One of the most efficient ways to increase traffic for web pages and blogs is to optimize titles. Most people will recommend using one keyword per page to avoid keyword stuffing penalties. But, there is a benefit in adding a few extra keywords, as long as you are smart about it. Here are some tips on how to use keywords to your advantage to optimize your titles and get more traffic.
Optimize SEO Titles With Popular Keywords
Short Titles and One Keyword
A good plan to follow is to use singular keywords on different pages and then use related words on multiple pages. You do not want mixed topics on a page because then multiple keywords will be needed which will create a long title. You want short titles, ideally less than 70 characters. With this title, per page, you want to use two or three primary keywords that are highly related to the content on the page.
No Keyword Stuffing
Using a few keywords can help increase visibility, but too many is called keyword stuffing. And this comes with penalties. Google easily identifies overuse of keywords. There is no way to know what Google determines as ‘stuffing’ so it is better to be safe than sorry and follow the standard rule for keyword density, which is not to be greater than 5.5% on a page. Keyword density can help increase visibility on search engines but you need to be careful not to overdo it. The best places to use keywords wisely are the title tag, header, comment tag, body tag, anchor, tag, image tag, and domain name. Using the keyword in multiple places is good, just make sure you do not use the same keyword in the title more than twice.
How Search Engines Crawl & Rank Keywords
Search engines identify, register, and rank every keyword in your title as well as every combination or position of your keyword. Priority is given to the original order for keyword phrases, as appears in the title, but every additional keyword phrase will also be registered and ranked. Search engines, especially Google, also identify longer titles as ‘spam’ as they seem more likely to be stuffed with keywords. When multiple keywords are used, the highest weight is given to the first one in the title, and then each additional keyword is rated slightly less. When you use more keywords, you end up diluting their weight and importance, which is why it is best to use 2 or 3 only in a title.
Pay Attention To The Competition
It is always a good idea to check the competition for keyword use, using the Keyword Research Tool. If there is a lot of competition for a particular keyword, then you are better off using it only once. Make sure you also use the exact phrase you discovered during your keyword search when developing your title. High competition for keywords means you need to stay at the head of the game, and overuse of keywords can dilute their strength and your visibility. Singular use of a strong, well-placed keyword or phrase in your title is all you need. Moderate competition for keywords allows you more options and you can use several different ones in your title. Use modifiers or action words rather than duplicating the keyword. You can use the Google Keyword Tool to find phrases that contain your keyword and can use. The general rule for this is:
[action word 1 keyword] + [keyword action word 2] = [action word 1 keyword action word 2]
So, if you are looking for a keyword title for your blog about Reviews of Professional Landscape Artists and Photographers, you would create title options in this way:
Reviews of Professional Landscape Artists + Landscape Photographers = Reviews of Professional Landscape Artist and Photographers
And you end up with four possible target phrases:
- Reviews of Professional Landscape Artists
- Landscape Photographers
- Professional Landscape Artists and Photographers
- Reviews of Professional Landscape Artists and Photographers
Combine Keyword Phrases
When you have high competition for keywords, you can combine them to enrich the title. When you use the Keyword Planner Tool to identify titles for a blog on the benefits of garlic extracts, specifically trying to reach people looking to promote heart health. The Planner Tool may provide a few phrases such as:
- Garlic extract health benefits
- Garlic extract
- Garlic extract benefits for heart health
You can use these options to create a competitive phrase for your title such as:
Garlic Extracts: Benefits for Heart Health
Your title now combines phrases and is optimized to compete for all three phrases. Just remember when combining keyword phrases, you need to use the proper separator. A colon (:), dash (-), or comma (,) are fine. So not use an underscore (_), as search engines do not recognize these and your title will be identified as unreadable.
Don’t Go Overboard
Even though adding keywords can be helpful in increasing visibility, you need to be careful. The more you have, the less impact each of them will have. An example of a keyword-stuffed title would be:
Cheap Green Tea | Gourmet Green Tea | Gourmet Brewed Green Tea
Not only will search engines dislike this, but customers will think it is not natural and hard to read. A better title would be:
Low Price Brewed Green Tea and Fresh Tea Leaf Suppliers
If you offer electronics recycling and want to optimize a blog about recycling tips, you can build a title such as:
- Recycling Information – Tips to Recycle Electronics – How and Why Recycling Is Important
- But a better title, that does not stuff keywords would be:
- Electronics Recycling – Tips on How and Why to Recycle
Every website owner wants to build traffic, but it is conversion rats that will matter most to the success of your site and business. To do this, you need to be concise when it comes to titles and optimize in a way that uses keywords to your advantage. Keep titles and keyword tails short, and match your phrases according to what is currently competitive. Most importantly, search engines will be ranking your title, but it is ultimately people that determine conversion rates. So make sure above all else, that your title uses keywords, is clear and easy to read.