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8 Title Tag Optimization Tips For Ecommerce Success

Title TagOur last couple of blogs have focused on the changing landscape of SEO.  While SEO isn’t dead per se, it has made a huge shift towards a more semantic focus.  But don’t let that fool you, keywords are still important basics as are metatags and content.  Included within the realm of metatags are title tags.

Title tags and page titles are crucial to any site and especially Ecommerce sites and according to the search experts at Moz, “35 out of 37 ‘influential thought leaders’ in the SEO community thought that keyword usage in the title tag was the most important place to use keywords to achieve high rankings.”  There are more than a few ideas regarding the strategy behind using them, but some, more than others, are recommended by most SEO professionals.

Here are my “8 Title Tag Optimization Tips for Ecommerce Success” to help organize and strategize your Ecommerce site’s marketing/SEO campaign:

1)      Your homepage title should use your two most important keywords.  I prefer to limit any given page to focus on two keywords (excluding the site name/title) even though some people like to use 3 or 4.  I think it starts to look spammy .  Your homepage optimization is really important to tell the engines what your site is going to focus on and you definitely need to have the strongest keywords as titles on this page.

2)      Use no more than two keywords for category pages.  Using two keywords will really start to narrow down the page’s attention.  It’s ok to use a single keyword (like the category name if you have optimized that) surrounded by calls to action if it makes sense for that category.   Whether you use 2 keywords or not, you will need to make sure that the keywords are used throughout those pages (in H tags, content, etc.).

3)      Category keywords should be plural.  Since there are typically more than one product in a category, it makes more sense to have the category keywords be plural.

4)      Use no more than two keywords for product pages.  This way, the value of the keyword(s) can be focused squarely on the product itself, not diluted through other less-relevant and less important keywords.  Be sure to customize the product page titles.  If your Ecommerce software allows dynamic insertion, use it.  For example, if you can tell the system to use specific elements of the product in the title, try that.  You can use product names, manufacturer, and SKU.  They are all valuable.   If you don’t have a lot of products and your software allows for custom title writing, be sure to write custom titles.

5)      Product page keywords should be singular.  Since you are usually featuring a single product on the detail product page, you should use the singular of the keyword.  This provides you the ability to optimize for both plural (on categories) and singular keywords which are both important for attracting traffic.

6)      Title length is about pixel width not character count.  Most SEO experts agree that limiting your title tags to a maximum of 70 characters (including spaces) is probably the best practice.  However, search engines like Google are now placing a lot more emphasis on pixel width of a title tag vs. a simple character count.  Basically, this means that while you may be able to “go over” the recommended 70 characters by having narrower characters (i.e. “i” and “l”), if you use wider letters (i.e. “m” and “w”), you may go over the max width restriction with fewer than 70 characters.

7)      Use the most important keyword in the beginning of the title tag.  The beginning of the title has more weight than the end so be sure to put your more important keywords in the fron if you are using more than one.

8)      Format your title tags for clicks as well as relevance.  This plays a bit on the marketing side of things, and can apply to your category and product pages.  The formatting of a title I like to use is “keyword phrase 1 – (call to action or benefit using keyword phrase 2 and 3 if possible).”  For example: “Hospital Towels – Wholesale Medical Towels On Sale”

One last note: Google, Yahoo, and Bing search result titles are pulled from your title tags.  With Google, it has become a bit more difficult to gauge exactly what they will decide to display.  Many people have noticed recently that the search engine has displayed a condensed version of a site’s title tags or even a different tag altogether.  Trying to understand or figure out how and why Google is doing this is an exercise in futility.  Just look for high-quality keywords and keep optimizing your site and it’s titles!

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