One of the strongest factors in how your website as a whole is evaluated in search engines is actually your homepage title tag.
Please note that this is not a get-good-rankings-fast tip, but rather something that can boost your rankings in the long term, for every single keyword you target, including easy and difficult ones.
What is your homepage title?
Your homepage title is displayed on a little tab at the top of your visitor’s screen, when seeing your homepage. It looks something like this:
Please read my article about title tag SEO here to understand why a page title is so important.
The upmost importance of your homepage title
Your homepage is the most important page of your website. In an ideal situation it clarifies the content and serves as a guide for your visitors. And also for search engines.
Everything that appears on the homepage therefore has much bigger impact on the evaluation of your website as a whole, than any other page.
This is true for your homepage title as well. Title tag being one of the most important ranking factors, and the very first line your potential visitor sees when browsing the SERPs, it has a really great impact on your site’s results.
Your homepage title therefore is the most important SEO element of your most important page. It helps to clarify the topic of your site for search engines.
How to set your homepage title
I find that setting the homepage title is one of the easiest tasks in SEO. It is something you shouldn’t think too much about. Please first go back to the first part of this 5 SEO tips mini-series and be sure you know what your 2-3 homepage topic keywords are.
Then you should structure your homepage title like this:
[Brand name or site name] [separator] [keyword 1], [keyword 2], [keyword 3]
That is your brand name followed by a separator (usually but not exclusively ‘-‘), than your topic keywords separated by commas.
As an example for my site, as of the publication of this article, brand name here is WPCookHouse, topic keywords are WordPress Tutorials, SEO Tutorials and WordPress Recipe Themes. Thus my homepage title looks like this:
WPCookHouse – WordPress Tutorials, SEO Tutorials, WordPress Recipe Themes
Why is this useful?
You don’t have too many characters in your homepage title to play with, so you have to use that space wisely. This is the only solution where you can maximize every character.
By using your brand name, you make sure that your content is unique. Anyways, using brand name in the title is something Google wants us to do. (If not, it will append a brand name it thinks to be useful.)
By listing your topic keywords, you make sure you clarify what your site is about. I find that in the long term this has a great impact on how easily you can rank for those difficult keywords. On the other hand in the short term it does have a real impact on ranking for easier keywords under the same topic.
Go ahead and change your homepage title accordingly. In a followup part of this mini-series I’ll explain you what kind of improvement should you see once you’ve done this.
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