B&B Web Design Mistakes: #4 Bad Page Titles
Bad titles for your web pages are a doubly bad mistake. They effect how well you rank in search engines and effect how many people actually choose to click on your site when it appears in the search. Page titles influence the technology of the search and the mind of the searcher. It's quite likely you don't even notice the page title on your web pages, but you've seen hundreds of page titles if you've done any web searching.
First, let me clear up what a page title is and where you see it. The page title is not actually on the page, it's above it. It shows up at the very top of the browser window. Here are some examples of where the page title is located:
B&B Web Site Titles from the Search Engine Point of View
The page title (actually called the "meta title") currently carries a lot of weight with the major search engines. It is usually the most powerful text on the page from a search engine's point of view. This should be very carefully considered when a site is being created. Unfortunately, many designers give it little or no thought. Here are some common mistakes and examples of awful titles:
B&B Website Titles from the Potential Guest's Point of View
A web page title not only shows up at the top of the browser, it's also displayed by the search engines as the results of a search. It is one of the main things potential guests evaluate as they look at the list of search engine results and decide which ones to click on and take a closer look. Here is an example of how page titles appear in a search (the titles appear in blue):
Your title has to contain the kind of information a potential guest is looking for as they scan the results of the search and decide which ones to click on. This is what makes the decision about how to title each page rather complicated. It has to appeal to both a search engine and a potential guest. It takes a bit of time and thought, but it is one of the most important considerations for your website and its future traffic.
Here are some general guidelines to consider:
Examine the titles used on your Bed and Breakfast's web site and see if they conform to these recommendations or not. If the titles of your pages look more like the bad examples that appear higher up on this page, then it begs the question, "why does our website have such bad page titles if they are so vital?" The answer has some pretty familiar possibilities:
Advice for B&B web design