Sunday Morning SEO: The Most Effective Onpage SEO Strategy

Filed as Guides on April 12, 2009 8:08 am

Search experts may debate about a lot of things but most of them will agree that the title tag is the most important onpage SEO factor. In fact, in survey done by 37 search experts, the title tag was the number one search ranking factor. It trumped even anchor text and quality of links.

However, I find that many bloggers don’t take the few minutes (or even seconds) it takes to make sure their title tags have relevant keywords.

For example, I checked out some popular blogs from different niches and found these title tags on recent posts that could be optimized better.

Current Title Tag (C): Google Zurich Office Tour
Recommended Title Tag (R): Google Zurich Office Tour (Pictures and a Video)

This post had pictures and a video of the Google Zurich office.  In my experience, pictures and video are common search terms regardless of the industry.

C: Turning the Camera on Doctors’ Lives
R: Doctors’ Diaries TV Show on PBS Nova: A Documentary about Doctors

This post was about a new documentary on PBS.  When blogging about specific TV shows, it’s a good idea to include the title of the show.  And I could picture many people typing in tv show or documentary about doctors.

C: Hanging Up the Gloves? De La Hoya Plans Big Announcement
R: Will Oscar De La Hoya Retire? Press Conference Coming Soon

I used Oscar De La Hoya’s full name and the relevant keywords retire and press conference.

C: Weekend Fun and Games
R: Fun Activities and Games for Kids This 2009 Easter Weekend

This post was about activities parents could do with their kids for this Easter weekend. The current title tag was very general so I added more specific keywords.

I hope these examples help you craft better title tags.  The key is putting yourself in the shoes of the internet searcher.  What would they type in Google to find your blog post?

If you like, you can leave your blog URL in the comments and I’ll check out your posts and give recommendations.

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  1. By Obed Butuk posted on April 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm
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    On a scale of 1-10 how important is the title tag and according to your findings what other factors were significant?

    Reply

  2. By Ching Ya posted on April 13, 2009 at 6:53 pm
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    This is throught-provoking. Now is to work on an catchy title, at the same time SEO friendly as well.

    I need ALOT of Creativity, that’s for sure.

    Reply

  3. By Jamie Allsop posted on April 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm
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    Some times it is difficult to think of a title that makes sense and is catchy when it comes to making it SEO friendly, as well as the headings. I was wondering, how effective did it say headings where in the survey?

    Reply

  4. By Dee Barizo posted on April 19, 2009 at 8:42 pm
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    @Obed

    I would give title tags a 10. Other onpage factors that are important include internal links, internal anchor text, keyword use in the body text, and age of the site (the older, the better).

    @Ching

    I agree. However, one tip is to use a catchy title to attract links and then change the title to be more keyword-driven once you’ve gotten your links. I’ll talk about this tip in more detail in my next post.

    @Jamie

    See my reply above to Ching about being catchy and keyword focused.

    What do you mean by headings? Are you talking about the header tags like h1 and h2?

    Reply

  5. By Miracel posted on May 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm
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    Thanks for your suggestions. I will note them when I write my posts.

    Reply

  6. By Tom D posted on May 13, 2009 at 1:13 am
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    Thanks. I have a question. Should title tags be identical with the actual title of the post or is it ok for them to differ?

    Reply

  7. By Dee Barizo posted on May 17, 2009 at 11:57 pm
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    I think it’s okay if they differ but they should be closely related for usability purposes.

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  8. By SixChannels posted on May 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm
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    All these examples really helped me to craft better title tags

    Reply

  9. By Buy Text Links posted on June 24, 2009 at 7:13 pm
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    Title Tag is only a part from seo on site effort. Article is very good :)

    Reply

  10. By Cristian posted on December 5, 2009 at 10:51 am
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    Even though title tag is the most important onpage factor, most definetely it’s NOT the most important ranking factor for a website. If that was the case, how can search engines choose between thousands of perfectly crafted, seo friendly, title tags (for the same keywords) ?

    The primary purpose of a title tag is to attract visitors and increase click-thru rate.

    90% of the entire Ranking receipt is about link building (internal, inbound and outbound links), a.k.a trust and authority. A site’s authority is measured by the frequency at which other sites link and quote it’s content. Search Engines seek to provide their users with information already “approved” by the community as being valuable

    If you find my opinion constructive, here’s a post of mine with further details on “title tag” topic: http://trafficcpanel.com/658/optimize-title-tags-for-google-compliance-and-massive-click-thru-rates/

    Hope it serves you well!
    Cheers
    Cristian

    Reply

  11. By Dee Barizo posted on December 17, 2009 at 12:36 am
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    @ Christian

    I agree that links is very important and you will need them in competitive niches to rank. But if you had a choice between having many links or optimized title tags, what would you choose? Of course, you’d want both and your rankings will suffer if you lose either. That’s why I believe title tags are a very important ranking factor.

    And I still think in many non-competitive niches, you have a huge advantage if you optimize your title tags with relevant keywords since many webmasters skip that action.

    Reply

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