Are you making the most of your Title Tags? Let's talk about some easy ways to fine tune your pages that you think could be performing a little better. Of all of the other choices a potential visitor may have to choose from, within the top search results, you want to make yours just a little more unique, a little more compelling than the next guy who may just throw their Title tag together with very little thought. Now for the sake of this article, we are not suggesting this tip for the purpose of improving your ranking, but rather for improving your click through ratios, regardless of the ranking (so long as you are within the top 10.) If more people are compelled to view your link than some other competing link, then that has some significant merit.
We know there are at least 100 influences in ranking criteria and this article assumes that you've already had some professional training and instruction in that aspect. You are aware that solid SEO work includes things like on-page factors, off-page factors and even artificial intelligence (AI) these days. However, the suggestion for working with your Titles that I have for you here is not just about rankings and visibility, but it's about improving the click through ratio for your pages.
These are just a few quick tips that you may find helpful. To begin, let's take a good look at your Title tags and see if you can't improve them a little.
Try this tip on some of your pages which you feel need improvement or could use a higher percentage of visitors.
Consider including 3 elements in your title. These days every one knows that it can be important to have your researched keyword phrase included in your title. But then what do some people do? Often you'll see people stuffing their Title full of keywords in hopes that they may show up for those terms. "Keyword stuffing" is not competent SEO no matter who may think so and it's not recommended. Instead, your focus is to always create high quality, useful content that will please visitors. Your title needs to be compelling and it needs to read well and it should make sense to the reader.
Try this approach:
Use your keyword phrase up front, followed by a clicking trigger, followed by a genuine benefit that your product offers.
What do I mean by a "keyword?". When I talk about your primary keyword phrase, I'm assuming you know how to research and target the right phrase which is essential. However, If you are not sure how to do keyword research, then read this article here. If you are brand new to optimization, you may want to study one on our online SEO courses.
What do I mean by a "Trigger?" A trigger is simply an action related "reason" why someone chooses to respond. For example there are certain triggers or reasons why people will buy something. Among these are topics related to health, safety, education or learning, making money, saving money, improving appearance, losing weight, gaining status etc.
If you are familiar with writing sales copy, you'll be aware that there are a whole list of "reasons" why someone will buy or take action.
What do I mean by a "Benefit?" This is the old "what is in it for me" factor that's essential to all salesletters.
Of course these are all good essential elements for writing a sales letter. The difference here is that I am suggesting you move these elements right up into your Title tag where you will have them visible within the search results. The result should be a Title that reads well and compels the reader to take action and choose your link over other competing links regardless of where you rank in the top 10 results or so. After all, working with Title Tags is very easy to do.
For Example: (I'm making these examples up on the fly)
Maybe you are selling an e-book. The trigger would be "learning" (people will pay to learn something).
The e-book might be on how to breed rare tropical fish. Maybe the book is a fairly quick read but details important information that you can absorb in a couple of days. This could be the benefit - (the short learning time).
So your title may read like this:
Breed tropical fish - Learn how to breed rare tropical fish for fun and profit in just 48 hours.
or get a little more specific to narrow up on the niche. Maybe it's about "angel fish"...
Breed angel fish - Learn to breed exotic angel fish for fun and profit in just 48 hours.
A few other examples of keyword plus trigger plus benefit.
Piano lessons - Learn how to memorize beautiful chords over this weekend.
Diamond jewelry - Discover how to grade color cut and clarity like a gemologist.
Okay let's play with a few other triggers ideas based on earning money:
Start a home based business - Ideal earning potential while you set your own hours
Internet based business - Start earning immediately as you work from home
Smart investments earn a second income online while you sleep.
Or triggers ideas based on streamlining a process:
Keyword research - save hours of research time and instantly find top results in only minutes
Pool heaters - eliminate energy waste and save $100 per month heating your pool
Renew your mortgage - Get an Instant quote quicker than your bank!
By getting a little creative, I'm sure you'll come up with even better examples than I have demonstrated here. Just remember to do proper keyword research using a tool like Wordtracker. Also really give some thought to the objective of each page. Try and identify a unique buying trigger (the reason why people buy) for your specific product. Also think about the benefits over features.
Use all of these elements creatively to fashion a Title tag that will build curiosity, offer value, educate, put forth a question or grab your readers attention in some way. Of course the most clever title won't really benefit you unless you are also creating quality content for the visitors to read once they click through to your page. We assume that our readers already understand the value of creating useful content. This quick tip is just a reminder that regardless of how good your Web site may be, there are always ways to improve it even further and add more value for your visitors.
Sometimes, with a little thought, you can use your keyword phrase up front, followed by a clicking trigger, followed by a product benefit and even tie the sentence as a whole, into the objective of your page. For example, you may have a product for sale, or you may have a different objective for the page. Perhaps you are just asking someone to sign up for a newsletter. See if you can you tie it into that Title statement. Be creative.
Start by taking a look at your log files and checking your ranks to see which pages could use some work. Be cautious about changing pages that are already scoring within the top 5 results. Focus more on some of the weaker scoring pages that may be ranked between say 5 and 15 but you can tell they could use a little more creative thought and work on the titles. By simply writing more compelling titles, combined with high quality content that is of genuine value to your visitors, you'll enjoy significant value in the increased click through ratios.
On a final note, make absolutely sure that your Web page has a solid "call to action." Make it clear to your visitors what you would like them to do. Sometimes the smallest little edits to your pages can make significant differences.
Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
June 1, 2005
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with partner Robin Nobles as well as online search engine marketing courses through Online Web Training. John is author of Wordtracker Magic and co-author of the Totally Non-Technical Guide for A Successful Web Site. John and Robin are also official members of the Q&A customer support team at www.Wordtracker.com.
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