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How to write SEO friendly TITLE tag?


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#1 next123

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 06:45 AM

Hi,

What is the best way to write a search engine friendly TITLE tag?

For example I want to target two keywords (Auto Finance and Auto Loans), curretly I am using the style below:
"Auto Finance - Auto Loans - ABC Company"

Now I am thinking to change this with "Online auto finane and loans"

Will search engines be able to seprate the Auto Finance, Auto Loans, Online Auto Finance and Online Auto Loans keywords?


THANKS

#2 A.N.Onym

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:01 AM

Though you speak only about the search engines, I should point out that the main focus of your company should be your visitors. Search engine bots will never buy your services, people will.

So, to write an effective title (and taking the search engines into account), we do the following:
- specify a keyword phrase we want to target the page for
- add a benefit to the potential visitor (not even a customer)
- add call to action to ignite your potential visitor

Thus, when taking your keyphrase, Auto Loans, let's conjure up some sort of a title:
"Get the care you dream through an auto loan"

"Use auto finance services to get your car you want"

You see the pattern, don't you?

Of course, the closer the keyphrase to the beginning of the title, the better for the search engines.
But this should be regarded as a bonus if you can create such a human-friendly title.

Here are the benefits of making the title visitor friendly:
- the first time they see the title (mostly) is Search Engine Results Pages - the titles need to capture their attention and entice them to click to your site
- a human-friendly title goes along with the search engine guidelines - it can't work well with keyword stuffing, for instance
- unique titles look well in visitors' Bookmark lists


Unfortunately, this approach makes it hard to target two or more keyword phrases, which some may want to do.

Essentially, this is not necessary at all, because auto finance services may include more than auto loan (right?).

Anyway, a better approach would be to create a separate page for each of your primary keyword phrases.

Another matter to consider is to fill the pages with unique content (title, meta descriptions, headings, main content). This will appeal, first of all, to your visitors, because they will land on a page, tightly focused to their search phrase, and, secondly, to the search engines, because they try to provide the best value to their users as well.

Enjoy.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 19 June 2006 - 07:04 AM.


#3 next123

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:11 AM

Thanks for your swift reply. I agree with you that we need to write every thing for the clients not the search engines.

#4 Adrian

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:17 AM

Here are the benefits of making the title visitor friendly:
- the first time they see the title (mostly) is Search Engine Results Pages - the titles need to capture their attention and entice them to click to your site


I generally consider that the most important aspect of it. If your title tag tells people what the page is about, you can increase click throughs, and you can probably get more clicks that pages above yours in the SERP's that aren't worded as well.

For example I want to target two keywords (Auto Finance and Auto Loans), curretly I am using the style below:
"Auto Finance - Auto Loans - ABC Company"


Is the page actually about finance/loans generally? or is it more specific? If it's mroe specific, be more specific in the title tag. Make it fairly obvious what people are going to find if they click through.

I always try and put words in order of specificity. Lets say your page is about the terms and conditions of the auto finance, I'd put something like
"Terms & Conditions - Auto Finance - Company name"

The msot important thing about the content of that page is that it's the termas and conditions. Not the fact it's about an aspect of auto finance.
When someones scanning down a SERP's page, those 1st few words needs to suggest that you can supply the answer to their search query.

#5 next123

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:33 AM

Thanks Adrian for reply.

This is my internal page and is a product page. Company is providing finance and loans. Currently I am using a style as you mention in your post. My question is, if I change my TITLE keywords like "Online auto finance and loans", it will be more user friendly than using keywords. But my concern is, will search engines give the same importance to "auto finance" and "auto loans" keywords after changing the TITLE tag?

Thanks

#6 A.N.Onym

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:46 AM

What you suggested right now is more user friendly, but not ideal if you read my post thoroughly.

As Adrian mentioned, luring the visitors to click on the site is the primary benefit (and I'd say the primary goal - the whole essence of existence) of the title.

Thus, your title can be transformed into "Get a car loan through online finance to get the auto you want easily". If you peer intently, you'll see that such a title encompasses such keywords as: car, auto, loan, finance, online, easily, get. But the spice of this title is that it drags your potential visitors by the collar and drives them to your website by focusing on their needs and using the words they use.

If you don't use keywords in the title, but have them in the headings, subheadings and the main content area on the page (along with the text used in links, pointing to the page), the page can rank for the keywords. However, in your competitive area, this should be somewhat harder.

That's why I'd suggest creating separate landing pages for each of your primary keywords.
You may not clutter the main navigation with additional pages, but create a section for your site (Online Auto Finance) to contain links to pages such as 'auto loans', 'moto loan', 'truck loan', which would be subpages of the main section.

Check out larger sites for effective navigation or study main information architecture articles, depending on whichever is easier for you <_<

P.S. To answer your 'primary concern' question, the search engines will rank your pages, according to all the ranking factors there are on your page. If you change the title, but keep the keywords, your rankings will, most likely, remain the same.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 19 June 2006 - 07:49 AM.


#7 Adrian

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:58 AM

"Online auto finance and loans"


It's likely that the term "Auto loans" won't benefit quite as well from that title tag as the term "Auto finance", but there's likely to be a bias based on the main content of the page anyway.

#8 yannis

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:33 AM

Consider a question on the title it is normally more catchy! Also think of book Titles!

For example:

"Get a car loan through online finance to get the auto you want easily"


I would rather use this:

Do you want online finance for that special car? New auto Auto finance plan makes it easy ....


Yannis

#9 Ron Carnell

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 02:26 PM

I'm going to agree with others in essence, but disagree in specifics.

Yes, the Title should focus on the visitor, not just the search engine, but I doubt many visitors specifically go looking for Calls to Action or long, grammatically correct sentences in the web page Title. Just as with a book, just as with a movie, just as with a song on the radio, the web page Title should capture interest succinctly, even at times, tersely. Your call to action, I think, should be in the SERP description, not the SERP Title.

The W3C recommends that the Title should "ideally be less than 64 characters in length." Google must agree because, while they index the entire Title, the SERPs only display up to 66 characters (they break a long Title at word boundaries, so in practice their maximum display length is usually less than the limit).

In my opinion, even that can often be too long. My browsers truncate bookmarks at about 25 to 30 characters and your Title better include everything I need to know in those first 25-30 characters if you expect me to find your site in my disorganized morass of bookmarks. Additionally, when someone posts a link to the page on their site, their first inclination should be to use your page Title, and I think that's an inclination you don't want to discourage with an overly-worded, hard-to-fit-everywhere Title choice.

While visitor requirements don't always mesh well with SE requirements, in this case I believe they do.

I hate to use the term keyword density, which is too easily misunderstood, but the concept nonetheless is loosely applicable. Embed your keyword phrase in a thousand-word article and it's essentially lost, like one tree in a vast forest of trees. A visitor probably won't notice it and the search engines probably won't give it a lot of weight. Generally, I think it's much the same with using keywords in Titles. A keyword gains or loses importance relative to what surrounds it. Surrounding your keywords with a lot of verbiage lowers the impact of the keywords, both visually to the searcher and semantically to the search engines. Less is often more.

Also, it's important, I think, to realize that you've asked two very different questions here. First, you asked, "Will search engines be able to separate the Auto Finance, Auto Loans, Online Auto Finance and Online Auto Loans keywords?" The answer to that is an unequivocal Yes, at least for Yahoo and Google. The major search engines will definitely find the keyword phrases, even when separated by other words (or punctuation, or HTML tags). Indeed, doing so is a common alternative to writing copy is that is otherwise too repetitive and too obviously written for search engines.

However, you later asked, "But my concern is, will search engines give the same importance to 'auto finance' and 'auto loans' keywords after changing the TITLE tag?" The answer to that question is a much more equivocal No. The equivocation is because the words used to separate the keyword phrases matter, but generally speaking, a phase that the search engine has to "put back together" isn't going to weigh as heavily as the exact phrase. That's true in the copy and it's even more true, I think, in the Title.

Finally, I would personally never try to target a single page for two different keyword phrases, not unless both were very uncompetitive. Your phrases, of course, are extremely competitive, so I would probably create different pages for each phrase. Ammon's 3-Page Search Engine Optimisation Technique is potentially one good way to do that, though there are others as well. Failing that (and the need, for such a competitive term, to attract links means it probably will fail initially), I would pick one keyword phrase and stick to it like a zealot. If ranking well for a high-traffic keyword is tough, ranking well for TWO such keywords approaches the impossible. Pick one, use it consistently in internal links and Titles and copy, and only target other big ticket items when your first choice bears fruit.

#10 next123

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 03:27 AM

Thanks everybody for your response. This all was quite helpful for me and now I have a better vision what I have to do next. Once again thanks.



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