Effective titling for SEO can feel daunting if you’re new to this field. You may think that you need surgical precision in picking and placing the right term and that your visibility (and therefore your business) can depend on it.
But chances are, you are overcomplicating this - possibly making it harder for yourself.
Trust us, we say this because we’ve been there.
So here’s a step-by-step bulletproof guide to help you wrap your head around titling.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to pretend to be setting up the page of a beautician from Atlanta who specializes in laser hair removal.
It was written for businesses targeting one area only and with beginners in mind, with the precise purpose of saving you time and headaches.
Ready? Let’s get to it.
Step 1: The SEO Title
This will be the title of your page. If you’re using a plug-in such as SEO Ultimate, YOAST, or Project Supremacy, this will be the name you assign or designate in the plug-in settings of the particular page you’re working on.
Here we recommend that you use the EMK - that is, the Exact Match Keywords. These are usually your service and the area you work in. In our example, laser hair removal + Atlanta.
Step 2: The URL
You should keep this as succinct and simple as possible. You do not want to write your full service and city again, because that would be too long and over-optimized.
Don’t forget that your SEO title is already perfectly optimized, and the search engine has picked up on that. Of course, you will want to keep it relevant and logical, so in the case of our beautician, we would just write domain.com/hair-removal, which is a top category.
Even if you intend to have supporting articles in order to create a silo structure and internal links to help rank, that would work perfectly just by adding categories and subcategories after the main service.
Step 3: The Page Title
Remember, this is NOT the same as the SEO Title!
Make this conversational. Again, you should not insert your EMK here, because the search engine can see those from your SEO title.
You do not have to use keywords at all, but if you want to, try LSI’s and co-occurring keywords instead of EMK.
Step 4: The Meta Description
This is another good place to insert your LSI’s and co-occurring keywords. And again, it is not advisable to use your EMK here.
First of all, it’s simply not necessary to repeat them and will do nothing for your ranking.
But more importantly, the redundancy of EMK has an impact on the way the search engine looks at and ranks your page. Once it notices that you’re optimizing content and repeating your EMK in multiple places and it realizes that you are trying to manipulate searches, it will lower the quality score of your entire page. That’s bad, so don’t do it!
Final Step: The Page Content
Although this step is not exactly part of the titling process, we want to give you a few tips. Again, it is important that you keep your content logical, relevant and consistent. You should only optimize it according to the main term of each particular post - in this case, hair removal.
There is no need to give details of locations, and this is particularly important if you’re focusing on one city only. What you should always ask yourself is - does my post look as if it was created by a person? It needs to flow well and make sense, and should not feel artificial.
But what if you want to target several cities? In that case, you will need to build location-based silos, which is a bit more complicated. You’re in luck, as we have a few silo structure videos on our website that we’re sure you will find useful.
However, if you’re new to SEO, we suggest that you avoid complex silo structures at this stage. You will get to those when you will have built several simple structures and feel more confident.
So, now you know the formula for creating titles that will help you rank and get better results from search engines and humans alike.