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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

Writing effective title tags


From:

Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

with Jill Whalen

Video: Writing effective title tags

Now that we have the static introductory content on our Classic Book Reviews page, it's time to create its title tag. To do this, let's go back to our document where we wrote the content and still have the keyword phrases at the top. You want to be able to see the page content as well the keyword phrases that you've optimized it for when creating your title tags whenever possible. We want to try to string together just 10-12 words using our most important keyword phrases but while also having it make sense to anyone who will see it as a clickable link in the search engine results page.
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      29s
  2. 6m 20s
    1. Understanding how search engines work
      3m 50s
    2. What is SEO?
      2m 30s
  3. 25m 3s
    1. Introducing keyword phrases
      1m 21s
    2. The keyword research process
      4m 42s
    3. Performing keyword research
      4m 43s
    4. Winnowing out ineffective keyword phrases
      1m 58s
    5. Performing additional keyword research
      2m 44s
    6. Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases
      5m 42s
    7. Finding keyword gems
      3m 53s
  4. 12m 49s
    1. What site architecture means to SEO
      2m 1s
    2. Brainstorming main categories and subcategories for the web site
      4m 4s
    3. Creating a keyword phrase-to-page map
      3m 33s
    4. Using keywords in domain names and URLs
      3m 11s
  5. 18m 10s
    1. SEO in HTML tags
      1m 57s
    2. Title tags
      1m 56s
    3. Meta descriptions
      1m 33s
    4. Header tags
      1m 12s
    5. Anchor text
      1m 43s
    6. Alt tags
      1m 36s
    7. Writing effective title tags
      4m 42s
    8. Writing meta-description tags
      3m 31s
  6. 11m 44s
    1. What good content is and why it's needed
      1m 27s
    2. The different types of content pages
      3m 47s
    3. Using keywords in existing content
      1m 53s
    4. Writing new content for users and search engines
      4m 37s
  7. 16m 37s
    1. Understanding link popularity and why it's important
      2m 43s
    2. Introducing Google's PageRank
      2m 38s
    3. Knowing the best way to get links
      3m 12s
    4. Content creation and promotion as "link bait"
      3m 34s
    5. Real-world link bait ideas
      4m 30s
  8. 12m 7s
    1. Introducing social media marketing
      4m 3s
    2. Getting started with social media marketing
      2m 25s
    3. Participating in social media communities
      5m 39s
  9. 26m 31s
    1. Why rankings are a poor measure of success
      3m 13s
    2. Determining conversions and setting up goals in Google Analytics
      5m 37s
    3. Measuring search engine traffic
      11m 5s
    4. Measuring success beyond the search engines
      6m 36s
  10. 9m 19s
    1. Reviewing top techniques for SEO success
      1m 58s
    2. Additional resources
      4m 19s
    3. The future of SEO
      3m 2s

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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)
2h 20m Beginner Mar 31, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started, author Jill Whalen explains the importance of site rankings and why search engine optimization is necessary for increasing web site traffic. The course covers choosing the best keywords, performing keyword research, augmenting keywords with search-friendly site architecture, creating social media networking strategies, and measuring the success of an SEO campaign.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how search engines work
  • Researching and selecting keywords
  • Adding keywords to web pages, URLs, and HTML markup
  • Writing web page content based on selected keywords
  • Link building
  • Social media marketing without spamming
  • Setting up Google Analytics to track conversions
  • Measuring search engine traffic
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Web SEO
Author:
Jill Whalen

Writing effective title tags

Now that we have the static introductory content on our Classic Book Reviews page, it's time to create its title tag. To do this, let's go back to our document where we wrote the content and still have the keyword phrases at the top. You want to be able to see the page content as well the keyword phrases that you've optimized it for when creating your title tags whenever possible. We want to try to string together just 10-12 words using our most important keyword phrases but while also having it make sense to anyone who will see it as a clickable link in the search engine results page.

Let's start out by just putting our three major phrases in. We'll start with Great Classic Books to Read, which combines two of our phrases just like we did within the copy. Learning to combine words this way is especially handy for title tags since our space is so limited. So let's see. We also have must read classic books. Let's add a hyphen, which is ignored and treated as a space by the search engines, and then add Must Read Classic Books. You'll notice I'm typing these in with initial caps.

Well it doesn't matter to search engines if you use caps or not, as they are not case-sensitive, it typically looks better to have your titles use initial caps, just like any kind of title uses. Okay, so we have one, two, three, nine words here and it looks pretty repetitive with Classic, Read, and Books all being used twice. Let's see if we can figure out a way to use those phrases, but more succinctly. Since Classic Books is contained within both phrases, let's see what happens if we move the Must Read to the front and remove the last instance of Classic Books altogether.

So we have Must Read Great Classic Books. Since Classic Books is contained within both phrases, let's see what happens if we move the Must Read to the front and remove the last instance of Classic Books to read altogether. So we have Must Read Great Classic Books. It's not quite using our exact phrases. That might be okay but let's see what else we might try. How about this? Great Classic Books to Read - Popular Classic Books.

Again okay but now we're not making use of the second-most entirely searched phrase of Must Read Classic Books. Let's try something different. Just like hyphens, search engines ignore most punctuation such as periods, commas, and exclamation points. So you can sometimes use those to your advantage. How about this? Must Read! Classic Books to Read. That might be a good start. It gives us the Must Read Classic Books phrase plus the Classic Books to Read phrase all in just six words.

So we have room for at least another phrase. Maybe we can do some more combining. Let's add a hyphen. As an aside, I prefer hyphens instead of commas in titles. It doesn't matter to the search engines but it just looks better to me. You can also make good use of colons in some title tags as those are also ignored. So let's see. We have Popular Classic Books and Recommended Classic Books still left to use. Let's try to combine them into Popular and Recommended Classic Books.

So now we have Must Read! Classic Books to Read - Popular and Recommended Classic Books. While this isn't using both exact phrases, it's using Recommended Classic Books and since there are only eight other pages out there which have that exact phrase in their title tag, we may stand a good chance of ranking for that phrase if we use that one in an exact manner. For the popular one, while it's not exact, it still in close proximity to two uses of the words Classic Books, where it may help by just being there.

I think we're good to go! Let's see what it looks like on the website. So now we can see our title tag here at the top of our browser. Must Read! Classic Books to Read - Popular and Recommended Classic Books, and then the My Kindle Reviews is just added automatically by our template, which is fine. So just remember that your title tags don't have to be set in stone. You can always tweak them later if they don't seem to be working for you. But I usually suggest giving them at least a month or two to really get a feel for how they're working.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010).


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Q: In the “Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases” tutorial in the SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started course, the author details the use of the “allintitle” advanced search operator in Google.  While the operator works in the example given in the tutorial, Google will not allow usage of the “allintitle” operator for more than two keywords at a time.  Is there any workaround to this problem?
A: Google’s policy on the “allintitle” operator has become a major problem in trying to do some competitive keyword research. There is a workaround, although it makes searching slower. Follow these steps:
1) Click on Google's Advanced Search link, then add the desired keyword phrase to the Find web pages that have... "this exact wording or phrase." Then click the "+Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more" link.
2) In the "Where your keywords show up:" dropdown menu, change "anywhere on page" to "in the title of the page."
This should allow the use of the “allintitle” search without Google thinking the user is a robot. To do the next one more quickly, just hit the back button of the browser and change to the next keyword phrase.


Q: Allintitle searches on Google seem to yield wildly inconsistent results. How does the author handle such inconsistent data when looking for good keywords? Are these results a recent phenomenon? Can can allintitle searches still be used reliably?
A: Unfortunately, Google has recently made it difficult to do the allintitle searches. It is still useful to a certain extent, but only because there currently isn’t anything better out there to judge the competition of a site.
Q: As a result of Google changing the "select previous interface" function, the methods in used for the Keyword Tool in the tutorials no longer work. Is there a method that can be used with the new keyword search tool that will produce the same results as shown in the training course?
A: Unfortunately, Google switched to the new Keyword Tool and also removed many keywords that aren't "commercially viable" from the database, so the methods in this title will not work exactly as described. You can still change from broad match to exact, but it is, unfortunately, harder to find. Right now, there does not appear to be a more effective way to do keyword research. Unfortunately, the other vendors that provide keyword research tools for a monthly fee are no better than Google's free one. The best advice for now would be to not focus too much on the keywords and just pick those that seem to be the most relevant for your site.
Q: Google AdWords looks different on my Mac than it does in these tutorials. Can you help me find the option for "How would you like to generate keyword ideas" (either  "descriptive words or phrases" vs. "website content") that you show in the video on using the Keyword Tool?
A: The Keyword Tool has changed slightly in appearance since this course was published, but the functionality is essentially the same. Under the "Find keywords, Based on one or more of the following", you can choose to enter keywords, have them restricted to suggestions based on a certain website, or even based on a category, such as Apparel. You can use one or more of these options.
Q: Where can I learn more about internet marketing?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting internet marketing on lynda.com.
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