How to Make Better Use of Web Site Page Titles and META Data

We got down to the basics with web site page titles and META data as part of a new study on how manufacturers use natural search engine optimization (SEO). Businesses of all types could benefit from the following case studies that show how poor titles and META data can be improved from an SEO perspective.

Case Studies: Ineffective Optimization

We selected 5 of the web sites (among 350 we studied) that scored the worst in terms of search engine optimization. Here's a closer look at what they may be doing wrong on their home pages (company names are removed).

Case Study No. 1
META Title: Business Name
META Description: missing
META Keywords: missing
ANALYSIS: Title lacks keywords, page doesn't include META data.

Case Study No. 2
META Title: Company name followed by corporate attribute
META Description: Features a 20-word description without keywords.
META Keywords: Includes 30 keywords and search terms with no real focus.
ANALYSIS: Title may have one keyword at the most after several non-keywords; META data poorly used. Used a Flash page with "skip intro" button that won't perform well because it lacks text.

Case Study No. 3
META Title: Welcome to Business Name
META Description: missing
META Keywords: missing
ANALYSIS: Title lacks keywords, page doesn't even attempt to include META data.

Case Study No. 4
META Title: Company name followed by one search phrase
META Description: corporate domain name www.xxxxxxxxx.com
META Keywords: empty
FRAMES: used on site
ANALYSIS: Title has potential keywords, but they're trapped inside a long phrase without comma separation, META description features corporate domain name and the META keywords weren't used. The Frames format may discourage spiders from indexing the web site, especially since this main page doesn't give them much guidance.

Case Study No. 5
META Title: Business Name
META Description: missing
META Keywords: missing
ANALYSIS: Title lacks keywords, page doesn't include META data.

Michael Murray is vice president of Fathom SEO, a Cleveland, Ohio-based search engine optimization firm. He authored the "U.S. Manufacturers Resist Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Sales Leads" study and a white paper, "Search Engine Marketing: Get in the Game." [email protected]

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