SEO Service – Title Tag In-Depth Analysis

SEO Service – Title Tag In-Depth Analysis

What Is a Title Tag?

The title tag has been – and probably will always be – one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.

In fact, fixing just the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and appreciable differences to your rankings. And because the words in the title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP), changing them may result in more clickthroughs.

Search Engines and Title Tags

Title tags are definitely one of the "big three" as far as the algorithmic weight given to them by search engines; they are equally as important as your visible text copy and the links pointing to your pages – perhaps even more so. Yet, even though this has been common knowledge among SEO professionals for at least 10 years, it is often overlooked by webmasters and others attempting to optimize their websites for targeted search engine traffic.

Do Company Names Belong in the Title Tag?

The answer is a resounding YES! I've found that it's fine to place your company name in the title, and even to place it at the beginning of the tag! In fact, if your company is already a well-known brand, I'd say it's essential. Even if you're not a well-known brand yet, chances are you'd like to be, right? The title tag gives you a great chance to further this cause.

This doesn't mean that you should put *just* your company name in the title tag. Even the best-known brands will benefit from a few good descriptive phrases added, because they will enhance your brand as well as your search engine traffic. The people who already know your company and seek it out by name will be able to find you in the engines, and so will those who haven't heard of you but seek the products or services you sell.

Title Tags Should Contain Specific Keyword Phrases

For example, if your company is "VDH Designs" a web design and seo company, you would want your company's site to appear in the search engine results for searches on phrases such as "web design and seo" and "SEO service." (Be sure to do your keyword research to find the best phrases!) If you prefer to work with people locally in your area, you'd need to be even more specific by adding geographical modifiers to your title tags, such as "seo service australia."

Top Positions in the Web's Largest Article Directory

Using our Australia SEO example, you might create a title tag like this one:

VDHdesigns SEO Service Australia

or you might try:

VDHdesigns – Australia SEO Service

However, there's more than enough space in the title tag to include both of these important keyword phrases. I find that using 10 to 12 words in my title tags works great.

One way to include two keyphrases would be like this:

VDHdesigns – Australia SEO Service- SEO Service in Australia

I've always liked the method of separating phrases with a hyphen; however, in today's competitive marketplace, how your listing appears in the SERPs is a crucial aspect of your SEO campaign. After all, if you have high search engine rankings but your targeted buyers aren't clicking through, it won't do you much good.

The idea is to write compelling titles as opposed to simply factual ones, when you can. But it also depends on the page, the type of business, the targeted keyword phrases, and many other factors. There's nothing wrong with the title tag in my above example. If you were looking for an seo service in Australia and saw that listing at Google, you'd probably click it. (Note: Don't worry if some of your visible title tag info gets cut off when the search engines display your page's info; they are still indexing all the words contained within it.)
Still, you could make it a readable sentence like this:

VDHdesigns SEO Service in Australia

In the end, it's really a personal preference.

Don't make yourself crazy trying to create the perfect title tag, because there's just no such thing. Most likely, either of my examples would work fine. The best thing to do is to test different ones and see which bring the most traffic to your website. You might very well find that the second version doesn't rank as well, but gets clicked on more, effectively making up the difference.

Use Your Visible Text Copy as Your Guide

I prefer to create my title tags *after* the copy on the page has been written and optimized. I need to see how the copywriter integrated the keyword phrases into the content to know where to begin. If you've done a good job with your writing (or better yet, hired a professional SEO copywriter), you should find all the information you need right there on your page. Simply choose the most relevant keyword phrases that the copy was based on, and write a compelling title tag accordingly. If you can't seem to get a handle on the most important phrases for any given page, you probably need to rewrite the page content.

I recommend that you *don't* use an exact sentence pulled from your copy as your title tag. And don't use the exact wording that's in your top headline. It's much better to have a unique sentence or a compelling string of words in your title tag.

You'll want to watch out for certain website content management systems (CMS) and blog software that automatically generate the title tag from information you provided elsewhere. Some, in fact, default to the same exact title tag on every page, which is the best way to kill your search engine leads! The good news is that most of today's CMS's and blog software have workarounds so that you can customize your title tags fairly easily. If yours doesn't, or your developer claims they can't do this, then you'll want to find a new developer or CMS as soon as possible!

Web Optimization - Four Common Problems That Stop Your Success

Anyone interested in online marketing knows that web optimization is critical to a successful business. Web optimization comprises a number of different ideas, including search engine optimization, website analytics, and design factors, among many others.

However, optimization is more than just a standard set of practices. As every good interactive marketing agency knows, it is different for each business, and within each industry.

Those differences are one of the primary aspects that make 'do-it-yourself' optimization without an interactive marketing agency such a risky prospect. An interactive marketing agency keeps abreast of the ever-changing landscape in order to implement best practices to achieve good positioning and visibility for a website -- they are also able to conduct in-depth research to understand what your competition is doing as well.

If you are learning from scratch and implementing as you go, you can be put at a disadvantage compared to competitors who hire professionals.

In this article, we'll walk through some of the most common misconceptions about optimization. We'll also look at what your company can do to see real optimization success.

Problem 1: Seeing Optimization as a Project With An "End Date"

Optimization, and online marketing in general, isn't a destination. Rather, it's a road, one that must be constantly traveled for optimal levels of success. There is no time when your optimization is "complete", in fact, even once your initial online marketing plan sees success, there will be other ways that you can improve your online presence. The process can always be improved.

Problem 2: Not Planning For Optimization In The Long Run

Because online marketing is a process, wise companies will plan for optimization in the long run. Don't think of it as a short-term investment, and don't divert resources you are only comfortable diverting for a few weeks. Think about it more broadly, and give your optimization plan the time and support it needs to be successful. Like any company initiative, if the program is understaffed or underfunded, it won't be able to thrive as it ought to.

Problem 3: Not Monitoring Progress

In the old days, it was next to impossible to know if your agency's plan was doing the job. But now, tracking online marketing results are easy. Think of it like cooking: you have to test the food every so often to see how it's going. If you need to make a change, you learn about it early on, and if the food is great, you know more about how to make it the next time around.

Web optimization is exactly the same way. Keeping track of what policies bring success and which don't will help you in the short term and in the long term. You will have more to work with when you start additional campaigns, and you'll have real results that you can point to. So much depends on customer preference, and only when you start to get a feel for that preference will you see the best outcomes.

Problem 4: Working Alone

It is the rare person who can successfully design and implement an online marketing optimization strategy without the help of an interactive marketing agency. Optimization is a very particular process, with a number of techniques and strategies to learn. Articles like this one can help, but it takes years of experience to become a real optimization expert.

Does it really make sense for you to spend your time learning, rather than hiring the expertise of an interactive marketing agency? In almost every case, focusing on what you do best - running your business - is the best idea.

Putting it All Together

Now you know some of the most common pitfalls that make optimization programs fail. Do any of them sound familiar? If so, then you're now equipped with the knowledge to change the problem. You can start fresh, and get the optimization results you're looking for. You might not see them overnight, but with time the effect will be noticeable.

Search Engine Optimization At a Glance

There is one important factor to remember whenever you are involved in improving the organic rankings of a website, and that factor is time. One of the most common questions in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is How long till I start to see results? This article is dedicated to anyone who has ever asked that question.

It doesn't matter what industry you are involved in, or what techniques you follow, in all cases you will be a prisoner of time. In the vast majority of cases search engine rankings don't come over night.

Regardless of the scope of the SEO campaign you are undertaking, you will have to wait for results. It doesn't matter if you are undertaking a massive link building & social media campaign combined with extreme content development - you will still have to wait for those results. Just how long you need to wait however, will depend on a large number of factors.

In this article I will discuss some of these factors and give a few scenarios to help you gauge how long you may need to wait to start seeing results.

Factors to Consider
How long it will take for rankings starts with a few key factors:

  • How optimized is your site before SEO?
    If your established site has no optimization in place at all, and has navigation that is blocking search engine spiders, sometimes opening the site up can result in a rather quick turn-around for results.

  • How many inbound links does your site have?
    If you have an old site with no links, this will add to the time you need to wait. If you have a number of links already, Google will probably be in to check out things within a week or so of updating.

  • How new is your website?
    A brand new site with no links has to wait. Google may find you, but probably not. If you do nothing, your site may not ever be indexed - you must get a few links, and an XML sitemap if you want to stand a chance with a new site. Go here for info on how to install and set up an XML site map.

  • How flexible is your site?
    If your site utilizes a content management system, how flexible is this system for customization? If your current back end will not allow for SEO based changes, this will drastically slow down your ranking progress.

  • How competitive is your target phrase?
    This is huge. The more competitive a target phrase is, the longer you will likely have to wait, and the more links, pages, and fresh content you will probably need. Picking a target phrase that has searches, but modest competition is your best bet to get started. As long as your "dream phrase" is relevant, you can go after the bigger fish once your site has some links, content, and has started to find its place on the map.

  • Is your site positioned to be able to compete?
    Take a look at the top 10 sites for your target phrase. If on average the ranking sites have 10,000 inbound links and 1,000 plus pages, and your site has 7 links and 12 pages, you're likely doomed. You don't need to match the numbers of the top 10, but you do need to be in the ball park. If the top 10 is littered with all the big guys like Amazon, eBay, and the dreaded Wikipedia, you might just want to consider reevaluating your goals. If your site is not in a comparable position with the rest of the top 10, then you need to either step up your efforts in order to compete, or plan on waiting a very long time.
Get Google to Visit Your Site

How long it takes to start seeing results starts with Google. Once Google spiders your site you will still have to wait for the updated cache to appear in Google's index, and in most cases, you will have to wait longer still to see any impact in the search rankings.

In most cases getting Google to your site is relatively easy, but it can sometimes take a month or longer. Even a site with some inbound links and an XML sitemap, may have to wait a while.
Typically an established active website will seldom have to wait more than a month to get Google's eyes; however, if your site has been sitting stagnant for several years, it may take longer.

How Long Will it Take For Rankings?

You now know some of the determining factors, but how long will it take for your site to see an improvement in its organic rankings? I really wish there was a solid answer to this question, but with such a vast array of variables there is no way to know for sure. I can say however, that from experience, the timelines below are fairly accurate.

  • Niche Industry
    A niche industry is represented by phrases that are relatively specific, such as "widgets Bellingham". While they don't require a geographic modifier, phrases focused on a very specific area often are considered niche. Phrases used for a niche site will also often return less than 100,000 results in a Google search. The top 10 ranking sites will also often have less than 100 inbound links each.

  • Timeline:

    • Brand New Site: Possibly as little as a few months

    • Established Site: Potentially it could literally be over night, but most likely around 6 weeks.

  • Medium Industry
    Medium Industry terms are slightly more general, but still include some kind of modifier, such as a state or color; "Washington Widgets" or "Blue Widgets". These phrases often represent no more than a few million results in a typical Google search with the top 10 ranking sites having between 100-1,000 inbound links.

  • Timeline:

    • Brand New Site: 6 months to a year

    • Established Site: 2-4 months

  • Highly Competitive Industry
    These pages are those with phrases that are rather broad and seldom have any modifiers, such as simply "widgets". You will often find tens or even hundreds of millions of competing pages in Google for your target phrase. Often the links required for the top 10 will be in the thousands, or tens of thousands (sometimes even in the millions).

  • Timeline:

    • Brand New Site: Anywhere from 1 to 5 years

    • Established Site: Could be as long as a year or more

For a brand new site, starting with nothing, in most cases you will be looking at around a year before you start to see significant ranking changes. You may get the odd ranking here and there, and start to see some traffic, but for any phrases that are remotely competitive, it can take quite a while. Unless you have a very tight niche, expect to wait at least 6 months before you see any movement at all. This is not to say that you can't get quick results, but in the majority of cases it is quite rare.

For more established sites, rankings tend to come much more quickly. One significant factor in determining time is links. If your established site has lots, but the site itself is simply lacking fundamental SEO or proper navigation, then you can sometimes see results rather quickly. If you have no links and need to build them, it significantly increases the wait time. Even for an established site, achieving links in a competitive industry can still take some time.

Rankings Are Taking Forever

There are a number of reasons why your site may not achieve results. If you find that your campaign has been going on for a long time and you have seen no movement what-so-ever, it is possible that one of the following is hindering your efforts.

  • Spamming & Penalties
    In some cases your site may take forever to achieve rankings, or the rankings may not come at all. If your site has been previously penalized for spamming, you absolutely must clean up all traces of the past dirtiness.

    Once the site is entirely cleaned up, then you can apply for re-inclusion. This is certainly no assurance that Google will ever pay your site any attention again, but it's the first step to the land of maybe.

  • Duplicate Content
    If your site has utilized mass amounts of duplicate content, chances are you will not ever see rankings until you replace it all with something original and meaningful. There is no "duplicate content" penalty per-se, but you are essentially penalizing yourself if you copy content. Google tends to look at the first instance it finds online for a piece of content as the official source (not always the case).

    If you copy content that is already out there and indexed by Google, they will discount your content as it is already indexed somewhere else, and your site or page will simply not get any rankings for it - and rightfully so.

  • Links (or lack thereof)
    If your site has no links, you probably will not get any rankings, even after you are fully indexed. This is not always the case, I have seen sites rank well for various phrases with zero inbound links - but it is rare, and should not be relied on. Build up your links – period.

    On the flip side of this, let's say your site has thousands of links, but they are from free for all sites, link farms, or "bad neighborhoods", and so on - they won't help you. These links won't necessarily hurt you, but will be essentially ignored. You need quality, relevant links.

  • Competition
    You just may be out of your league. If you have a small operation, and are competing for a major ultra competitive term, chances are you won't ever see the light of day. Not to say it is not possible, but if you are competing in a well established industry where literally 10's of thousands of links are required, and your target phrase is experiencing millions of searches a month, you need to weigh your targets. Chances are your keywords need to be re-evaluated as your chances of success are slim.

  • Not Listening
    If your SEO gives you actionable recommendations, follow them. Recommendations are given for a reason, to help you achieve rankings. If you are not willing to implement what is suggested, then your campaign may go nowhere. I have seen websites fail to rank simply because clients ignored recommendations. Your SEO will not be able to help you if you refuse to implement their advice.

A Little Success Story

I have seen rankings come literally within hours. It is very rare but it happens. In one specific example a blog post was put up on a very specific niche topic that had almost no coverage online.

Google coincidently spidered the blog within an hour or so of posting, and within an hour from that, the blog post was #1 in the organic results for the most relevant phrase. The site saw a giant spike in traffic for the next couple days while the phrase was a hot topic. (The search phrase was very specific and localized: "election results"). This shows that for a site with an established link base, and a good reputation in Google, rankings can sometimes come extremely quickly.

Regardless of industry and target phrases, you will have to wait for your search results. Just how long you will wait varies on far too many factors to give a solid number, but expect to wait for results anywhere from a few days to several years. It's the best time frame I can give without knowing specific details of your site and project.

Getting Massive Free Websíte Traffic

There is only one real secret to getting a lot of visitors to your website. That is merely figuring out where lots of your ideal visitors are, and standing in front of them.

When you think of it in those terms, it's really simple.

There are three real ways to get in front of the traffic flow. Those are: buy traffic, borrow traffic, or create traffic.

You buy traffic using pay-per-click search engines. It's very dependable, and can give you a steady flow of consistent traffic.

The big disadvantage with using pay-per-clicks to generate traffic is that it can be very risky. Those who use pay-per- clicks to generate 100% of their traffic, and are considered the best of the best, will tell you that as many as 7 out of 10 campaigns that they set up will lose money. The professionals very quickly shut off the losers, and their winners more than make up for the losses, but it's really not a game for someone not properly trained.

You can also buy traffic using an affiliate program. Since you only pay for the traffic when a sale is made, it's a very low-risk method. Since your affiliates are sending you their best customers, you can also think of it as borrowing traffic.
I love the affiliate program model, and have numerous products sold via affiliate programs. I also sell a lot of others' affiliate products. It's win-win.

You can also create traffic by putting things on the Internet that people are attracted to. You can create content by writing articles or blogging for example. I love content creation and have written over 1100 different articles. My articles teach people how to solve pressing problems, and at the same time point them to me (my sites) as a great resource.

When you create content your big challenge is to get it noticed and indexed by the search engines, so that people can follow links from there to your site. It's actually fairly easy - but time and labor intensive.

If your content is "viral" it will be something that others will happily share. Examples include in-depth articles, essays that touch people on a deep emotional level, or humorous videos that you post on YouTube.

Of the three methods of getting traffic (buying, borrowing, and creating it) my favorite has to be borrowing it... with creating it second. I generally only buy traffic when I need a really quick surge to test my website's conversion process.
The key to generating an absolute flood of free traffic is getting noticed, getting backlinks, etc., from high traffic websites such as Google, Craig's List, Yahoo, YouTube, and the various bookmarking and social networking sites.

This can be as simple as searching through Yahoo Answers for questions on your area of expertise, and then posting a great answer - along with an appropriate link to your website or product.

It can be as simple as searching through YouTube for videos on your area of expertise, and then leaving a comment along with a link sharing that they can find more information on the topic at your site.

It can be as simple as using the search engines to locate dozens or even hundreds of blogs and forums in your niche, and then interacting with these communities.
There's only one problem with most of the methods that I just mentioned. They can be time consuming and labor intensive. Just locating active communities in your niche can literally take hours.

I do have a secret. I use automated software to monitor and notify me of active blogs, forums, and communities in my niche. I use automated software to notify me when they are discussing my area of expertise or there is a new video posted pertaining to my area of expertise.

When I discover a new resource, I then analyze it, and if appropriate, I interact with that high traffic site, and leave a link back to my site, which is a perfectly acceptable practice.

So there you have my secret for generating literally hundreds of thousands of free hits to even my newest sites. Of course, your site has to be about something that people are interested it.

I do strongly advocate using software to automate many of the mundane processes such as just finding these sites. Many webmasters really struggle with website traffic generation, and there is absolutely no need to. You merely find the huge pools of traffic interested in your topic, and then you stand underneath the waterfall, and enjoy the cool, refreshing flow of new visitors.

Steps to Building a Successful Web Presence

Doing business in the 21st century will eventually require every company to have a website in one form or another. Whether your site is interactive or simply informational, there are steps you can take to ensure you're on the right track to creating a successful web presence, seven to be exact (at least from our humble perspective).

While following these steps will not guarantee a successful website, it is certainly an intelligent place to start.

1. Perform a Business Analysis.

What is a business analysis? Simply put, review your business requirements and your objectives. What do you want to accomplish? How does your website fit into your overall business plan? What... no business plan? Develop a business plan first before you go any further into the process.

Your business plan will be your roadmap to success, so make sure the objective of your website fits into your overall business plan. I'll say it again, BUSINESS PLAN, don't have one? GET ONE!

2. Perform some research, also known as, the Research phase.

Research your competition and industry sites. See what kind of competition is out there. What kind of marketing does your competition engage in? Don't look to "reinvent the wheel", take a look at how the current market works; develop a list of pros and cons about your competition and then make your web presence work better.

3. Develop a concept and a design.

Finally time for the creative and fun stuff! This involves the selection of specific content, the layout of the site structure and navigation and the overall "look and feel" of your website.

Remember to pay special attention to your navigational structure!!! If visitors can't navigate your website or feel lost when doing so, your "pretty" site will have been a waste of time; don't go there, keep the navigation simple and for SEO purposes, make sure your navigation is text based. Although Flash driven websites look cool, they are not SEO friendly and can create more problems than the "coolness" factor they express (we'll discuss Flash sites in another article ).

4. Develop your website.

When considering which technology to develop your website, think cutting edge technology, not bleeding edge. Make sure the technology you use, such as ASP, PHP, HTML, CSS, will be useful for the next three to five years.

Database driven website are ultimately the easiest to maintain through the use of a content management system, but make sure the CMS you use is SEO friendly. An SEO friendly CMS will utilize real URLs, not strange looking query strings with lots of strange characters and question marks. Search engines despise query strings and rank these site accordingly.

5. Choose a host provider and implement your website.

When deciding on a host provider, make sure the host is not only reputable, but has been in business long enough that you can be sure they will be in business next year. Also, ask about site uptime. If your site is down for any reason, this will not only affect your potential and current customers, but the search engines as well. If the search engines decide on a given day to spider your site and it is unavailable, it could cost you your rank.

6. Promote and market your website.

Register your site with the major search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Initiate other marketing activities such as an email blasts to prospective customers. Consider "Pay per Click" advertising with the major search engines and don't forget about a long term SEO campaign to drive targeted traffic to your site.

7. Finally, maintain your website.

Probably the most important long term step is continuing to provide current and relevant information on your website. Keep your site content current to encourage return visitors and give them something to return for! Related to SEO, search engines just LOVE sites which provide new content on a regular basis and rank such websites accordingly.

Overall, remember, your website is not just a marketing tool, it's a business tool, and it should be generating a revenue stream for your business.