Think about what you do when you read a newspaper or magazine, or any type of other written material. What’s the first thing you look at? The headlines of course. The headlines are what gives you a clue as to the content and make a decision about whether to read further. If the headline isn’t about a subject you’re interested in, or just isn’t compelling, you won’t read any further. It’s designed to help you be more efficient, because you can quickly scan for what you want, and skip the rest.
Guess what? Your Web site also has a similar function called a Title tag. It’s by far, the number one, most important factor that you can put on your Web site, bar none. Your title shows up as the top line in Google’s results pages. It gives readers a clue about what that particular page is all about, and whether they want to click through to your Web site.
Let’s face it, most Web sites have titles that are completely useless to their site owners. People just don’t know what to put in the Title, and put things like “Home” or “About Us” or their company’s name.
Do you know how many Web sites have a page called “Home”? Untold millions, I can guarantee it. That doesn’t differentiate you from anyone else.
What Are My Own Titles?
A very simple way to see what your titles are, is go into Google, then type site:yourdomain.com in the search box, and click Search. This will show you the first 10 pages that Google has in its index about your Web site. Look at the first line of each entry, and that’s your title. Are they compelling or boring? Do they entice people to click through or just give people useless information?
When you go to one of those pages, note that the title will also show up in the title bar of your browser.
Google is also looking at these titles to try to decide what your Web page is all about. When someone types in a search phrase, Google looks in their index to see if titles (and a bunch of other things) “match” with that person’s search term. If it does, it’ll bring that page to the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Google is even kind enough to highlight the words that match in the search. If your title is a close match to what that person is looking for, it’s going to be far more compelling for someone to click through to your site.
Power Tip: Every single page in your Web site should have a different title tag! They should all be unique from each other so Google can tell the difference between them.
Where Do I Code a Title?
If you tell your browser to “View” “Page Source”, look in the section near the top between the <head> and </head> sections of the html. There you should find a single sentence (usually) that starts with <title> and ends with </title>. Anything in between is your title. Does it say “Welcome” or “About Us” or “Home”? Quite possibly it does, and that doesn’t help your customers!
You have a maximum of 100 characters to code your title, including spaces. Use a character counter to get it to fit properly. If you’re a Windows user, MS Word can count your characters. I prefer to use a great little text editor called TextPad. Press [Alt][Enter] and you get a pop-up box that shows exactly how many characters you’ve typed. Google will only display about 65 characters, so make sure you fit your “headline” in the first 65 characters.
Flex Your Internet Marketing Muscle!
In our hands-on internet marketing workshops, we teach you how to write a compelling title that uses action verbs and attracts your customers to you like honey. Just practice writing great titles and see what works best for you. Look at paper or magazine headlines to see if you can mimic them and grab people enough so they click through to your site!