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5 Tips for Writing Effective Meta Titles

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Next time you are using Google to search, look to see how many listings appear on the page. If you pay closer attention you might notice how each listing is competing for your attention. It’s like survival of the fittest. The best title will win you over; and all others will wither away unnoticed. Because of this it is important to note that Meta Titles need to be compelling and grab the attention of the searcher. Here are five tips to help write effective Meta Titles.

We love Wisconsin cheese!When searching for Wisconsin Cheese there are over two million listings.

1. Sometimes it’s best not to have your business name in front…

Let me stress the word sometimes; in certain situations placing your company’s name at the front is appropriate. I would think your homepage would be a great place to let your business name shine. That’s called branding! Under other circumstances it is not. Think about the times that you have searched and the Meta Title’s weren’t helpful. Then think, is your company’s name relevant to the article? Is branding more important than the rank for this page? It’s your choice. Make the call.

A Meta Title with the business name in front.A Meta Title with the business name in front.
A listing without including the business name.This example is focusing the attention on the article, not the business name.

2. Do your best to limit the titles to 63 characters.

When writing Meta Titles consider that there is only room for about 63 characters. It is usually less because Google will stop it at the last word. With only so many characters, you will find it challenging to write a good Meta Title. Don’t worry too much as it should get easier after a while.

With limited space available there is only room for about 63 characters.With limited space available there is room for about 63 characters.

3. Keywords are good; Keyword stuffing is bad

For those of you that do not know, keywords are just words. Anything that you type into Google can be a keyword or keyword phrase. People search using keywords so it’s good practice to include them in the Meta Title. A caveat; don’t try to put all kinds of keywords into one Meta Title. This is known as keyword stuffing and it will not help your ranking. Most likely, it will make your Meta Title look cheesy.

Keywords are good.An example of using keywords effectively.
Keyword stuffing is bad.An example of keyword stuffing.

4. Reflect the content that is on the page…

Keep it simple; just be honest. Search engines are out to help searchers. You want searchers to be happy with your listing and come back to click on it more often. Need an example? Let’s say one of your pages raves about the imported Rosenborg Danish Blue Cheese. Your Meta Title happens to be ‘Rosenborg Danish Blue Cheese | Wisconsin Cheese’. If someone is searching for Wisconsin cheese and run into Danish cheese they might rear their CheeseHead in revolt! Then again, people looking for Danish Cheese might get confused; is the cheese from Wisconsin or Denmark? The title is misleading. Stay honest, reflect the content on the page and all will be well.

Example of irrelevant keywords in the title.Do your best not to confuse searchers. Keep the title consistant with the content on the page.

5. Now that you have a better understanding let’s try a couple examples.

In this example the searcher is looking for ‘irrigation boots’. Let’s see where it started and what we can do to make improvements.

Searching for irrigation boots within Google.Searching for irrigation boots within Google.
The original Meta Title we are going to use for our demonstration.The original Meta Title we are going to use for our demonstration.
Here we made an improvement over the original Meta Title.Here we made an improvement over the original Meta Title.
A Meta Title that grabs attention and provides a call-to-action is ideal.A Meta Title that grabs attention and provides a call-to-action is ideal.
Another example of an exciting Meta Title.Here is another example of a title that will relate to searchers while grabbing their attention.

Conclusion

As you’re working on perfecting your Meta Titles consider if branding is most important. Then focus on captivating searchers by writing interesting titles so they click on your listing. Keywords are acceptable but a catchy phrase is more appealing than cheesiness. Keep it clean and weigh your time versus spending your life trying to get to Meta Title nirvana.

5 Steps to Start Search Engine Optimization

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Perhaps you have noticed how much search engines are used to find company information, products, and much more. To help, we have accumulated fives steps to aid in improving your website’s ranking on search engines. If the nerd neurons in your brain are getting excited or your website needs a boost then do read on.

Meta Titles must be unique…

A Meta Title is short slogan or phrase describing a page. It is added behind the scenes in the HTML but displays on search engines, down below by your taskbar, and in your browser way at the top. A popular tool among website developers is Google Webmaster Tools. Within here it warns you if pages on your site have duplicate Meta Titles. To see these warnings in Webmaster Tools is an indication that Google wants each page of your site to be unique. You probably spent a great deal of time coming up with a slogan for your company; now you have to author a short and catchy phrase for each page of your site! Overall it’s not that difficult and tools can be incorporated that can create Meta Titles automatically. Read ‘How Important is the Meta Title‘ to increase your SEO education.

This is an example of the Meta Title displaying on Googles SERP.This is an example of the Meta Title displaying on Google’s SERP.

Meta Descriptions need to create interest…

When searching on Google the Meta Description is the paragraph below the title. The title is usually short and catchy while the description provides more information about the listing; think of it as a paragraph of information that describes the page while doing it’s best to peak the interest of searchers. Just as the Meta Title, the Meta Description should be unique throughout the site. Read ‘How Important is the Meta Description‘ for more details.

The Meta Description appears below the Meta Title when searching within Google.The Meta Description appears below the Meta Title when searching within Google.

Quality content attracts visitors….

Searchers are looking for valuable content. In return, search engines are looking for valuable content. Writing quality content will bring the visitors, which will help search engines decision to rank your site higher more relevant. Such articles that could be written are case studies, tutorials, self-help topics, new employee biographies, and anything that your readers would find interesting. If you are considering blogging to increase content on your site read our review of ‘ProBlogger‘. The book has helpful information about writing and blogging.

Promote your pages with internal links…

Most likely your website already has links which are linking to other pages throughout the site. Another method is having links within articles link to another related article. This gives readers a reason to stay on your site longer. Then the next step is to use keywords in your links. Think about this; would you be willing to click on a link that says ‘click here’ not knowing where it will take you? Probably not! It could be the same as turning onto a road that has no street sign. It might lead you to a place you don’t want to be. The solution is using keywords to describe where the link is leading the reader. An example could be ‘Visit Custom Furniture Photo Gallery’. Visitors will find this more informative. Search engines use this information to determine the subject of the page; thus helping boost the ranking of the page.

An example of an internal link that is labeled with helpful words.An example of an internal link that is labeled with helpful words.

Alt Tags for images…

When mousing over an image you might notice a very small pop-up with text describing the image. This is a called an Alt Tag and it helps search engines understand the image. Search engines, such as Google, do not have eyes and therefore rely on Alt Tags as their guide. In addition, the file name of the image should include the keywords which are within or related to the ALT Tag. So if your Alt Tag is ‘Jake is using a new Benson 3000T Hammer Drill to install drywall’ then the image file name can be ‘benson-3000t-hammer-drill-used-for-drywall.jpg’. Read ‘Alt Tags for Better Rankings‘.

The Alt Tag appears when your mouse hovers over the image.The Alt Tag appears when your mouse hovers over the image.

Conclusion

It’s been over twenty years since the World Wide Web (www) was turned on. Search engine optimization began over a decade ago. The five steps to search engine optimization is just the start. The next step is for you to make it happen!

ProBlogger Book Review

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Bloggers Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett took their knowledge of blogging and created a book called ProBlogger – Secrets for Blogging Your Way to Six-Figure Income. The title seems tailored more towards those who plan a career in blogging and the book seems to reflect it so. Then again, the information they provide is an invaluable resource to any business managing and considering a blog. If your company is looking for visibility online, blogging should be resting on the top of your priority list.

ProBlogger breaks down the basic concepts of what it takes to start and maintain a blog.ProBlogger breaks down the basic concepts of what it takes to start and maintain a blog.

Much has been written on what makes a blog successful, but all experts agree that central to all great blogs is one element: great content. The cry, ‘Content is king,’ has echoed through the blogosphere for years; although I think the term ignores other aspects of what makes a blog successful, content is a key ingredient of a successful blog. – Chapter 4 – Blog Writing

Content is the key ingredient…

Throughout the book Darren and Chris refer back and forth about the value of quality content. Each chapter seems to reflect this belief and fact. Therefore, if you are just starting a blog this book will provide information on what quality means to you and your budding readership. One example is a section about scannable content. In here it has tips and techniques on formatting the article to grab the reader’s attention. In conjunction with scannable content there are a few other sections we found interesting and helpful that you must read to have a successful company blog. These include ‘Using Titles Effectively on Blogs’, ‘Opening Lines Matter, Post Length – How Long Should a Blog Be?’, and ‘Post Frequency – How Often Should a Blogger Post.’

Search Engines Want Content

Actually it goes like this; search engines want content that searchers want to read. This means well-written, interesting, informative and just plain good content is a must. ProBlogger provides exceptional insight into the pros and cons of optimizing content. In addition, the frequency at which you post will have a different bearing on search results.

The Company Blog

ProBlogger is clearly written for those who plan on blogging full-time. While reading the book you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer work of what it takes to have a successful blog. What we recommend is to do what Darren and Chris mention and that is to skim the content. Read the articles that interest you and will help increase your blogging knowledge. Take what you read and apply it to your company blog. It could be as simple as taking one long article and breaking it into four smaller articles. Then your blog can have a new article every week of the month!

Conclusion

Creating a six-figure income blogging may not be in your reach but creating a compelling blog is doable. It is recommended to have blogging become a part of your company’s marketing plan. Develop strategies to fit writing time into your daily, weekly or monthly schedule. As an ongoing process make sure to take a few minutes and research blogging as it is ever-changing. Blogging is over a decade old already. Waiting another decade to start a company blog might not be the best business decision.

Notes

Want to purchase ‘ProBlogger – Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income’? Go to www.probloggerbook.com and look for the Buy from Amazon on the bottom left. More of Darren and Chris’s work can be found at www.problogger.net.