Eric Rohrback
Spread the Word

SEO Experiment: Optimizing the Title Tag for SEO

EXPERIMENT: only change the title tag for seo gains

This was a test with a high probability of succeeding, because we know how important the Title Tag is for SEO and ranking purposes. It’s helps both users and bots understand what the page is about, it’s the first thing a user sees before they click on a page in the SERPs, and it’s one of the first parts of a webpage that gets crawled by bots. This tag should be an accurate and concise description of the page’s content, so it’s widely recognized as one of the most important elements for on page SEO. So the test was to see what the impact of adding just a keyword to the beginning of the tag, and changing nothing else. The results were pretty surprising, mostly because how quickly the rankings changed.

Title Tag Change - Ranking Report

In this case I changed the Title tag, which caused a jump to page one and helped this site stay stable on page one.

 

title tag’s effect

The only change that was made was adding the target keyword at the front of the title tag on the homepage. No other adjustments were made. The keyword this client wanted to rank for was {keyword}+{location}, so they already had the location in the title tag. Simply updating the tag with the exact keyword caused a jump from the middle of page 2 up to the bottom of page one. This also impacted other related searches for this client’s industry. They popped in the local pack for some of the related searches, but not the exact keyword that we were trying to get them in the local pack for. The target keyword is moderately competitive (Google Keyword Tool reports around 30 searches per month) for this client, so this was a big jump for such a small adjustment. This helps reaffirm how important the title tag really is in SEO, and why you need to make sure it’s fully optimized. If you don’t have your keyword in the tag, and it appears you need it at the front of the tag, then you’re missing a critical onsite adjustment.

What does this tell us? The simple things still can make an impact for your SEO clients. Make sure the title tags are optimized first and foremost, then move on to the smaller technical elements of the site. Onsite SEO is still critical, because it’s realistically the only part of the campaign you have 100% control over. Once you are fully optimized, then move to offsite link building to boost them up further. The client above is holding steady at the bottom of the first page. Now it’s time to start finding them some link opportunities. Next up for you… take a client and test out title tag changes for target keywords. Good luck!

About the Author Eric Rohrback

I have a competitive drive that is heavily rooted in my love for playing sports. When I'm not active on the field or court, I'm busy making websites profitable. I've worked on small WordPress sites all the way up to large eCommerce platforms. I enjoy the challenge, the puzzle, and overall just love the work.

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