Wednesday, August 17, 2005

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Friday, August 05, 2005

How to Write Web Page Titles to Enhance Your Site Exposure

iSnare Featured Article

A carefully-written title for your web page can enhance your site exposure and attract more visitors. Here's how to write an effective web page title.

What is a web page title?

In your web page HTML code, the page title (also called the title element or just the title) is the text that is enclosed by the opening and closing TITLE tags.

The title should be placed between the HEAD tags, ideally just after the beginning HEAD tag and before the first META tag.


The title is important for a variety of reasons.

  • Most browsers will display your page with the title at the top of the browser window.

  • If visitors bookmark your page in their browsers, their bookmark lists will show your page using just the title. Many web page titles default to "Home Page." So if the title of your web page is "Home Page", your visitors' bookmark lists will contain a lot of "Home Page" listings.

  • Google and other search engines present the results of a search by displaying page titles as links in the first line of each query result. Search engines doesn't like to display "Home Page" as the best they can do for a user searching for "purple people eaters," for example.

  • Most search engines will order the results of a search engine query based on the relevancy of your page to the keywords used for the query. One of the factors in determining this relevancy is how closely your title matches these keywords. If your small startup company makes purple people eaters, don't give your home page the title "Unknown Business, Inc." It's not relevant to the search.

You can see that the title of your web page is highly visible to others, and it can impact the search engine ranking and visibility of your web page. It is therefore worthwhile to spend some time carefully writing each page title.

Practical tips for writing page titles

Here are some practical tips you can use for crafting an effective web page title.

  • Start by thinking hard about how your potential visitors will search for your site. What keywords or keyword phrases will they use for a search engine query? Use one or two of the most important keyword phrases for your title. In our example, the home page title could be "Purple People Eaters."

  • Don't just use the same title for all your web site pages. Your About page title could be "About Unknown Business, Inc., Your Source for Purple People Eaters." Your Order page title could be "How to Order Purple People Eaters."

  • Don't include your company name in the title unless it is a commonly recognized name or the page is about your company. Use the limited real estate in a title for relevant keywords. You can include your company name in the description META tag of your web page.

  • Make sure the title does not exceed 66 characters. Google will not display more than 66 characters of a title in the search results page. Truncated titles irritate search engine users.

  • Don't use more than 7-10 words in your title.

  • Be careful when using some web page generators or editors. Many will either ignore the title or make up an ineffective title like "your title goes here."

Summary

Understand what the title element of a web page is, why it is important, and follow these practical tips for writing your web page titles. Your internet visibility will be improved, you will improve your search engine ranking, and you will get more visitors to your web site.

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Kempton Smith writes articles for internet businesses. For a free report on how to use articles to promote your product or service online, send an email to articleghostwriter at yahoo.com. Copyright (c) 2005 by Kempton Smith. This article may be freely published if you leave it intact.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Top 10 Common English Goofs by Web Authors


As Featured On Ezine Articles

In reviewing and browsing web sites over the years, I have compiled a list of the most common misuses of English by web authors. Here they are in Letterman (reverse) order.


10. Who, which or that?

"Who" (or "whom") refers to persons. "Which" refers to animals or things, never to persons. "That" can refer to either persons or things.

Examples:

The girl who was hungry.
The dog that wagged its tail.
The software which I wrote.


9. Anyone vs any one

"Anyone" means "any person," not necessarily any specific person. It could refer to multiple people simultaneously.

As two words, "any one" refers to a single person.

Examples:

Anyone can download my software. But the software can only be used by any one user at a time.


8. Commonly misspelled words

All right
Dependable
Independent
Recommend
Responsible
Separate


7. Don't put punctuation at the end of a URL

While not technically an English grammatical error, don't put a period or anything immediately after a URL reference. Doing so will usually invalidate the URL. You might call this an internet grammatical rule.

Example:

Notice the lack of a period in the following sentence. My URL is http://article-promotion.blogspot.com



6. Software not softwares

"Software" can be singular or plural. Never use "softwares."


5. Do the quotes go after or before the period?

Put quotes after a period or comma. Put quotes before a colon. Put quotes after a question mark unless the entire sentence is a question. This is a US English standard. British English usage can differ.

Examples:

He asked, "Are you hungry?"
She replied, "Yes, I am hungry."
Did she say, "Yes"?


4. There, their, or they're

"There" is used in two ways. It can specify a place. It can also be used as an expletive or empty word to start a sentence.

"Their" is used as a possessive form of "they".

"They're" is short for "they are."

Examples:

I live there, not here.
There are nine planets in the solar system.
The two boys raced their bikes.
They're both tired after walking up the stairs.


3. Powerful

Too many developers describe their software as, "XXX Software is a powerful, easy-to-use, ... ." I searched download.com and found 2149 descriptions or titles of software containing the word "powerful." Powerful has many meanings, most referring to how effectively something is performed, as in muscular. A car with 450 horsepower is clearly more powerful than one with only 200 horsepower. But what is powerful software? If you mean feature-rich (like Adobe Photoshop), then say so. If your software does only one thing, but it does it completely or thoroughly (like CounterSpy), then say so. But please, no more powerful software.


2. Site or sight

A "site" is a place.

"Sight" refers to your sense of vision.

Examples:

A web site is a place on the internet that you visit with your browser.
A beautiful sunset is a marvellous sight.


And, finally, the most common English blunder by web authors is:

1. Its or It's

Use "it's" only when it means "it is." Unless you can replace "it's" with "it is," use "its." Never use "its'."

Examples:

It's raining today.

The dog wagged its tail.


Conclusion:

English is very difficult for persons whose native language is not English. It is also difficult for many English-speaking authors.

Unfortunately, most of the common grammatical errors will not be caught by a spell checker, so you have to manually check your writing for them.

An excellent reference is the short and timeless book, The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White. A free online version of this book is available at http://www.bartleby.com/141/index.html

I hope that web authors can use this article to recognize and correct some of the most common grammatical blunders that abound on the internet.

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Kempton Smith helps internet businesses promote their products or services online by ghostwriting affordable, unique, keyword-rich articles for them. Email him now at articleghostwriter@yahoo.com for a free article for your online business, no obligations. Or for a free report on how to use articles to promote your product or service, visit http://article-promotion.blogspot.com
Copyright © 2005 by Kempton Smith. This article may be freely published provided you leave it intact.
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