Page Title Nuances That Drive SEO and Traffic Value

Feb 3, 2011 • 11:15 am | comments (6) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

With increasingly complex and guided search engine results pages, the displayed title of organic listings is one of the most crucial elements in helping rankings and driving click-through-rate. Search Engine Roundtable regularly covers industry chatter about various aspects of the Page Title's importance, including recently and long ago about how titles can be adjusted by Google and other search engines.

A recent thread featured at Webmaster World Forums begins with a member asking most specifically about two nuances related to the page title: the ideal length and case sensitivity. Forum administrator Tedster leaped into the conversation, providing:

...characters in the title element are indexed well beyond the seventy or so that make it into the visible display. Sometimes, if the truncation point would hide a keyword in the query phrase, I've seen Google place a dieresis (...) in the middle of the title somewhere so there is room to display the important keyword.

The comments veer off towards the use of synonyms in place of targeted keywords, and Robert Charlton provides interesting insight into that subject. A quite educational spinoff comes when pageoneresults describes the idea of testing page title's likely effectiveness by using "phrase stacking."

Phrase Stacking - Read your page title(s) backwards. If you are using a hyphen as a separator, can you construct the title so there are phrases matched both forward and reverse? If not, move things around a little. For example, if you have two separators in the title, move the groups around to see if there is a better combination of forward and reverse matching.

Another poster provides a good example of this methodology later on in the post. In short, Page Title are in my opinion one of the top priority elements for search engine performance. Not only can proper keyword use and positioning help you rank, but with so little time available to get the attention of a searcher these days - it better speak to what they want!

Please share your thoughts in the growing discussion at Webmaster World Forums or in the comments below. By the way, as of the time I am writing this no one has touched the "case Sensitivity" topic yet... the only thing I would recommend is to avoid ALL CAPS unless it is a brand name that is always displayed that way. What are your thoughts?

Previous story: February 2011 Google Webmaster Report



02/04/2011 12:21 pm

My thoughts are that page title plays an important part in non popular competitive keyword strings but not on very competitive keywords. Thanks for the article.


02/04/2011 04:43 pm

Page Title: The most under-utilized aspect of SEO and of the majority of websites I come across. If only "Welcome To (our company name)" counted for something.


02/04/2011 06:28 pm

If I had a dime for every time I SEO'ed a website with "Homepage" as their title tag....


06/30/2011 06:48 am

Highly agree with "page title plays an important part in non popular competitive keyword strings but not on very competitive keywords. "

Michael Cipielewski

07/20/2011 06:17 pm

I have heard arguments that making the brand ALL CAPS can draw more attention and thusly possible +CTR. It's a compelling theory, but if it works in the real world, who can say?   

Fresh Web SEO

03/19/2012 11:02 am

Same here. Keywords in the title can help a ton if the keywords are of low competition, otherwise you must resort to other means such as link-building to build rank value.

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