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Is it best - when targetting the word "Widget" to have just that word in the title, or is it best perhaps to have say "The Widget" or "Our Widget" or "New Widget".
Any advice appreciated.
Study what else is getting ranked.
Make yourself a spread sheet and start walking through listings. Record at what position in the title tag the keyword is located. Note how many times the kw is repeated (if at all) in the title tag.
Within 30 mins of surfing, you should be able to come back here and give us a good guestimate of how to build a good google title. Go...
Start and End
Widget.com in the title
Start Middle and End.
One word then Widget and other way round.
Where there are examples of listings not containing the word in the title, I assume that these are high due to inbound anchor text, and factors on the page itself.
Experimentation is difficult at the moment on G as there doesnt seem to be any new pages being crawled.
Due to the importance of the page title, we, like many, have performed quite a bit of research in this area - monitoring various sites and keyword usage.
I beleive it all comes down to relatively short singular use, plural use, and branding.
In our case, our sites are typically 2 to 1 plural. Determine what people are searching for (using Overture or AdWord tools) to see what should be prioritized. (If you are selling scissors or pants, this determination is easy).
1). Widgets by [Company Name]
- provides 1st position keyword strength (plural), as well as branding;
2). Widgets by [company name] - A Great Widget for [industry]
- provides 1st position keyword strength (plural), branding, AND singular keyword strength.
If there are different types of widgets, then target "Blue Widgets" on a separate page with that key phrase as the title.
As far as comparing what else is getting well ranked, it is Always a good idea to see what the potential competition is up to - but duplicating their titles isn't necessarily going to help.
In one case, we noticed a top #1 And #2 listing for a competitive keyword that used a rediculous title for both. After further investigation, they were (and still are) using hidden image maps cross-linked to hundreds of their other sites.
- Titles are important, but there are many other factors (good and bad) that can get a site to the top...
There are many ways to go about it and you will find your method with experience. HTH :)