Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Optimization on steroids brings more prospects to your pages

TITLE TAG OPTIMIZATION


Lift your chances of getting better search engine results

Steal this idea: Take a look at what The New York Times is doing to make its site more attractive to search engines and help visitors find the right stuff.

It's an idea that could work for any marketer, whether you sell engineering supplies, auto parts, candy or summer camps.

Our resident Web guru Joy Larkin (and the Internet Marketing Report's own marketing manager) spotted this interesting development and wrote about it on her blog, www.cleverhack.com.

The Times is inserting tagging in the page title tag (that little blue strip at the very top of your screen that we've circled in the image above) in cases where the article's headline lacks sufficient keyword oomph.

Normally, the Times just duplicates the article’s headline in the page title tag.

For example, in today's paper it has a restaurant review called, "Southwestern Sun, Late in the Day." You can see that above, too. It's the other red circle.

That's a nice headline for someone who is reading the print copy perhaps.

But can you imagine someone searching for "southwestern sun" on Google or Yahoo search? Not likely.

But you can imagine a prospect looking for a restaurant doing a search for "New York City Restaurant Reviews" or by the name of the restaurant, "Mesa Grill."

So the Times has put its tagging on steroids by adding these popular key words to the title tags.

This makes good sense: It will lift the Times' results in search engines and increase the chances that prospects will find this article (and other reviews like it).

Added bonus: It makes these sorts of pages much more attractive to advertisers.

This is a trend you'll probably be seeing more of as the competition for search engine traffic gets downright ugly.

The Times is using it a lot.

Here's another example that Joy found. In an article headlined "The Falling-Down Professions," the page title tag reads as “Economic Conditions-Economic trends-legal profession-lawyers-prestige-doctors - New York Times."

You see, the page title tag is important for SEO as Google in particular lends much weight to the text contained within the title tag.

All in all, the Times approach is something any company can do, particularly those with lots of content or companies that want to boost traffic from search engines.

Posted by IMR editor Julie Power


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