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The Complete Guide to Mastering Your Title Tags

The complete guide to mastering title tags

(Originally published 10/9/2012, updated 7/6/2015)

When it comes to on-page optimization, the title tag of any given web page is the single most important piece of optimizable real estate there is. Think of it as beachfront property in the Florida Keys. Unlike other areas of a website, the optimizable space in the title tag is extremely limited but has great search visibility, which means it can really pack a punch! In fact, aside from a site’s total architecture, I can’t think of any single area of a site that holds as much sway over search engine rankings as the title tag.

The title tag represents the most powerful collection of characters on the entire web page. Assuming your site architecture is in order, if you could only make one change to a page to help it rank, I’d recommend making an unoptimized title tag fully search and user-optimized. All that to say, optimizing it right is extremely advantageous!

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“SEO” Be Damned, It’s Time Give Your URLs An Upgrade

Give URLs Upgrade

Are you afraid to upgrade your URLs because of the potential loss in link value and search engine rankings? That’s understandable. Even when you use the proper 301 redirect, you can lose 5-10% of your link value every time you change a page’s URL. However, it may be worth it. By creating more usable (i.e., readable) URLs, you make URLs more relevant to both search engines and users.  That can make up for any losses in link value, and then some.

I show you how this all works in my latest SEM Post article.

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The Road To SEO Victory is Paved with Patience

The road to SEO victory

 

Everything about web marketing takes time to produce the results you want. We tell our clients that the best time to start prepping for Christmas is January! Why? because growth doesn’t happen over night, especially if you’re starting with very little site authority.

You can optimize a site in a decent amount of time, but authority takes time to build. But that’s not to say you can’t get some quick victories under your belt. A few good wins up front allows you to start seeing some of the benefits of your web marketing campaign. However, those quick wins are relatively small victories compared to what comes after a significant and sustained push.

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Avoid “SEO Creep” (And Unnessary Site Rebuilds)

Avoiding SEO Creep

Search engine optimization is awesome. But just like with everything else, sometimes you need to go back and look at what you’ve done and make sure it all still is relevant and works the way you expect. Unfortunately for many organizations, what they find is SEO that might have worked awhile ago but doesn’t now. The only way to fix it is an entire site rebuild. Granted, site rebuilds are needed every few years anyway, but sometimes “SEO creep” can force you to rebuild more often than you normally would. My latest article for Search Engine Journal tells you how you can avoid this nasty SEO creep and the site re-dos it causes.

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12 SEO Rules to Rock Your New Website Launch

It is important to complete certain SEO tasks when launching a new website.

Launching a new website is supposed to be GOOD for your business. In fact, it is almost mandatory to revamp your website every few years to keep it relevant.

Don’t let what should be a boon for your business turn into a bomb. Neglecting the 12 rules I outline in my latest SEMPost article can cause you to lose the SEO momentum you have worked so hard to build. Before your website launch (or even design), be sure to check these rules.

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Don’t Treat Your Web Marketing as a Project to be Managed

Web marketing can't be managed like other projects.

 

Let’s face it: web marketing is a HUGE animal. To get our “arms around it,” so to speak, it’s tempting to treat it like a project. You know how to handle projects. Or if you don’t, you can always hire a project manager to do it, right?

Um, not so much. We learned the hard way that web marketing can’t be treated as any other project. Learn from our experience by reading my latest SEMRush article that illustrates the four reasons web marketing CAN’T be project managed.

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Long Live Narrowly Focused Keywords

Write authoritative web pages based on narrowly focused keywords.

There is a lot of talk about how keywords are dead to today’s algorithms. I disagree. While we still want to create topically authoritative content, keywords still matter in creating content that is sufficiently focused on a narrow topical aspect.

If you are creating content about flow meters, for example, do you think that you can create a single, topically focused page that will rank highly for just about every flow meter keyword? Probably not, and you likely don’t want to try. This is where both keyword research and keyword organization comes in.

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Google Mobile Friendly Update – What to Do Now?

Get ready for the Google mobile friendly update.

Google recently announced that mobile friendliness will be included within SEO rankings starting April 21. This news comes after a study reported that 2015 mobile searches will surpass traditional desktop searches. Although ad spending on desktop has dropped, mobile SEO spending has skyrocketed by 83%. With a growing number of users surfing the Internet from their mobile devices, Google has realized that it’s essential to provide better mobile user experiences by highlighting mobile-friendly websites.

It’s the first time that Google has ever announced an update before its launch – WHY?

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Are You Chasing Algorithms or are They Chasing You?

Chasing-Algorithms

I’m not much of an algorithm chaser, but I fully understand the need to stay abreast of the algorithm changes and updates. In fact, the best SEOs are those that refuse to chase the algorithms but rather understand what it is the algorithms are looking for with today’s changing technologies.

For the most part, algorithm changes shouldn’t have a significant impact on how we do SEO. SEOs who are doing it right do more for the visitor than for the search engines.

However, because technology changes, as does how people use the web, search engines have to adapt to stay relevant. Which means that there are some factors that will be a part of tomorrow’s algorithms that we’ll need to account for.

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URL Readability Still Matters

URL readability helps search engines and visitors.Over the years, many things that were important for optimization have become less so. But even as the search engines add, remove or tweak the factors in their algorithms, even things that become less important overall are still important.

Quick example: If today the search engines looked at 10 factors for rankings and tomorrow they added 5 more, would you assume that the first ten are no longer relevant? No, of course you wouldn’t. Certainly they are less relevant, but not irrelevant. Each factor went from a relevance of 1 in 10 to 1 in 15, but that doesn’t diminish the the fact that it is still a factor.

It’s with this premise in which we look at SEO. While the search engines look at hundreds of factors, and the weight of each factor changes with each tweak, we still understand that a factor is a factor.

And URL readability is a factor. Do the search engines care about readility? No, but using relevant keywords in the URL can and does play a small role in the ability of the search engines to determine the topic of the given page.

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