The <TITLE> tag of your Web site is arguably the most important element of your Web site. All the search engines consider the keywords in this tag and give those keywords a lot of importance in their ranking systems. Many search engines use this <TITLE> tag as the title of your site returned in their search results. This means that your HTML tag must not only work to your advantage for keyword scoring, it must also be compelling.
There are two elements to every Web site listing in the search engines:
- the site title, which will be blue and an activated link to the site
- the site description
Of course both must be compelling, but the <TITLE> tag has a special relevance because so many search engines use the title exactly as it appears on your page. Some search engines will use the site description that you give in the META tags, but others will not. For this reason, the <TITLE> of the site is more important than the site description.
Here are the important principles to remember when writing site titles:
A. Longer <TITLE> s are more effective because more words allow you to build a more compelling reason to visit a Web site.
B. People don't read text, they recognize words.
Point A - that longer <TITLE> s work better - is true because it takes a certain number of words to persuade someone to take action.
Remember, in a direct response approach it's difficult to offer time, money and value in just two words. People scan headlines in brochures and magazines often, even when they don't read all the information. Since the title is usually a hyperlink, it is a different color, and it is generally bold and easy to read.
When it's longer, there are more words with which to hook a reader. If something catches the readers' eye as they scroll down a list of site titles, they will hopefully read the site description. If you've done your work, they will be hooked.
Research has also shown that Point B is true. People don't read individual letters after about the time they turn 12 years old - they recognize words. Educators know that people glance at words and recognize the words by the shape they see defined by the tops of the words. If you don't believe it, take a sentence in any newspaper or book and cover the bottom half of the words.
You can still read the words with relative ease. Now, cover the top of a different sentence. You'll find that the words are harder to read because there is not much difference in the shape or line of the bottom of the words. You'll see that you recognize words by their tops, by the differences in the height of the different letters. You might think to yourself, "Interesting, but how does this apply to me and my marketing efforts?"
If people recognize words by looking at the tops of the words, and that this is accomplished because the tops of words vary in height and appearance, then sentences that start with just one capital letter and then lowercase letters will be easier to recognize and will get read first. Every little advantage helps you!
WORDS IN ALL CAPS ARE HARD TO READ! PEOPLE DON'T LIKE TO READ THEM AND DON'T READ THEM AS EASILY. RECOGNIZING THE WORDS IN THE SENTENCES IS TEDIOUS, AND THESE LISTINGS ARE FREQUENTLY OVERLOOKED.
To further illustrate the "tops of words" principle, look at how difficult it is to read this sentence:
SeNtEnCeS ThAT VaRy CaPs AnD LoWErCaSe LeTtErS ArE mAdDEnInG AnD EvEn HarDeR To ReAd.
See what a difference the tops of words can make? For this reason, construct your <TITLE> tags and site title submissions with one capital letter to start the tag, then use lower case letters for the rest of the site title. This technique is just one more advantage that you can realize over your Web site's competitors in search results.