Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good Page Titles for SEO

Having a good page title might just be the most important thing to remember when adding new content to your website.

The page title of a web page is located within the title tag in the head section of any HTML document. The HTML code for the title of this blog post should read "Good Page Titles for SEO". Web browsers display that page title at the very top of the browser window, and Windows displays that title in its taskbar.

However, this is not primarily why it is important. Putting a good page title is important because it tells search engines like Google and Yahoo! what your web page is primarily about. Forgetting to specify the page title is like telling Google that the content of this page is of no significance, so it does not deserve a title. However, it's not only crucial for your SEO strategy that you pick a page title, you must pick a good one.

What is a good page title?

A good page title is relevant to the content of the page, and must describe that content accurately. It includes useful keywords, and excludes words that are unnecessary. Good page titles are kept at short to medium length, for example 2-6 words.

It is also important to have unique titles for every page on your website. If you have a collection of articles on your blog, they all deserve a unique page title that precisely describes the focus of the article.

Let's look at some examples now.

"Jake's Blog of the Great and Important People of the History of the United States of America" is not a good title. Here is what's wrong with it:
  • too long
  • it includes lots of unnecessary words like: of, the, and
  • it includes words many words that are not powerful as keywords: Jake, blog, great, important
How could you improve that title?
  • "Great people in American history"
  • "Famous figures in US history"
  • "Biographies of American Heroes"
What about this one:
"Swiftwaters Edge Tours: Sea Kayaking / Canoeing / Boating / Water Sports adventures in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada."

This title is good and bad, so it can certainly be improved. Being keyword-packed without being repetitive shows good intention, but it looses its effectiveness because the title is simply too long.
This title would mainly benefit from the scratching of the less important keywords in order to give primary focus to the most important keywords. When deciding if Sea Kayaking is more important than canoeing, remember that the page title should also be accurate. Thus, if most of the offered Swiftwaters Edge tours are Sea Kayaking based, scratch canoeing.

Here are some better ideas:
  • "Sea Kayaking in Cape Breton NS"
  • "Swiftwaters Edge Tours: Sea Kayaking Canada"
  • "Canoeing & Sea Kayaking Tours - Swiftwaters, Sydney NS"


  1. This advice for search engine optimization of a web page is really helpful. High profile key words in the web page URL, echoed in the page title tag gives high uptake. If that is complimented by good keyword use in articles further describing page content, a page should appear very easily in a related search. If the URL does not contain "key words" itself, then it would seem that these supporting articles would be even more important...

  2. Well-written, Mike. Reading this blog post definitely opens up many more questions that I hope you'll blog about in future, like - what IS Search Engine Optimization? And, can you explain in layman's terms?

    I really like your examples - makes it really easy to understand. Way to go!

  3. Yes.... what is SEO? To be or not to be...

  4. Interesting to see this same question come up - The question "What is SEO? - about the title on this blog - "Good Pages for SEO". It is very interesting as the answer to it was the purpose for composing the online learning/training/information web page entitled http://!
    That "SEO" could be the abbreviation for "Search Engine Optimization" is not an automatic conclusion for the beginning learner; nor is the meaning of "Optimization" - i.e. "improved search engine rankings" - so that your site will come up quickly at the top of a Google search and be search-engine friendly.
    Does state that clearly right up front at the very beginning of the opening page? Not quite - but it does deal very well with it under the side link "Web Optimization" ......