Getting the most out of your on-page SEO marketing strategy begins with understanding the fundamental purpose of SEO -- to communicate information about your product or service to search engines that will recommend your website as a resource when relevant searches are made.
These search engines are looking for a number of things, including:
Site performance and proper function
Site authority or indication that the site is a reputable source
All of these factors will influence the effectiveness of your SEO strategy, but one of the most important elements of on-page SEO is the use of page titles to reinforce overall page content. Use these tips to increase the effectiveness of your strategy and boost traffic like SEO magic!
1. Understand Function
When you assign a page title and a search is initiated, search engines will comb through a number of factors to determine if your webpage is a match for the specific searche. If a match is confirmed, your title will appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) as a title tag. For this reason, it is imperative that titles be clear, concise and specific to the content on that page.
2. Craft Carefully
Your page titles are working hard to perform important responsibilities, like helping search engines to determine what is most important about your page and driving searchers to view your site. Because there is an abundance of competition out there, every page title should be unique and follow these SEO Essentials:
No more than 70 characters per title, including punctuation and spaces. This is the limit that google displays in search results.
Don’t exhaust the company or brand name. Keep it to the Home, About Us and/or Contact Us pages.
Use pipes "|" instead of dashes "-", commas "," or any other type of key term separator.
Page titles do not need to read like a sentence. You can leave out connectors like "and", "if", or "but." They add no value.
3. Know Your Keywords and How to Use Them Your title will be a likely pick for results pages when title keywords are searched. Search engines will bold or highlight the keywords in your title on the search results page if they match the same words that users searched with.
Keywords are the words most often used in search queries to locate information similar to that which you are sharing. Best practices for title construction include two layers of keyword configuration.
Primary keyword first, secondary or word variant next, and lastly, the brand name if applicable (the exception being the home page which may have the brand name first, followed by keywords).
Using keywords in your on-page SEO titles will accomplish two objectives:
Your title will be a likely pick for results pages when title keywords are searched.
Search engines will bold or highlight the keywords in your title on the search results page if they match the same words that users searched with.
4. Cater to the Local Searcher
According to Google statistics, 20% of Internet searches are specific to a particular geographic location. What does this mean for on-page SEO titles? By including a city name, you’re significantly increasing the odds that you’ll show up on local search results pages.
Note however, going local with page titles such as, "Family Law Firm | Houston, TX | Smith Lawyers" will concentrate on your local market. If Smith Lawyers does business outside of Houston and has locations in four other states, it may not be the best idea to call out Houston, TX in the page title.
The real SEO magic is in the strategy. By understanding the importance of page titles, your on-page SEO approach will be stronger than ever.
Make your pages titles titans on the web by understanding the basics, crafting carefully, using the right keywords in the correct way and remembering to tap into the local search market when appropriate.