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Blog | Does Your Site Suffer From Similar Page Titles?

17

Oct
2012

Does Your Site Suffer From Similar Page Titles?

Does your site under perform in Google and you don’t even know it?

Here’s a simple test you can run and find out in seconds.

We’ll run a site operator check through Google to see all pages indexed by Google and if your site comes back with results that look very similar, then you might be killing your site’s traffic.

Here’s how to do a site operator check, go to Google and replace your domain name below:

Before you look at the results here’s what the page titles and meta descriptions are:
The top line is the how Google displays the page title, the 3rd and 4th lines below are what’s called the Meta Description.

Let’s look at the results for a site below. Notice the amount of similar content, the page titles, all look very similar and repetitive.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that Google wants to pinpoint and serve up the best set of results it can, and if you’ve got identical page titles (which is a major ranking factor) on all your pages then your pages aren’t as specific and relevant as they could be.

Imagine you had a site with 300 products, all with the same page title. You’d be crucifying the amount of traffic you could get to the site. All the product pages should contain unique relevant page titles as well as content.

It wouldn’t make sense to have the same page title on a page about wordpress web design, as it would on a page about pay per click advertising even though they’re on the same site. Every page on your site can be a landing page, an entrance point in from Google, so maximise this.

If your site has a lot pages and you haven’t the time to create unique page titles, then get your web developer to write some code that creates dynamic page titles based on information stored in the database.

How to Keep an Eye on This

You can do a site operate check in Google, but Google also provides help with this. Sign up for a Google Webmaster Tools account , verify your site, and wait until Google crawls your site. You might see something like the image below under the ‘HTML Suggestions’ link and know you’ve things to address:

Meta Descriptions

Meta Descriptions although not a ranking factor, do play a part in encouraging the searcher to click through into your site. Again make these unique and relevant; the better written then the more they’ll entice the searcher into the page. Look at the MoneySupermarket example above, it certainly catches the eye.

So what good does having unique titles do?

Simple answer is, that you can target more keywords in Google and you’ll rank better for these keywords with them in the title.

Having unique pages titles allows you to broaden the range of keywords that your site is targeting. Let’s say you have 4 services that you target, namely SEO, PPC, Google Analytics and WordPress, then by having unique relevant pages titles for these you will naturally improve the performance of each one.

So what about pages such as ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’? These pages tend not to perform particularly well in search engines, so many just use a basic page title of ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ and without stuffing them full of irrelevant keywords.

Finally

When you’ve sorted your titles out and you’d like to test the benefit, you could run a comparison check in Google Analytics between the current month and a previous month (give it a couple of months for this to kick in) to see if things have been helped. Look to see if your traffic has gone up, are you getting searches now for keywords you didn’t before and take a look at the landing pages report to see if traffic to certain pages has increased.

Article written by Michael Wall. Michael has been working on SEO campaigns for over 10 years. He also runs his own web design company Codefixer Software.


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