Yeah, you’ve probably heard by now that we are all at the mercy of the Google gods. As internet users, the results we get when we search for keywords on the web is determined by Google, and as businesses with websites, the words we choose to use in our site content is influenced by what Google tells us internet users are looking for. Basically, Google dominates the way we use the internet.
Google’s Algorithm Explained
I’m sorry, that was just mean.
I can’t explain it. No one actually knows the secret, inner workings of the Google Algorithm. But there are a few fundamental practices recognized industry-wide that have been proven to yield positive results in search engine rankings. One of these practices is the strategic use of page titles.
What is a Page Title?
Page Titles are what you see at the very top of a website page and in your browser tab, and they typically describe that particular web page is about. In addition to helping your site visitors figure out what a page is about, Google’s web crawlers—those little robots that scan the interwebs reading ALL that content—pick up the “page title” attribute in the code embedded in the web page. Still with me? Since page titles describe what a page is about, Google counts this as significant information to add to search results.
How Do I Add Page Title?
Content Management Systems like Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla all have easily accessible page title fields (usually at the top—go figure)
If your site is custom coded, page titles should be located between the <title> and </title> tags.
How Do I Use Page Titles Strategically?
Make sure your Page Titles are relevant to the content on your web page.
Use keywords you want to be found for in your page titles
Keep page titles under 70 characters
Use a geographic location if it is significant to your business (ex. Boise Dry Cleaning)
Separate multiple terms with the | (pipe) symbol (ex. Boise Web Marketing | Boise Social Media Marketing).
So you may not have learned all the secret inner workings of Google, but strategic page titles can be implemented in a matter of minutes to have a positive impact on your page rankings.
Lindsey is the director of web strategy at Tribute Media and holds a B.A. in English and Communication with an emphasis in Journalism.
Outside of work, Lindsey participates in a "super-cool-not-at-all-nerdy" writing group. Her favorite writer is Dorothy Parker.