Jeff Guenther on Jul 09, 2017
In addition to TherapyDen, I run a blog over at Practice Academy that gives advice on how therapists can move up in Google search results. If I’m not obsessing about therapist directories and how to create the perfect profile, I’m obsessing over Google search results and how counselors can appear on the first page.
Today, I want to share one of the most important factors in ranking high in online search results: having optimized page titles for each page on your website. Optimizing your page titles is incredibly quick and easy to do and the pay off is almost immediate. Google will love you for doing it and will reward you with a higher ranking for the search terms that you want to show up for.
If you want to skip the rest of this article and get to work on optimizing your page titles download the easy to use workbook I made. Follow the simple formula I created, which will practically write your page titles for you.
Each page on your website, whether you’re aware of it or not, has a unique page title. Page titles appear at the top of web browsers. And more importantly, they are displayed in big text on Google search result pages.
Page titles are important only because Google thinks they’re important. When Google crawls your site to figure out what keywords and search terms you should show up for, their first stop is your page title. This is where they get a sense of what content will be displayed on that particular page of your website. Each page of your site should have a different page title, since each page of your site is going to be different than all the other pages. However, your page titles will overlap a bit since you’ll be using similar content throughout your site.
In the early days of online search, a website’s homepage is what used to show up in search results. Visitors would enter through the homepage and go on a journey through the site. Now-a-days, individual pages of a site rank instead of whole websites. Which means that visitors will enter your site via many different landing pages, rather than just the homepage. This means we need to make sure that each and every page is fully optimized, starting with its page title, since they all have a shot at showing up in search results.
As a rule of thumb, a page title should be no more than 65 characters in length. The main reason for this suggested length is that you don’t want to get those ellipses at the end of the page title on search results.
It’s not going to hurt your search ranking if you have a page title that’s too long, but it just doesn’t look quite as nice when it happens and searchers might not click on your website as much because of it.
Your page title should also resemble an actual sentence. Do not just link words separated by commas or dashes. That doesn’t look quite right and gets low points for readability.
Your page title should include all the most important keywords for your webpage. A keyword is a word or phrase that you imagine people will enter into Google in order to find your services. Your webpage will naturally have these keywords scattered through out it’s content and in your page title.
For example, if you are a Bay Area therapist who specializes in treating clients going through a divorce, you should have a page on your website that focuses on your approach to this issue. Some keywords that might be on this page are:
A page title for this page would look something like this:
If you’d like me to walk you through writing the page titles for each page on your site, download this free workbook. It makes the process of creating unique page titles for your website a snap.
Editing your page titles couldn’t be easier. Modern website builders understand that Google will rank your page based on your titles and they make sure it’s as simple as possible to edit them. Below, you’ll find links to instructions for editing your page titles, based on which website builder you use.
There are many other factors that go into ranking on the first page of Google search results. However, optimizing pages titles is the most neglected and easiest fix a therapist can make. Sometimes it can result in dramatically improved results. The vast majority of therapists never think of applying search engine optimization techniques to their website so you can lead the pack with this simple edit.
Finally, even though I’m taking a break from writing blogs for Practice Academy to focus all my attention on TherapyDen, it’s a great resource if you are looking for more information and instructions on improving your SEO. Check it out!
Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.