How to apply Keywords to your website Title
We’re really just going to explore, what are keywords, and how people use them. Keywords, for lack of a better term, are the way people think in a short format.
People are inspired by ideas, they have questions. They just want to know something. And our behavior has changed dramatically in this age of search engines, because we have answers immediately at our fingertips. Keywords are the summation of people’s thoughts into actions on the keyboard.
Familiarise yourself with the page title
When we begin optimizing our website and taking our keywords to implement on the site, the first place I tell people to look is the page title.
The page title is one of the more obvious elements on the page, however sometimes it’s overlooked. The easiest place to find the page title is at the top of the browser bar or the tab depending upon the browser that you’re using.
That page title is completely under your control. You can fill in the words based on what type of programming you might be using to manage your website.
Sometimes its very easy. Other times it might be a little difficult. Again, it depends upon the type of programming that is managing your website. The place to look in your code that determines what will show on the page title is in the heading of your code.
That’s usually at the top of the page. And, you can find your page title in the title container. The forward slash title at the end closes that container and anything in between the two titles will show as the page title in your browser.
This is how you can manage your keywords by going in and adding them to the page titles, so that it properly describes the content.
That is on every page. Now, I can’t stress enough the importance of the page title. It’s the number one search engine optimization element on the page that is directly under your control.Because of that, every page on your website should have a unique page title.
That means that your content on every page needs to be summarized in that page title, that communicates, and is descriptive and concise, of the content that’s on that page.
I can’t stress enough, you can start by going to your website and looking at a few pages and comparing the page title to the content that is on the page. Is it unique? Is it concise? And does it use the primary keywords that describe the content so that you can compete for those rankings with your website.
See How page title is used:
Now I said earlier that the page title is the most critical on page element that you can control when implementing keywords into your website.
We’re going to explain why in this session. You see when we talk about your page title and you can see that in the code. You control the content that is in the code.
Now why is this element so important? The main reason is that the search engines show us why that element is so important. You see when we look at the search engine results page, the results are made up of a specific group of elements that are taken directly from our web pages.
You see the page title is blue and underlined. It’s a direct link, and it utilizes the same words in the same order as the page title that renders on the browser bar.
And so, the page title that you put on every page is the first marketing message that a searcher will see Specifically for that page in the rankings. The green text is the URL of that page, the black text is descriptive text that can either come from the page or from the meta description.
Again, that is completely under your control although the search engines may take chunks of text. And put it together. Then you’ll also see some of these links underneath that are not underlined but they’re blue and we call those sitelinks.
And those are links to individual pages on the website. And so the search engine results page, as you can see, uses elements from your code directly on the results page. So all of these things are completely under your control.
So if we go back to our page on Explore California, we can see that the page title on the browser is also the same title that’s used in the search engine results page. And then we can also see that it’s coming from the code. This is why the page title is so critical.
As I said, it’s the first thing a searcher will see about your site. And so not only must it be relevant, using a keyword that the searcher typed in.
But it also must present a compelling message, a reason for someone to click on that result as compared to the nine other results or even more results depending upon if there’s multimedia or maps or local listings. And so your page title needs to be concise.
And it needs to be unique for every page, utilizing the keywords. That page title is used by search engine. It doesn’t matter what search engine it is. All the formats of those search engine result pages use the same elements.
It’s the first that the searcher is going to see and so you need to think clearly about the message you are trying to get across through that page title. When implementing a keyword that it’s not just for the search engine, but it’s for the searcher to attract the click-through to your website.
Evaluate your page title options:
Now, when creating your page title, there are very few rules. But, there are a lot of methods.And many people subscribe to many different methods.
Depending upon who you read or where you get your advice from on writing page titles, everyone comes at it with a different opinion.
It really comes down to how you want to manage your page titles and what you think is a reasonable way of approaching it, but it’s always important to measure and see the results based on what everyone else is doing as well.
So let’s look at the search engine results page and let’s look at a few page titles. The best way I find of evaluating how to rank in specific areas. Is to look and see what everyone else is doing, and see if you might want to mimic it, or stand out from the crowd.
Like I said, there are no specific rules to creating page titles. There’s just a lot of guidelines and ideas that you can bring to the table. The first guideline that I would tell you is that you need to limit your page title to about 65 characters.
If you go beyond the 65-character limit, depending upon spaces and words, it will get truncated and you’ll see the three-period ellipses rather than additional words. Now if you can create a complete thought prior to 65 characters, go ahead and do that.
If you want to add more words, you can do that but that’s what it will look like. Now there are some that will create a very long page title up to about 120 characters because the entire page title will show in the browser.
And so it’s up to you whether you want to stay below or just go through the 65 characters on the search engine results page. And fill up the browser.
My preference is to keep a complete thought in front of the searcher. Now you can look and see how other people are using keywords and this result they’re using a separator based on the title of the article and then the title of the website.
Back packer magazine is the title of the website but the article comes before that and it uses a bar as a separator.
Further down we see a headline format. They’re using the page title as the headline for this article and then the list format.
The list format is where you just put in as many keywords as possible. As you can see, it’s Backpacking California, mountain, foothill, coastal, desert.
They’re listing the keywords related to backpacking. I don’t usually subscribe to this, because what I find is that it attempts to get as many keywords as possible into the heading, But when you go look at the content of the page, it usually doesn’t encompass all of these key words.
I’ll usually like to break up my pages to focus on different areas, rather than trying to get them all on the same page title. You can see a few others as we branch out into our key words. And now we’re looking at California Backpacking Vacation.
And we see a short sentence, sort of the headline format and then local getaways which is the name of the website. Now there’s always a good debate about whether to put the name of your website in the page title, I don’t always subscribe to it because I feel like it takes up space and you’re going to rank for your business name usually.
About 99% of the time, it’s easy to get rankings for your business name or your website name.And so, I find when I can remove that, I can put a lot more emphasis on the page title or the headline, and get more benefit from my key words with less words in the page title.
Too many words can sometimes dilute your ability to rank for a specific word. Again, we have the list format bike tours, family vacations, walking tours, hiking tours. Again, I don’t usually recommend that because it’s too many keywords.
Again, diluting the power of your website to rank for a specific set of words rather than trying to get everything in there. Then there’s the keyword-dense format.
We have California hiking and triking, which is this central goal of that site, that’s what they want to rank for, and then they have their title afterward. And they’re trying to create a dense format so that they’re being found for a consistent group of keywords.
Now, the order can sometimes be important. When we’re looking at hiking in California, we can see that the top two results mimic Hiking in California throughout.
And so your order can sometimes be important. And depending upon the competition level, sometimes you can’t vary from what you see in the results.
Sometimes shorter is better.Sometimes having the keywords in the exact order is better. This is why there are no rules because it seems like each industry in each level of competition almost sets its own rules to what you need to do to compete.
And then as we can see here at the bottom of the page, there’s no keyword other than hiking or hikes.
Our search word was hiking, the word that shows up in the page title is hikes. And as we look in the content area, we see hikes and hikers and finally the word California.
But because National Geographic has such a high domain authority and allows them to rank for a relevant term even though they don’t have the specific words on their website. And that’s the power of creating a highly relevant domain. So quick review on typical page title formats. Developing short sentence.
Like I said, keep it under 65 characters, so that you have a complete thought in front of the searcher. If you decide to do the long sentence format then usually I keep this first sentence under 65 character or around there, a separator and then the second sentence up to about 70 characters for that.
If I do a keyword only page title, maybe two to three words but make sure it is very specific to the content that’s on the page.
The keyword list is one way to try and wrap your arms around as many keywords as possible but I don’t usually subscribe to that format regardless of how you separate the keywords.
And really there’s no difference between a comma or bar or space. All of these are seen as separators by search engine and they are filtered out and so they all seen the same way.
The keywords in order, I tried to keep it in order but again it goes back to your keyword research.And what you’ve seen when you set up the prefix and suffix. If there is a consistent order to the way people search then I’ll just reflect that in my page title. So take this opportunity to go through the pages of your website.
And begin to develop page title formats. Look and see what your competitors are doing, look to see if there is a consistency among how the page titles are arranged and where the keywords fall in those page titles.
Look at the content that you have on the page and be sure that you are reflecting the content in an accurate and concise page title.