At HVACSEOReports.com, one of our goals is to help HVAC and plumbing contractors use data and technology improve their organic search rankings. Google has publicly stated that there are hundreds of factors they use to determine the order of the organic search rankings.
So, what we’ve done is identify as many of these “ranking signals” as possible and used our expertise to build an easy-to-use software program to help business owners track, analyze, and monitor them (and see how your site stacks up against your competitors). Monitoring your competitors is key because your scores for any individual ranking factor are relative to the other HVAC/plumbing companies competing against you in your market.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to provide you with a practical tip for improving your site’s rankings on Google and illustrate how our SEO software can assist in the optimization process.
Page Title Tags (aka. Title Tags)
Each page of your website should have a unique page title tag that accurately describes the content of the page. What is a title tag? It’s an HTML element and each page of your website has one (even if you or your website designer left it blank – which many do when they cut corners to finally get your site “live”).
The title tag is seen here at the very top of the screenshot:
Because a page title tag is an HTML element, you’ll need to be able to access the “back end” of your website in order to make changes. How difficult this process is depends on how your website was built.
For example, if your website was built on a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, you should be able to log in, edit a page, and edit the individual title tag of the page. Bringing in a web developer should not be necessary; however, you may not be able to find the appropriate section of WordPress or your website may have been built on another platform – something not as user-friendly. In this case, you might need to engage someone more technical to assist you. In any event, adding unique page titles is not terribly complicated and it should not cost you an arm and a leg (unless you have hundreds of pages to fix – another reason to invest in SEO early).
Why Page Title Tags Matter
Google and the other search engines rank web pages based on relevance and authority. Based on our research and analysis, page title tags appear to play a key role in the relevance score of your website and each individual web page. Each page title tag should be unique and should accurately describe the contents of the page it represents.
It might be helpful to think of your website as if it were a non-fiction book. The homepage of your website is like the cover of the book and it should include a title that describes the entire contents of the book (think – the broadest relevant title). Now, think of each sub-page of your website as an individual chapter. The title tag of your homepage is like the title of your book. The title tags of each sub-page are like chapter titles.
What would the title of your book be?
Hint: It should describe your business at the broadest level possible – while still being highly-relevant.
For example, if you own a residential heating and cooling company in Chicago, your homepage’s title tag might read: Residential Heating & Air Conditioning Service Company Serving Chicago, IL | Bill’s Heating & Air.
Choosing something like, “HVAC Company | Bill’s Heating & Air” isn’t a good idea because it’s too broad. It doesn’t differentiate residential vs. commercial nor does it indicate the market you serve.
Each title tag should describe the page’s content as broadly as possible while still being hyper-relevant. If you go too broad, your pages will never outscore your competitors’ pages. Go too narrow / specific and you will likely fail to rank for broader and more widely searched keyword phrases and you rank well for terms that hardly anyone ever searches.
How to Assess & Fix Your Site’s Page Title Tags
If you’re using our software, you don’t have to worry about assessing your site’s title tags, to a certain extent, we do that for you. Our software assess your site’s page title tags in a couple of different ways. First, we check to see if your website has any missing page title tags. If you have missing title tags, you’ll want to fix those IMMEDIATELY. How do you see which pages have missing title tags?
One great way is to use our Website Detective feature:
Our Website Detective feature allows you to quickly find the pages on your website that are missing title tags so that you can fix them or hire someone to do it for you.
Remember – your page title tags should also be unique and describe the content on the page they represent. Our software also evaluates each page title tag’s uniqueness.
Again, you can use our Website Detective feature to identify which pages of your website have duplicate page titles:
By identifying duplicate title tags, you can make them unique and get your site ranked for a larger number of target keywords.
Final Thoughts & Takeaways
Title tags play an important role in how your website ranks on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In our experience (and we’ve analyzed over 10,000 HVAC and plumbing websites), websites missing title tags, or with a significant number of duplicate title tags, will not rank nearly as well as sites with complete pages and unique tags.
HVACSEOReports.com’s software helps you evaluate your website’s page title tags – both in terms of their presence and uniqueness, shows you how your competitors compare, and gives you some great tools to make the optimization process faster and easier.