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Web Podcast - Episode 37: Writing Good Titles For Your Website

In this episode Matt talks about how you can write good quality titles on your website, that are both nice to read by your customers and engaging, but also readable by search engines for SEO.

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Hey everyone, welcome to the RAZOR Web Design Wire Podcast and this is Episode 37 today, and we are talking about using good titles on your website.

So obviously with a website; it needs to be readable by two people or two things I should say, 'A' a person and 'B' Google search engines or search engines in general whether it be Bing or Google or Yahoo, whatever you fancy. So at the end of the day what we have to do is have really good titles on our pages and when I say titles, I mean the big headlines that come up the top and tell you or the search engine what that page is about so it might be your Homepage, it might be your About Us page, it might be your products page, it might your testimonials page - All those pages need a really good title on them, so that's what we're going to talk about today guys.

So when you're setting up like a homepage for example; your not going to call your homepage (really) 'homepage'. In the menu we'll call it homepage but everywhere else; we're not going to have a big title saying homepage because people don't care that it's the homepage, they know it's the homepage when they click homepage so you don't need to say homepage. Instead, you're better to say something that's introducing your site, giving people an introduction; 'This is the homepage, Here's is the summary of my business'... 'Here's some services we do briefly'... 'Here's a bit of info about me'... 'Here's a testimonial to help me look incredible'. That's what we're trying to put in there, so we do definitely need a title tag, we do definitely need a title and a headline but it doesn't need to be 'Homepage', it can be something different. Now we don't want it to be 'Welcome' either, we don't want it to be 'Welcome to Acme Plumbing Website' or something you would've done in 1999. We're getting away from that 'Welcome to my website' sort of scenario and moving to something that's more orientated (again) around the search engine, around the keywords. So if I'm a plumber; I'm Acme Plumbers, instead of saying 'Welcome to Acme Plumbers', I'm gonna say something more like; 'Auckland Residential Plumbing Expects - Acme Plumbers' or maybe 'Residential Plumbing Expects - Need Plumbers? - Acme Plumbers'. Now, that's more like a title tag that comes up in Google searches, so if you Google something you'll see the big blue title, that's sort of like a title tag I've just spat out there. So you probably wouldn't have Acme Plumbers in that first headline on your actual webpage itself but you would have something; as I said ' Auckland Residential Plumbing Expects' or 'Los Angeles Residential Plumbing Expects' or 'London Residential Plumbing Expects', that's your main headline. Because that is what people are searching for, they're not searching for Acme Plumbers, and if they're searching for Acme Plumbers or they're searching for your business - 9/10 they're gonna find you anyway.

So instead, let's cater for the people that don't know about your business and are searching the service you offer. And let's put those searched key phrases into our title without making it look tacky or crappy; 'London Residential Plumbing Experts' is good; people aren't necessarily gonna search 'Experts', they might just search 'London Plumbing', 'Auckland Plumbing'. But, we just make it a little more appealing and sales orientated by putting experts so people know that we are the expert plumbers.

Now, so that's basically using a key phrase that's the main headline, now we're gonna have a secondary heading below that, and that's like our little subtitle. And in there you could say 'Welcome' at that point because our main title tag is the bulk of what Google is looking at; the main heading one, the main heading on your page (the number one heading) is really what takes the search engine and really gives them what they need to know, it's really that main heading tag. So we could if we really wanted to have 'Welcome' in the next line, but instead, you could again develop further on the above headline and still mention the companies name. So it could be 'Need Plumbers? Acme Plumbers is Auckland's Number 1 Plumbing Firm'... 'Acme Plumbers is London's Number 1...' you get the idea. So, what we're doing in that secondary title tag is we're now actually telling people what the company name is but we're asking them that rhetorical question; sort of "Do you need a plumber?", " We are Number 1 Plumbing Firm." "We are Auckland's Number 1 Plumbing". So again, if someone searches 'Auckland Plumbing', we again got those words in there; 'Auckland Plumbing', 'Auckland Plumbing Firm' - the first heading remember 'Auckland Plumbing Experts', ' Auckland Residential Plumbing'. We're trying to really use that keyword without stuffing it, but we're trying to use those keywords within our content so that it reads really nicely to the user, but it's also reading nicely to the Google Search engines. You could have just something that says - you could have it real messy and just have only for search engines reasons, 'Auckland Plumbing', and the second heading 'Plumbing in Auckland'. But that's not really ideal, and at the end of the day Google isn't really fussed on how many times you say this word of that word; now, it's more really about content and lots of other bits and pieces obviously that I won't get into in this episode.

So yeah, you guys need to make sure that you have good title tags but don't, whatever you do, use 'Welcome to *My Company', 'Welcome to Acme Plumbing' on your homepage main title, use something that uses the words that people will search for for your business. If you're a Caterer you'll have; 'Auckland Catering Expects', your secondary heading might be; 'Welcome to Jessie's Catering Services - Weddings, Events and Custom Catering Services'. That's what you've gotta use so if someone does search 'Wedding Catering Auckland', you've got that in your title tags, you've got that in your heading.

Now, if you're an online store, so let's say you're a retailer; when we're doing retail and we're using title tags on our homepage, let's pick and include the ranges of products that are most popular within our titles. So let's say you sell phone cases for smart phones and you sell earbuds and screen protectors and all that sort of stuff; so 'ABC Phones Supplies Company' - that's a real original name, anyway ABC Phones Supplies Company; we're not gonna have our title as, 'Welcome to ABC Phones Supplies Company', (abit of a tongue twister that one), we're gonna have our main categories; 'Phone Cases and Screen Protectors - Buy Online' or sorry, no, actually; 'Buy Screen Protectors...' or 'Buy Phone Cases and Screen Protectors Online'. That's sort of your main heading tag, and then your secondary heading could be, 'Free Shipping New Zealand Wide...' or Lowest Prices Free Shipping New Zealand Wide, Welcome to ABC Phones Supplies', something along those lines; again, those little sales are phrases are in there to get people's attention - you know, Lowest Prices and also Free Shipping New Zealand Wide or Free Shipping US Wide, wherever you are. So when you're selling in a shop you want to promote those categories, all those brands as such, so if you're selling a well-known brand in amongst a whole lot of brands that people don't really know that well, you're gonna be better off to put that brand's name in within your titles somewhere rather than the other brands that no one knows about, because people are gonna more likely search that brand, if you get my drift. We're trying to get stuff in there, in those titles that read nicely to the user but are also searched.

Anyway guys, when you're doing your title tags, you're obviously gonna have a Meta title as well, so those are basically what I was referring to at the start. You go and search something on Google and you see that blue title for each search result, that's the title that pulls from your website's title tag in most instances unless it's badly formatted. So when you're writing a title tag that comes up in the Google results it can pretty much be the same, but since you can put up to sixty characters generally in it; I'd make it abit longer - I'd make it abit longer than just 'Auckland Residential Plumbing Expects, I'd have 'Auckland Residential Plumbing Expects - Acme Plumbing - Number 1 Plumbing Firm In Auckland', something like that. What you can do is go to a website called 'moz.com' so M O Z.com and they've got a title tag tool - 'title tag tool', another tongue twister. Go to their website and you can put title tags in and it'll tell you if they're a good length or not, so you can (say) see "Oh, this is actually too long, I need to shorten it up a bit." or "It's too short, I can utilize abit more of the room.", so don't fussed on making it sixty characters, just try to keep under it. So that website guys, you can go there and you can actually type in your tags and it'll tell you if it's a good size for Google Searches, so that website is 'moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag' and press ENTER, if you Google it you'll probably find it.

So guys, those are title tags, Episode 37; I hope you found that helpful, it's very important each page has a good set of Meta titles as well as heading and heading two titles, so hope that helps, hope you enjoyed this episode and that's Matt from the RAZOR Web Design Wire Podcast. Thanks.