March 26, 2018 at 7:19 pm - Views: 652 #421
When Google ranks a site for a search, they are trying to predict the best possible user experience where the user gets the information they want.
Anything that leads to that end will be used by Google to rank. The rule of thumb for SEO work is that if it aligns with Google’s goals as a search engine, its probably a solid plan to rank well.
Its no surprise that the title can make or break your rankings. There are three things to consider when thinking of title.
Page Title Tip 1: Click-Through Rate
Google loves click-through rates. It’s one of the best indicators that they delivered the information the searcher was looking for. If you get a 10% click-through rate all the way down the page on Google (quite rare to happen), that sends them the signal that 10% of users didn’t find the information they wanted at the top of the page and had to scroll down to find your post which satisfied their search.
They will then try to move your result higher, to see if the users are “satisfied” by their search earlier.
For instance, if someone Google’s “cats eating spaghetti” and the first result is Wikipedia’s entry on spaghetti. The second result is a recipe for spaghetti from some recipe website. The third result is your page titled “10 Crazy Cats Eat Spaghetti”. Your third position result may even get a higher CTR than 1 and 2, but if not it will probably get a higher CTR than Google expects from a 3rd position result.
As a result, they may move your result up because it meets the needs of the searcher more.
If you can make a high-CTR title, one that draws more than average clicks for your location in the search results, you’ll most likely get moved up.
Even if you’re in position 1 for a search term, you should still look at improving CTR. It not only solidifies your position, but it gets you more traffic.
Page Title Tip 2: Relevance to the Search Term
If I search for spaghetti recipe, see a title called “10 Hilarious Cats Eating Spaghetti”, I might click on that cat article because it sounds entertaining. It’d get a high CTR. However, Google would still not rank it near the top of the page because the keyword “recipe” is nowhere in the title or body of the page. Furthermore, words associated with “recipe” like “ingredients” and “food” are also not found in the title or body of the page.
Google uses these relevancy signals to determine if they should show a page to someone. If your title doesn’t contain your target search term and/or relevant words to that search term, it will not rank well.
This is one of their many defenses against click-bait and keyword stuffing. You can’t just throw up a title that gets a high CTR and dominate the SERPs, and you can’t just put the same word in your title 5 times. It has to be super relevant to the user based on the language comprehension Google has.
Page Title Tip 3: Relevance to Your Landing Page
Let’s say you put “10 Crazy Cats Eat Spaghetti” in your title, and then your landing page is a spaghetti recipe with no cats on there.
Even though you nailed it on the relevance to the search query “cats eat spaghetti”, and you nailed the CTR with your use of a number and the adjective usage, once the user or Google robot gets to your page and discovers there are no cats eating spaghetti, they’ll bounce from your page.
A poor user experience is a poor Google ranking. If your title misleads the user, and the user doesn’t like your page content, Google will rank you lower. Make sure you are aligning your title and page content with the searches you’re trying to nab. False expectations are not necessarily good for rankings.
The ideal title may be hard to write, but by following the three criteria mentioned here, you’ll be far more likely to succeed. Then, as you collect data on your pages that are getting some sort of traffic, you can re-iterate your ads and decide if the change was good or bad for rankings. Then reassess.
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