If your website is ranking well for various keyword phrases but you don’t seem to be getting your expected share of traffic, you might want to take a look at your page title tags. In case you’re wondering, the title tag is not the title of your post. It is the text that appears in the title bar or tab area of your browser window. If you use the All in one SEO plugin, you can set up a default title format or you can insert a specific title when you make your post.
The search engines use the title tag as part of their method of deciding what your page is about, but of course it’s not the only part. They also look at other factors like the content of your page and the anchor text of incoming links. More importantly however, the title tag is the first line of the listing that you see in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. This is what the user sees before determining whether or not to click on your listing and proceed to your website. Writing an effective page title can mean the difference between the user clicking on your website or going somewhere else.
How do you write an effective title tag? Just remember that you have to “sell” the click. Often, as webmasters, we try to cram all the keywords we want to rank for inside the page title. Sometimes people write incredibly long and spammy titles that end up looking more like a novel. Let’s look at two examples of possible page titles for a search for “two piece golf balls”.
Golf Balls|Cheap Golf Balls|Discount Golf Balls|Two Piece Golf Balls|Tour Golf Balls
Wow, that one looks a little spammy doesn’t it? There really is no reason for the phrase “golf balls” to show up that many times in the title now is there? It’s just an indication of a webmaster who is trying to cover all the bases and make his page rank for multiple keyword phrases. But let’s get back to the user who has just searched for two piece golf balls. What if this next title showed up just below the previous one?
Tour Approved Two Piece Golf Balls at Discount Prices
Now I don’t know about you, but if I were looking for two piece golf balls and those two results appeared at positions one and two, I would click on the second result first without a doubt. Why? Because it’s easy to read and tells me the website has exactly what I’m looking for. Notice that the second result has the main keyword phrase of golf balls but still includes the secondary keywords of tour, two piece and discount as well. But unlike the first one, it is much easier to read and will be much more likely to result in a clickthrough from someone looking for two piece golf balls.
Just remember that the page title tag is actually an advertisement. It’s like a billboard telling searchers what they will find on your site. You want them to click on that title and come to your website so they can see all your wonderful content and hopefully generate some revenue during their visit. So if your traffic isn’t quite up to par, examine your title tags and imagine yourself as the searcher. Are you selling the click, or could you be driving traffic away?