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SEO: How to create an effective title
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SEO: How to create an effective title

By: Nick Harrison
January 3rd, 2012

Seo Titles

Achieving SEO success for your website, your blog or both has a lot to do with the web or blog page title for these two reasons:

1: Google and other search engines use your webpage title (the title that appears on the top of your browser) or your article title to help determine which web pages to index using a specific search term. When you do a search for a keyword or phrase you will notice that practically all of the website links that you see have the keyword or phrase in the listed titles of the queried results.

2: An effective title will likely increase your CTR (click-through-rate). When people are using a search engine, their brains are focused on their search agenda: finding the first link that appears relevant to their search queries.
So, How do you create an effective title for SEO?

SEO how to:

SEO success starts with knowing the specific terms that people are searching for. Let’s use this very article as an example. Before doing any research, this article was originally named “Creating effective SEO titles.” After doing research, I learned that few people, if any, are searching the phrase “creating effective SEO titles.” There were also only 1,300 searches per month for “SEO titles” and 5,400 search queries for “SEO title.” Combined, 6,700 searches per month can produce some traffic if you are ranked near the top of Google’s search listing. However, I found that 1,830,000 searches per month have searched the phrase “SEO how to.” Worldwide, there were more than 11,100,000 searches for that phrase versus 26,600 for my original title. Even landing on the second or third page, I will more than likely get significantly more traffic with this new SEO-focused title. Plus, with the revised title “SEO: How to create an effective title,” I am focusing on the search phrase that is a lot more popular, while at the same time not ignoring “SEO title(s)” as a phrase.

For this research I used <a href=”;rct=j&amp;q=google%20adwords%20external&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CDAQFjAA&amp;;ei=9Om-TtD1KsaA2wWmvO2CBQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNGTVtE8qvjaqHJgAAJEqL2HwooXJw&amp;cad=rja” target=”_blank”>Google’s Adwords Keyword tool</a>, which is free to use.


A popular misconception is that if more people are searching a term or phrase that it is harder to get a high position in the rankings. A lot depends on how much competition that search query has and how Google views your site overall as far as trust.

Analyzing competition for search terms is well beyond the scope of this article, but by doing research on what people are searching for, you can much better target your articles to where the traffic is.

CTR: Getting people to click

When people are searching for something specific, that is where their focus lies. This is precisely why I started this article’s title with “SEO: How to” because that is the term I feel is going to garner the most traffic. Google makes keywords and phrases that were searched for bold in the results. By having the term first, it may make it easier for my article to stand out since the searcher is more likely focused on finding that specific phrase vs. a title with scattered keywords.

Although having the phrase appear in succession vs. spread apart in the title may not necessarily change my results, it may help the post stand out more to end-users.

I also have noticed that articles with concise titles do better than those without. This is both from search engine results as well as social media sharing. A user shouldn’t have to figure out what your article is about because your title is confusing or too clever.

If you want to increase your traffic, research what people are searching for and incorporate those terms or phrases into your web page and article titles. It can substantially improve your traffic for years to come because SEO is the gift that keeps on giving.'
Article written by Nick Harrison
Nick Harrison is a creative director for the Chicago-based digital agency Dashal, a company with clients ranging from best-selling authors to major consumer brands. Nick first started in the digital industry in 1999 as a web developer, and managing online advertising campaigns in the financial industry. Using that background, Nick later began working with companies on their social media and branding strategies.