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Where Marketers Go to Grow

May 19, 2010 // 8:00 AM

Spilling SEO Juice - 3 Dos and Don'ts for Writing Great Page Titles

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Dos

1. Be Specific

Every page on your site should have a specific purpose. Think about the page in front of you, and try to describe it. If you're using "and" to combine multiple thoughts on this page, its time to make some new pages. When writing the titles for each of these pages, keep the specifics of the page in mind. If this is a page just about "toasters", the title should include your keywords centered around "toasters", and not a more generic keyword phrase like "kitchen appliances".

2. Be Unique

Just like every page title should be specific to each page, you should also make sure that each page title is unique across your entire site. If you're following the first rule and making sure that every page is laser-focused on a single topic, it should be extremely easy to also make sure that each page title is unique.

3. Be Compelling

When you are looking at a search engine results page, there's only three things that appear for a visitor - the page title, the page description (bonus points if you've got a unique and targeted meta description), and your page's URL. Try and treat your page titles like the titles for your blog posts, and make them compelling.

compelling page title

Don'ts

1. Be Repetitive

Your page titles shouldn't include multiple variations of similar keyword phrases. A great example of being bad would be "toaster, toaster oven, kitchen toaster, college toaster, 8 slice toaster, bagel toaster | Chris' Toaster Emporium". Titles like this promote worst practices and often lead to having the same page titles used across most (if not all) of the pages in your site.

2. Be Long

Anything more than 70 characters is a waste. If you're not able to describe this particular page with less than 70 characters, then maybe you need to break this down into multiple pages. From a practical standpoint, Google will cut your title off around 70 characters, and you'll be left with a set of elipses at the end of the title - and everything you've written above the 70 character limit is essentially negated.

long page title

3. Put Your Company Name at the Front

In most cases, your website will already rank high for your company name. Leverage the fact that search engines allocate more weight to the words that appear at the beginning of a page title, and form your titles using your keyword phrases first, and then your company name.

Do you have other tips for improving page titles? 

Photo Credit: needoptic

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