Greetings! Today’s SEO copywriting tip addresses a question posed in the SEO Copywriting Certification graduate group forum:
“In my experience, pipes have been added to define SEO keywords in the search engine results…can you explain what is the preferred way of writing general SEO Titles – with or without pipes? What produces the best results in terms of consumer search behavior?”
An excellent question! Beginning with an explanation of “pipes,” Heather discusses how to capture clicks with unique, optimized webpage Titles:
First, what are “pipes’?
Pipes refer to those vertical lines used in webpage Titles (in lieu of commas or hyphens) to distinguish words and phrases – which yes, tend to be keywords and keyphrases.
For instance, in the first screenshot (showing the search results page listing for a Portland pilates business) the structure of the site’s home page Title is clearly visible: keyword | keyword | keyphrase | location keyphrase | company name.
Sometimes, as demonstrated in the second screen, pipes are generated automatically in a page Title due to the website’s template. (This is often the case with WordPress blogs.) So you see a descriptive page Title | company name.
So, what would get your click?
Comparing the two Titles, which one would you click? The pipe-separated string of keywords, or the customized Title that also has keywords worked into the copy?
Both are technically “right,” but the top example represents a more “old school” approach to Title optimization. It isn’t “wrong,” and it won’t get you banned in Google, but you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.
The second Title is much more powerful. It still is optimized, with the main keyphrases included, but it’s a far more “clickable” Title.
Three Title creation tips
When crafting a webpage Title, keep these tips in mind:
1. The search engine results page is your first opportunity for conversion. Enticing Titles help “get the click.”
2. Watch your character count – make your Title stand out in 60ish characters (including spaces).
3. Always make your Titles unique for the page. Don’t forget to include your main page keyphrases, synonyms or related words. Always.