home » blog

Monthly Archives

My Method for Creating Page Titles

SEO (search-engine optimatization) is the process of making your web content as "friendly" as possible to search engines so they can a) find it, and b) determine its bottom-line message, and c) deliver it to users looking for it.

I have found that one element of successful SEO is creating page titles that echo the site structure--in reverse.

So, where a breadcrumb trail on my site might look like this...
Sugarsock > Portfolio > Corporate Branding > Logo Design > XYZ Corporation

...the resulting page title would look like this:
XYZ Corporation > Logo Design > Corporate Branding > Portfolio > Sugarsock


When it is crawling your site, a search engine weighs several criteria of a page to determine its value, including:
- Page title
- Page description
- Correlation between page title and headlines found in the content
- Correlation between page description and phrases found in the content
- Specificity and singularity

When determining the "reputation" of a site's content, a search engine weighs several other criteria, including depth of information... within a section or topic, how much content has a site developed?

Have you ever seen a site that has the same page title for every page? (The page title appears in your browser bar. Maybe you haven't even noticed it before!) Generally, a site with a title like "Sugarsock > Portfolio" on every single page will not not be well represented by search engines... and when they are listed in search results, the pages might all blur together because they're not easily classified by the user.

"Specificity" and "singularity" refer to making each page as specific as possible and one-of-a-kind, so a search engine will respect each page as its own entity. Instead of having 20 pages with a title of "Logo Design > Corporate Branding > Portfolio > Sugarsock," one more level of detail (the description of the logo) helps the search engine determine that each page has unique content--and that there is a depth of information within the Logo Design section. Listing the most specific information first in the page title delivers the most important details to the search engine (and, subsequently, the user) first.

When working on your own site, don't try to "trick" the search engines into visiting your site by using "marketing strategies" like planting false keywords throughout your content or overloading the meta fields. While they might get short-term attention, deceptive practices fail in the long term and generate web "litter" for people to sift through. (No one wants that!) The best things you can do with regard to page titles is:

- Create quality content.
- Be selective with the keywords you add to your metadata.
- Create page titles that truthfully summarize the content of the pages.
- Use the same keywords throughout page title, keywords, and content.
- Decide a page-titling "formula" and stick with it throughout your site.
- Put yourself in the position of a person using a search engine. What would they be searching for to find the content on your page useful? Consider this as you create your content, create headlines, and generate page titles. Remember that the point is to deliver your content to people who are looking for it... not necessarily the entire world.