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Thread: Web page titles

  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict rabbitsfeat's Avatar
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    Web page titles

    When writing web page titles (what goes in between the title tags), does it matter what word or phrase separators you use?

    i.e. hyphens, commmas, pipes etc.

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    SitePoint Wizard holmescreek's Avatar
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    The title or summary of what the page is about. Example, if you had a news site the title of a news story on a page might be :

    News: Bigfoot Spotted In Georgia
    News - Bigfoot Spotted In Georgia
    News | Bigfoot Spotted In Georgia
    Name of Site - Bigfoot Spotted In Georgia


    Think of it this way, if someone bookmarks the page, when they go back to their bookmark folder the page title should be something descriptive. The more descriptive, the better for search engines in locating the page.
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    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    I would put the title first then the site name:
    [Title] - [sitename] News
    Logic without the fatal effects.
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    SitePoint Zealot c.t.c.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbitsfeat View Post
    When writing web page titles (what goes in between the title tags), does it matter what word or phrase separators you use?

    i.e. hyphens, commmas, pipes etc.
    No, I can't think of an instance where the type of separators would matter.

  5. #5
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    It doesn't matter how you separate the terms.

    The order of the terms might matter in terms of SEO, but that is largely dependent on what other SEO factors are working for or against you.

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    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Why does "SEO" have to come into it? Search Engines really shouldn't influence how you build/write a page. You should only think of the people the actual users who will use the site. If you want a high ranking in Search Engines result page thats fine. But that shouldn't be the reason why you implement something.

    I'm still amazed that the majority first think about the "SEO" effect rather then the effect on the actual users.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    Why does "SEO" have to come into it? Search Engines really shouldn't influence how you build/write a page. You should only think of the people the actual users who will use the site. If you want a high ranking in Search Engines result page thats fine. But that shouldn't be the reason why you implement something.

    I'm still amazed that the majority first think about the "SEO" effect rather then the effect on the actual users.
    Logic,

    I never said that SEO should be considered before UX. Also, as a user, I am equally satisfied with:

    Site Name - Article Name

    and

    Article Name - Site Name

    Also, building with search in mind is key (if you would like more visitors to your site, which most people do). In fact, most SEO strategies rewarded with higher rankings by search engines are because they contribute to positive user experience. I am a huge proponent of only implementing SEO practices that either explicitly help or otherwise do not detract from UX.

    This is not the SEO forum, but you are way off base here and could likely learn a lot from reading it and other SEO resources. Please do not put words in my mouth - but instead PM me if you want to talk about SEO/UX - I'm always up for that!

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    SitePoint Zealot Ken Sharpe's Avatar
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    I read an interview at some point that said the optimal title was just the title of whatever the content for the page is. Failing that, if the marketing hounds are nipping, you can put the name of the site after the title of the content. They didn't mention anything about separators.

  9. #9
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Nachturnal,
    See but the issue is you never mentioned the user benefits. You post goes straight off into SEO related. I would like to know how I would be off base when I didn't bring up SEO?

    In either case the user would get the best benefit from the title of the article coming first. Not only would the title easily be viewable in the title of a window and or table. But would be easier to find in a list of bookmarks.

    Sadly I don't need any information on "SEO" the only thing that needs to be done is write great content and make your pages human usable. The search engines will handle things themselves.

    Off Topic:


    Btw, I wasn't actually attacking you, I was being general. I have to deal with people claiming to be some SEO professional when they know nothing about SEO. So its kinda a pet peeve of mine.

    Sorry for any offence it might have caused.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict rabbitsfeat's Avatar
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    I read an interview at some point that said the optimal title was just the title of whatever the content for the page is. Failing that, if the marketing hounds are nipping, you can put the name of the site after the title of the content.
    That's interest Ken Sharpe; I don't suppose you can remember where you read it?

    Using that philosophy my first page title would be:

    About

    I don't really think that is a good title, nor does it say enough—about what?

    The websites title in this case is actually the name of an artist so I'll add that on the end:

    About Stephen Cummins

    I don't think that's a bad title; it's to the point. But it doesn't say anything about what the site is about or what Stephen Cummins does.

    I read something yesterday that advised putting the site name last so we'll leave that there and try adding a bit more.

    About Wildlife Artist Stephen Cummins

    This is what I have currently as the title for that page. It's to the point. On this page you'll expect to find information about Stephen Cummins; which is exactly what is on this page. It tells you what he does and what his name/site name is. Wildlife artist is also a keyword phrase.

    I think I've pretty much nailed it with that title, but would like to hear what people think of my methodology of getting there. The title is quite short but if I were to add anything more it would just detract from the usability and merely be stuffing the title with extra keywords.
    Last edited by rabbitsfeat; Aug 17, 2008 at 01:03. Reason: Alter text styling so more understandable

  11. #11
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    Why does "SEO" have to come into it? Search Engines really shouldn't influence how you build/write a page. You should only think of the people the actual users who will use the site. If you want a high ranking in Search Engines result page thats fine. But that shouldn't be the reason why you implement something.
    Well, the better SEO is...

    "Title of Article - Website Name"

    ...so one might as well point that out. It's helpful. Whatever terms appear first in the title are most weighted. Furthermore, it's also better usability to give the title of the article first rather than the name of the website. The visitor is far more interested in the title.

    I'm still amazed that the majority first think about the "SEO" effect rather then the effect on the actual users.
    They go hand-in-hand. Usability doesn't necessarily suffer when following basic SEO guidelines.
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    SitePoint Zealot nepalsites's Avatar
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    as a designer or webmaster it doesn't hurt to be SEO conscious and try to go for titles that are related to the webpage but also search engine friendly. You can put "Our company name", "our company contact" in each page or you can try to highlight more on products as well.

    As for the separators, it is better to use hypen for separating phrases, such as "Product - Company Name"

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    SitePoint Zealot c.t.c.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nepalsites View Post
    As for the separators, it is better to use hypen [sic] for separating phrases, such as "Product - Company Name"
    You've peaked my interest. Is this documented anywhere, or can you expand on this claim? Thanks.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot nepalsites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c.t.c. View Post
    You've peaked my interest. Is this documented anywhere, or can you expand on this claim? Thanks.
    I don't think that its documented anywhere or as such, but I work on search optimization and internet marketing, and i can tell from personal experience that hyphens works better on titles than pipes. (also probably because pipes are used less often and they give a sense of a complete topic separator than phrase joiner/separator, if you know what i mean.) As for the commas, they can be used as immediate product separator - such as product 1, product 2 etc. For separating product with company names or key phrase separation, i find hyphen to be the best option and providing best results.

    sorry for posting more SEO related stuff in design related topic. But you could PM if you have more questions.


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