Last Updated on December 15, 2021 by scottkandh
In this post, “Add Descriptive Keywords to your Home Page Title”, sometimes it can be hard to squeeze enough topical, keyword-rich content on to your homepage when your primary concern is making a good first impression. If this is the case, or if your Website Relevancy scores need improvement, adding descriptive keywords to your website title can be a great improvement. In this post, I’ll show you how to make good use of some of the most valuable real estate on your entire website: the title tag on your home page.
Add Descriptive Keywords to your Home Page Title
Many companies simply use their brand name as the title of their home page. If your brand is well-known like Google or Apple, this can be enough, but it’s certainly not optimal from an SEO perspective.
Sites that rely upon SEO for a significant portion of their traffic know that including keywords in their homepage title is essential.
For example, even though Amazon.com is an equally well-known brand, they use the title “Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & More”. Sure enough, Amazon ranks well in Google for many of those keywords, including “online shopping”, “electronics”, and even “computers”. Arguably, Apple.com would be a better result for computers than Amazon.com, but due to the lack of keywords in their page title and home page content, Amazon ranks higher.
Resist the temptation to simply list a long string of comma separated keywords as your page title. The result looks spammy to both search engines and users, and even if it doesn’t lead to a search engine penalty, it’s unlikely to attract a lot of clicks from users.
Fortunately, there’s a happy middle ground between using only your brand name and simply listing a long string of keywords.
Best practice is to put your brand name at the beginning or end of the title, and include a keyword-rich but meaningful tagline.
For example, clothing retailer Gap uses “Shop clothes for women, men, maternity, baby, and kids | Gap”. It’s meaningful enough to humans, but still manages to contain many keywords, like “maternity clothes”, “clothes for men”, and even “shop for clothes”. For maximum SEO impact, you might not want to mix up the order of keywords like Gap does, but search engines are smart enough to figure out that the phrases are related even if they’re out of order.
Keep in mind that your website title is not just something that appears at the top of the browser window. It also will be featured in many listings of your website, including search engine results listings. It’s not enough to be ranked highly by the search engines — you want searchers to actually click through on your website listing.
Having a particularly intriguing website title can help you attract more clicks with a #6 ranking than a boring title on a #4 ranking. For example, which are you most likely to click on:
Alphabetical Listing of Wine Tasting / Wineries in Napa Valley or Top 5 Best Wineries in Napa Valley – Napa
Curiosity to find out who was named to “Top 10” or “Best of” lists drives a lot of clicks, while an “alphabetical listing” sounds downright yawn-inducing. The true experts at creating enticing headlines are advertising copywriters, who have devoted years of study to capturing the attention of distracted readers. Check out Copyblogger’s guide to “magnetic headlines” for some great guidelines.
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