The Power of Title Tags – Onsite SEO Tips

Bart Simpson Learns About Title Tags

In this new and exciting series of onsite SEO tips we are going to educate wannabe SEO rock stars on how Google weigh the various onsite ranking factors in a short and easy to digest manner.

If you are an intermediate SEO specialist don’t worry, we will be providing you with hints and tips on the more technical side of SEO at a later date set in the not too distant future. For now we are going to focus on helping the new generation.

Why Google?

The reason we are focusing on Google and not Bing and Yahoo is simple, Google control the lion’s search market share in all English speaking countries, until that changes any search engine marketer worth their salt will be focusing on ranking websites in Google.

Ranking Signals

It’s well documented in the industry Google have over 200 ranking signals in their algorithm. In my opinion it must be climbing closer to the 300 mark as Google add more weight to social signals and schema formats. Anyhow, that hypothesis can wait for another day.

The Title Tag

Title tags are one of the 200+ ranking signals in Google’s algorithm and is the single most important piece of ‘on page’ information on a page, providing all the other elements are in place.

What the title tag does and should do

Your title tag will define to users, and search engines, what the page will talk about. It provides the link within search engines to pages. As such it must relate to the appropriate keywords and also help to inform readers of what the page contains.

Title tag length

Google displays title tags in their search engine results pages and should be formatted to fit. If your title tag is too long Google will truncate it. Google determines the length of title tags by pixels but you don’t need to worry about that, as a rule of thumb keep your title tags under 70 characters and you should be fine.

Keywords in title tags

Search engines also consider the title tag element to be the most important place to identify keywords. Rankings are heavily influenced by keyword usage in the title tag.

Google also passes more weight to keywords placed at the beginning of title tags. Best practice is to place one or two generic keyword phrases followed by your brand or website name.

Google best handles segmenting keyword phrases present in title tags by use of a pipe or a hyphen between keywords.

How a title tag should look

Good title tag example
As you can see the title tag above is short sweet and handsome and gives a clear indication to Google and users what the content will be about should they decide to click through to the page via search results.

How a title tag should not looktitle tag note

Poor title tag example
The example above amuses me. The chap who wrote the article titled ‘Title Tag Best Practices‘ fails to optimise his own title tag. He even mentions in his article:

Length: Title tags should be a maximum of 70 characters long, including spaces.

Yet his own title tag is 140 characters in length???

This is definitely a good example of what not to do.

Keynotes

  • Keep tag under 70 characters in length
  • Place important traffic driving keywords to beginning of tag
  • Keep keyword usage to two keyword phrases
  • Place brand or website name to the end of title tag
  • Segment keyword phrases by pipe or hyphen

So that’s it ladies, gentleman and future SEO rock stars. Keep your title tags short, crisp and lean and your title tags will be picked up with enthusiasm by the Google gods.

Should you need further assistance in optimisation title tags or have questions don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment below.

How To Stay On Top Of Social Media – Part 2

Twitter

We have covered how you can use Facebook to your advantage and we can now have a look at another huge social media platform that has over 500 million registered users, Twitter.

With many celebrity users utilising this platform it gives you the opportunity to post up to 140 characters in short messages know as Tweets. Sharing pictures and links is also possible and it has been used as a successful marketing tool as well as a great way of interacting with customers.

The most popular users have a staggering following with Justin Bieber currently being the most followed with well over 39 million, closely followed by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. You might be thinking that Twitter is just a domain for Pop stars and their fans looking at this but both Barack Obama (30+ million) and The Pope (2.5+ million) hold official accounts that have regular posts on their behalf.

Many businesses are now realising the potential of this and the likes of McDonalds and Nike have over 1 million followers on their main pages with several other pages falling under their umbrella too. Companies such as O2 now even offer customer service and advice over twitter.

We are going to look at how Twitter can benefit you and your business and the key points to ensure you maximise the impact of your Tweets.

In order to reach as much of your potential audience as possible timing your Tweets is essential. There are several tools available for you to look over the analytics and reaction to your Tweets. From this you can see the patterns of your followers and plan a schedule. Again, there are many tools at your disposal to help with this. You can set up programmes to post on your behalf so you know the messages you want to send will get out at the right times regardless of how busy you are or if you have access to a computer at these times.

Producing good and interesting content that appeals to your market will make followers more likely to ‘Retweet’ your post. This then allows everyone following them to see your original post, a great way of spreading your message and attracting new followers.

As always with any form of social media, interaction is key to your success. If people have taken the time to get in contact with you or respond to your post, replying is not only polite but will make them feel engaged and have a closer identity with your brand.

Having links to your social media accounts on your website is a great way of showing that you are well connected and open to interaction. Making good use of these platforms will help you establish your brand and become more identifiable in the market place so taking the time to do it right can be extremely beneficial.

 

International Longtail Multilanguage Optimisation for the Hotel Industry

Most Hotel groups and owners around the world are most likely sitting back accepting that the search engine marketing that has been done up until now is the best they are going to get.
Most swap digital marketing agencies every 18 months only to hear the same strategy, which this time round brings a slight increase in traffic, but nothing new, nothing that makes the Hotel a game changer in the industry, nothing that changes the way the Hotel, as business, starts to think different as a business.

With a little research we found out that 3 of the most competitive key phrases in the Hotel industry are open for optimisation. If you operated a hotel in London, New York or Barcelona and your SEO agency indicated that you could achieve first place in Google.co.uk for these terms you’d get excited, however truth is, this is a massive task.

The keyphrase’s we are looking at are:

Cheap Hotel London
Cheap Hotel New York
Cheap Hotel Barcelona

These 3 keywords in the UK in English are searched 130,000 times per month, that’s a lot of business, however it’s a very competitive market. With most sites on the first results page of Google for these terms having link profiles on average of over 3,000 links this is a hard market to break in to and will take years rather than months to achieve.

What if you could get your business placed in a market which is one third the size of the UK market without the competitiveness?
That would make sense, what if there were 8 markets that totalled 110,000 searched per month for the same terms, that would make even more sense and you’d be thinking why you haven’t already done this.

The 8 markets that provide over 110,000 searches for these 3 keywords are:

France
Spain
Germany
Sweden
Denmark
Portugal
Austria
Belgium

As an example the 3 keywords converted into French would provide 35,000 searches per month with a very low competitiveness with most sites on the first results page of Google having links profiles with less than 200 links.

So by looking at long tail marketing, mixed with Multilanguage SEO there are lots of untapped opportunities for Hotels companies around the world.

The BoydDigital Blog is now available in 20 Languages

On my last blog post I briefly tested if a blog could be automatically converted into another language and after some trial and error I’m now happy to say that the BoydDigital blog is now on offer in 20 languages.

Why not use the Google Translate plugin?

The easiest option for offering your blog in another language was to install the Google Translate plugin which lets users convert the content once they have arrived at your website, what this doesn’t do is pre-convert your content into the other language so that will be available to be indexed in native language versions of Google.  By converting the BoydDigital blog into actual native language blog posts it allows Google to index the pre-translated content, this then makes the BoydDigital blog accessible in over 60 countries and will also allow the blog to be indexed in different country based search engines such as Chinese Baidu, Naver in South Korea and Yandex in Russia to mention a few.

BoydDigital-Korean2

Benefits of Foreign Language Internet Marketing

With Google and other search engines now looking for good content that benefits the user the opportunity to expand to new countries and penetrate further into markets that are already partially open to English seem an obvious point.

While the English language is the single most used language on-line it is still only representing over 25% of the total usage. Research studies have shown that multilingual users trust websites more that offer the content in their native language, especially in the on-line travel and e-commerce industries.

If you want to know more about what BoydDigital can do to expand your online business into other languages, why not give me a phone on +44 (0) 141 427 9337.