The easiest, most powerful ranking strategy is…
 by Casey Markee

The easiest, most powerful ranking strategy is...

  • What is the easiest most powerful ranking strategy that can be implemented by a web site owner looking to score at the top of the search engines?

Answer: That's easy. The Title tag. But you must implement correctly and know what to realistically expect it should do for you.

It's no secret that the title tag has been the single most important on-page optimization factor for more than a decade. Even today we can often gain an almost immediate improvement in rankings by simply optimizing title tags on a site-wide basis.

To make the most of your title tags, place your best keywords close to or at the beginning of the tag. In addition, you should see to it that each page has a unique title tag. This is especially important because you want to avoid duplicate content issues.

From a searcher's perspective, it's important to note that whenever the title tag exactly matches the search query, your keywords within that title tag will appear in bold typeface on the search results pages. This tends to increase click-through rates.

Bear in mind, however, that incoming links with keyword anchor text is arguably a far more important ranking factor. However, you have a lot more control over your page's title tags than you do over another site's anchor text being used to link to you. Most importantly, you should understand that, while a good title tag can help a little, a bad title tag can completely ruin a page's chance of ranking well in the search results.

By the way, one of the most underappreciated strategies is to use title-tag keywords selectively and systematically to maximize sitewide coverage. This is one of the best ways to clarify distinctions between otherwise similar pages.

The bottom line is: if the time you have to devote to SEO is limited, then your time cannot be better spent than to create good title tags. This simple task is job-one! ...and should take precedent over all of your other strategic SEO priorities.

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