Media Monday: A Little Story About Search Engine Titles

By jrosen | September 16th, 2013


I’ve been asked some very fair questions recently, some easier to answer than others. A couple questions that I’ll call out today are very relevant to this small business SEO bootcamp series called Media Monday that I’ve been doing since mid-summer here on the Cabedge blog. What is a strategic web design company doing blogging about SEO?

Well, the analogy I often use is that a lot of firms help you build a nice looking house, but they don’t really help your eventual guests find your house.

We are digital farmers that help our clients businesses grow. There are two main ways we do that.

1. Helping people love you.

2. Helping people find you.

The first has to do with building a strategic, beautiful, usable web experiences that will resonate with people. Call them “target audiences” if you must, but they have to be engaging.

Secondly, there is a balance between content creation for SEO, and content creation for strategic design and usability. Some SEO contrarians will have you believe that you can completely ignore putting keywords into your page content, especially your metadata and search engine titles. This leads me into the other tough question I was telling you that I’ve been asked recently. At Atiba University on August 20: Google Geeking – I hit on how basic on-page optimization practices still have a relevant place in your layered traffic generation marketing plan.

The response from the crowd was pretty shocking. Most people were under the impression that things like putting in Search Engine Page Titles didn’t matter at all.

Well, I have a story to tell about that. I have to keep the keywords and competition somewhat private, but I will reveal that I use a handy mobile app called “G-Ranking” every day that shoots a message to my phone with where our company sites rank for various keywords – in the top 20. I recently noticed that some of our competition had snuck above us on page one for a couple top keywords.

Nashville Web Design

I decided to put my theory – and the audience’s question – to the test. I only changed the search engine page titles on various pages of our site(s). I wanted to see if that one change (within the context of having well optimized pages, solid content, a history of web traffic, etc.) would make a difference.

It did. It definitely caused us to move back up to where we were prior to falling. Now, I’m not sitting here writing that Search Engine Page Titles are the key, but I am telling you that they cannot be ignored. In a world where we’re all trying to be noticed, our marketing strategies have to have multiple layers.

We don’t have to jump in and keyword-stuff, or aggressively link-build, but we can’t completely ignore basic SEO practices. They still do work. All said, a balance of usable design, top notch content, and online marketing are all needed to be truly successful. I fully realize this blog has been very marketing-heavy over the last few months, and we intend to fill it up with a better representation of our team’s truly balanced skill set over the next quarter.

Thanks for reading.

Paul Hickey is the managing director of Cabedge Design, LLCan Atiba Company – and chief marketing geek for the Atiba Family. He specializes in strategic web design, organic and paid search, brand creation and helping clients and partners accomplish business goals. Paul loves writing and communicating, and helping drive relevant traffic to websites.

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