Archive for July, 2009

HTML Title Tags and SEO

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 by

There are indicators on your page that a search engine looks for when it determines relevancy. The HTML title tag is one of these. If you look at your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.), the text you see at the top of the window is the title tag text. If you’re looking at your HTML code, the title tag is up near the top in the “head” area.

The search engines heavily weight your title tag when they determines relevancy. The theory is that if your webpage is about three-pronged widgets, you’ll probably include “three-pronged widgets” in your title tag. Think of the title tag as something like the title of a paper you write for school. If you’re writing a paper on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, you wouldn’t write “America’s Greatest Hot Dog Eating Contest” as the title, would you? No. Why not? That’s not what your paper is about. Likewise, good title tags will accurately describe the web page.

The title tag is also what people see in the search engine results. A good title tag improves what’s called the click-through rate (CTR). CTR is the percentage of people who click on your link after they see it. Which page would you most likely click on: “Index of Three-Pronged Widgets” or “Three-Pronged Widgets Directory: Find Your Widgets Fast!”? Probably the second one. It is more compelling. It holds out a benefit to the searcher.

Did you notice that I put the words “Three-Pronged Widgets” first in the HTML title tag? It’s best to put your keywords right at the front. This is because search engines give more weight to words in the beginning of the title tag than words in the middle or end. The result? More traffic to your website!

One more thing. Come up with some unique content for each title. You don’t want a lot of duplicates on your website.

Want more information on writing good, compelling HTML title tags? Head on over to the Search Engine Workshops and read about title triggers.

Unique Web Content Is Important For SEO

Monday, July 20th, 2009 by

Good search-engine optimized content is unique web content. Awhile ago, I wrote about what makes a good website. This is partially a follow-up to that, with special consideration to the SEO value of writing articles that are different from anything else on the Internet.

Search engines follow links around the Web to find new pages. When a search engine finds a page, it compares that page to the other pages it has indexed. Why?

It is the search engine’s job to provide people with the most relevant results when they perform a search. There is no need to show two pages with nearly identical content in the search results. Think of it from the searcher’s perspective. Do you really want 5 out of the top 10 Google results to be the same content? Of course not. You’d get tired of clicking from one result to the next just to see the same stuff. Search engines do everything they can to keep that from happening.

If the wording on your page is nearly identical to someone else’s page, the search engine will have to decide which one to show when someone searches. It will probably not show both. Yes, I know—there are exceptions. But you risk keeping your page out of the search engines if your content is too close to someone else’s.

So, how do you come up with some ideas to write some unique pages? Here are some tips:

Here are ten more ideas for website content to get you going.

Here are some tools to measure the uniqueness of your page:

  • Similar Page Checker – compare the content on two pages. Just enter the URLs.
  • Duplicate Content Analysis – Like the Similar Page Checker, but a bit more advanced. Enter up to 10 URLs and check how unique the content is.
  • Yahoo! Uniqueness Test – Paste some text in a box and compare it with pages indexed in the Yahoo! search engine. This tool takes awhile to run.
  • Copyscape – See if anyone is plagiarizing your articles.

Visit the Idea Motivator blog for more ideas on how to write unique content for your website.

Spend the extra time to make sure your website articles are different from anyone else’s. The search engines will reward you.