Writing Web Copy: Titles

Page Titles and Web Copy Writing


In crafting your title, you may wish to consider several elements. First, keep in mind that this may be the ONLY description of the page that somebody sees. They won't know that it is your site, or anything about your offerings. Let's start with a hypothetical company, WebFruit, which sells fruit online. If they have a page devoted to oranges, a logical title from an internal standpoint might be "Valencia Oranges" to distinguish the page from all the other pages (like "Braeburn Apples," for example). Keeping in mind that this title isn't for internal consumption, but rather to display to outsiders, it might make more sense to consider something like, "Valencia Oranges from WebFruit". This title is a bit more informative to the casual browser, it is still not particularly inviting or informative.

The purpose of this help file isn't to teach the art of advertising copy writing, but here are some further enhancements. Each of these might be more likely to provoke a click by a reader - you can decide which approach might work best.

Ripe, Juicy, Extra-Large Valencia Oranges from WebFruit!

Valencia Oranges - OVERNIGHT Shipping to Your Door!

FREE Salad Recipes - Valencia Oranges from WebFruit

Valencia Oranges - Lowest Discount Prices from WebFruit

World's Tastiest Valencia Oranges - WebFruit Guarantees It!

If you know your customers, you can probably find a few "hot button" words or phrases that will attract attention and clicks. Some generic words (e.g., free, save, new, etc.) are sure attention-getters, but if you can use some specific words that your viewers will identify with your traffic will be higher. Some search engines may truncate the display of a long title, so be sure to look at the search results of the engine you are targeting to determine how much room you have to work with. Keep in mind that you may have to follow specific word counts in your title tag as determined by your software or your page model. If you are shooting for one occurrence of the keyword or keyword phrase and from 6 to 10 total words, for example, you should be able to come up with a creative and inviting title. On the other hand, if you are trying for a title that has two occurrences of your keyword separated only by two words, you will find it more challenging to come up with something that makes sense and encourages people to visit.

Valencia Oranges: WebFruit's Amazing Valencia Oranges.

Remember - spend the time you need to come up with a great title. FAR more viewers will see these few words than may see your page itself. Fortunately, many of your competitors will have given this little thought, and you will gain traffic.

A Note on Directory Listings.
Directory search engines such as Yahoo! and the Open Directory Project list web sites, as opposed to individual web pages. For this reason, they will use the site title or the company name as the title of the listing, not your page title. The way to get a good title for your listing in the directory search engines is therefore to have a good site title. With the statistics from late 1999 showing that over 50% of all searches were made at Yahoo, it may well be worth giving special consideration to your web site's name or title to get a 'better' listing in the Directories. Next we need to take a look at the Description Meta tag, and at how important it can be to get it right.
Web Copy Writing: Description Meta Tag >>

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