost all search engines limit the length of the title that will appear to the search engine surfer. Google for instance, only displays the first 60 to 66 characters. Sometimes, a webmaster will try to include every one of their keywords in the title in the hope that all of their keywords will be picked up by the search engines. Keep your main keyword prominent in the first 65 characters of your title. Do this while making sure that your title is properly targeted to your target market. You can include your secondary keywords in the body of your web page, but keep them out of the title unless it makes sense to keep them in. The rule of thumb for including secondary keywords in your title is to include them only if you can still keep the title persuasive to your website prospects.
Your website title is crucial to your success online.
Your title is vital to your efforts of getting traffic online. Make sure it is descriptive, and persuasive. It needs to include your main keywords as close to the start of your title as it makes sense to do. You need to avoid repeating the same keywords over and over again. This may work for keywords that have little or no competition on them, but it won't work for any keyword that gets even a decent amount of traffic on them.
This article was written by Joe Duchesne, president of http://www.yowling.com/, a budget web hosting company that specializes in helping online business owners increase their website traffic. Copyright 2004 Yowling. Reprint Freely.