A quick tip to improve your search engine rankings

We get asked a lot about search engine positions and how to improve them but there's one quick tip that we always give.

Check that your website's page titles contain the most important search terms

There are a host of factors that are important for better search engine positions but you need to make sure that the basics are covered first. One of the most important factors that Google emphasises is the page title (also called the title tag).

What's the page title?

The page title is displayed as the first item in Google's search results. It's the link that you click on to visit a website from the search results.

On your website, the title tag is found in the page code. Most website content management systems will allow you to edit the page title for each page or post. If your website system doesn't allow this, you may need a new system!

What do I need to do?

Add the most important search terms for each page into the page title but don't go stuffing it with a lot of phrases. It's best to keep the page titles relatively short and 70 characters (letters and spaces) - or less - is what you should aim for. Each page or post should have a unique page title.

Search terms are sometime called "key phrases" or "keywords" (by Google). It's a bit confusing but just think of it as the words people use in their searches.

The top priority search term for each page should be first in the page title. Don't repeat words in the page title. You have 70 characters, there's no point wasting this by repeating words/terms - and duplicate words are not what Google wants in page titles.

The page titles should also reflect what's on the page. For example, the main heading on your page may well be the most important search term.

That brings me to another point. It should go without saying but I'll say it anyway, the page text content also needs to be written around the most important search terms. That's a subject for another day though.

So, the first step is to check that your page titles contain the most important search terms. Subsequently, other work including page content re-writing and search term or keyword research may be needed.

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A simple question that helps with spam.

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