Generally speaking, the goal of today’s search engines is to…
Do you know what a page title is?
It’s that little sliver of text that appears at the top of your browser.
It’s also the text that appears on a search engine results page (SERP).
Page title happens to be an HTML attribute that you can define — that is, if the website software you’re using supports it. And it also happens to be the most important on-page factor for search engine optimization (SEO).
When you think about it, it makes sense. Imagine if you walked into a bookstore and all books had blank covers. How would you know what the book was about without having to spend a lot of time opening the book and looking around? In New York, we have a lot of “cool” restaurants and bars who think it’s great not to have a sign on the establishment. I happen to find that annoying. So does Google.
Google thinks pages without titles affect the user experience, and therefore, they will rank your web pages lower than sites with a page title.
This is what a site looks like when no page title is defined.
And the SERP.
Companies spend millions of dollars on ads to attract your attention. The search engine results page is, in effect, an ad for your website. Why would I want to click on the result above? Gee Hae happens to be a good wedding photographer, but I wouldn’t know that because the page title doesn’t mention it, and there’s no text on her homepage (or in the meta description) that would populate anything under the page title on the results page.
So SEO isn’t just about being indexed by search engines, it’s also about having creating enough enticing information so that people click on your result instead of the 9 other results on the page.
Every web page can have a page title, and the best websites have different page titles for each page. Google likes that because it’s provides the viewer with a way to differentiate pages and content. Why should a photo gallery of Barry Bonds have the same page title as a photo gallery of Yellowstone National Park?
PhotoShelter allows you to enter page titles manually in some cases, and in other cases, we’ll grab the name of your gallery to populate the page titles. This saves you a lot of time, and also gives you the SEO benefit that is absent from most other website software.