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The Importance of Page Titles and Basic SEO – A Quick Summary

If you opened a retail store next to a major intersection, would you bother to put up a sign so that folks could see what you sold and what the name of your store was?

It’s a ridiculous question, right? Well, by way of comparison, in my experience with small to medium-sized business sites, it seems that a majority of them are doing the online equivalent of not putting their “sign” up.

One of my huge pet peeves about my industry is the huge number of web sites which have been created without any attention paid to even the most basic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles.

So what does this have to do with page titles?

  • Google is great at determining the most important subject matter on a web page.
  • One of the key things Google uses to determine what the most important subject matter is a page’s page title (you can have only one, and there can be only one keyword at the start of it, so it’s a hard thing to “cheat” on).
  • A vast majority of sites don’t have optimized page titles.

To make sense of this and figure out how to act on it, let’s have a high level look at Search Engine Optimization and how you should look at it:

  • SEO starts with research into which terms (keywords or keyphrases) potential customers are using to search for your type of business or services.
  • This research helps you decide what content to put on the various pages of your site and what words (keywords) to use to describe your business or services.
  • In practical terms, any given page can only be optimized for ONE keyword or keyphrase (from Google’s perspective, there can only be one MOST IMPORTANT topic on a page).

With this in mind, when you build or optimize your site to match your customer’s information needs, you should:

  • Create a unique page for each important product or service.
  • Make sure to include the keywords customers are using when searching for information on that product or service.
  • Include the keyword you want to highlight on each page along with the City or region you do business in.

If you have an existing website, you should at the very least:

Review each important page on the site.

  • Identify what the important keyword/keyphrase is for each page.
  • Make sure that keyword/keyphrase is used a couple time in the text on that page.
  • Make sure your Page Title includes your keyword/keyphrase and the city or region you do business in.

Make sense? If not, drop me a line through our Contact form.

Also, note that if you have a WordPress site you may need to add an SEO Plug-in in order to enable custom page titles.