Page Titles, Descriptions, & More
The Unseen Necessities of Your Website
Score one for the wordsmiths. Those of us who grew up newspaper reporters of a bygone era, cringed as electronic media dazzled the masses. But since web bot spiders can’t crawl soundbites, at least within the online world words are valuable again; written ones, not recorded ones.
And you need plenty of words on your website. The right words, of course – key ones.
A recent post, “Keying in on Competitors’ Keywords,” showed how to cheat on your final exam, essentially, taking a glance at keywords used by competitors of higher search rank. So, we’re assuming you’ve compiled an effective list, borrowing — where needed — from the competition?
Getting Search Spider View
But the inbound links and the keywords driving them aren’t the only items to scrape off websites seeking the same customers and clients as you.
Page titles, descriptions, URL names, and the onsite links contain words Google favors in doling out search juice. Like everything else web-related, online tools help you capitalize.
On Exadium, hover over the tools drop-down menu and click “analyze metadata.”
The term gained notoriety thanks to the National Security Administration (NSA), remember? The U.S. government admitted to collecting metadata of phone conversations but claims not to eavesdrop on the content of the calls.
Conveniently, Exadium lets you enter multiple websites simultaneously. Check the wording of page titles and descriptions offered by the analysis, and hold on for an epiphany.
What keywords are they including that you may be overlooking?
‘.Page titles, descriptions, URL names, and the onsite links contain words Google favors in doling out search juice.’
Before I knew much about search criteria, I considered it clever to name my web pages in physiology terms. Most people wanting personal fitness service, however, are Googling “fitness” or “weight loss” or “personal training”; not hypertrophy, adipose tissue, and latissimus dorsi.
You might learn such a lesson from your search-superior competition.
Composing Titles, Descriptions, Links
Everyone should know that a page title is the headline, essentially, of your website. Descriptions are one or two sentences, frequently used by Google in search results because it elaborates upon the title providing a description of the site’s content. Both title and description should contain words relevant to the content. Double down on the word relevant!
If you enter “George Clooney” into your page description thinking you’ll hijack hordes of women enamored of the actor’s charm and good looks, Google will expect a page of celebrity gossip — and penalize you if they find only ladies shoes for sale.
It’s also inadvisable to repeat keywords in the page description; use synonyms.
In addition to the titles and descriptions, Google believes there is significance in primary onsite links, the cornerstone of onsite SEO. Exadium will list your competitors’ link wording, too. The primary ones are the top level pages that link directly to the homepage. Survey the names used for these links.
Record, compare and use as you believe beneficial.
If you find a meta tag of keywords on your competitors’ sites, incidentally, they’re out of touch with the latest Google criteria; which no longer factors these into search rank
Notice how these strategies mesh?
- An effective page title, describing the page with high-ranking keywords.
- A page description that rolls out a sentence or two rich in keywords relevant to the page content.
- Links to pages with URL names rich in keywords and those pages also having search-friendly titles and descriptions.
Keep this criterion in mind as you examine what your search-leading competitors are using for titles, descriptions, URL names, and links. Especially since they’re higher ranked, you’ll likely find good ideas for your own site, propelling you up the food chain and, hopefully, planting you atop the search results for your industry.