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DIY Canadian SEO…Chapter 1

November 19, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: SEO 


In the next few months, I’m going to be putting forth a series of Do It Yourself SEO chapters for one and all to enable any website owner to learn what we feel are the best tactics to use, in gaining search engine rankings that climb. This series of chapters will be somewhat detailed so that not only can I explain the “how-to’s” of Canadian SEO, but also the “whys” of same. So here’ s the first chapter, on the creation and development of the <TITLE> tags and why that is so so important.

Okay, first look at your own title tag, which of course is up top in the browser’s blue bar. See that string of data up there that comes before the brand name of the browser itself? Well, that’s the title tag. For example, here’s what I see when I go to one of our websites at<title>Hamilton web developer — Hamilton Search Engine Optimization– KKT INTERACTIVE</title>.

This short string of characters (actually it’s 70 characters by design) is the title of that page and it as you can see, carrys keywords that we’re trying to get ranked for in various search engines. I wrote that string and it properly identifies this site as both a web developer site and an SEO site too, which of course is who we are. Internet Explorer and Mozilla and FireFox and Safari all show exactly that same string as our title tag is properly written and counted out to be 70 chars as a maximum number. But why that number?

Simple really, as all search engines do have their own limits on the actual char counts that can be used, the lowest maximum that they all will show is 95 characters. That is you as of today, you can use up to 195 letters, numbers, symbols etc in Internet Explorer (but past 250 chars in other browsers) and that’s the point, really, of us deciding that as IE is “the” business-world browser, we should not go past that maximum char threshold that IE relys on. Sure, it’d be nice if we could have more as I’d have loved to have added in some more keywords, but for us our keyword phrases just wouldn’t “fit” more terms into that 70 char max, so we stopped then at 69 chars. (Google sometimes “fluctuates” this number too, fyi) Also one more item…note that we used double hypens to seperate the two keyword phrases that we chose for this page. They work fine, as do pipes (|) or even single hypens (-) too…the choice is up to you as all search engines ignore same.

But maybe more importantly than this browser knowledge is the “why” is this <title> tag important anyways? And for that one has to understand that this is basic “on-page” optimization strategy, that the search engines do use to rank the pages within their index. Search engines LOVE the <title> tag. They use same to boost your rankings and as far as our own testing and analytics have shown that’s for ALL of the top 10 search engines. SEOmoz, a great SEO site ranks the <title> tag as the most important part of any on-page SEO tactics….more than 66% of their 72 SEO experts in their latest survey agreed on that being the most important factor!

You must use your own keywords in your page titles and by doing so, make your various site pages more descriptive too as you must always remember that while the bots come to ingest-then-index your pages, it’s “humans” that will be doing the actual reading of same! You see, search engines give a  BIG boost in their rankings to sites that have descriptive, keyword <title> tags by both relevance and ranks too. When a visitor likes your pages enough to then actually Bookmark same, then it’s that <title> tag that will be saved and recorded and that’s a good thing too! Descriptive <title> tags can then get your both Bookmarked AND repeat traffic too…follow me here? Try this, go to, and type in “Hamilton web developer” — see that #1 listing? Yup, that’s and the <title> is what you see! This is the CTR or click thru rate and that’s important to all of us who depend upon search engines to bring us a steady stream of prospects…

So bottom line here?

  • Make each and every page on your site complete with a unique <title> tag that describes (using your keywords) the page itself.
  • Try to stay within the 70 char limits that IE imposes to not end up with a cut-off keyword or phrase.
  • And remember that a keyword in the <title> tag should always also appear on the page itself!

 Tune in again later when our Chapter #2 will talk about the whole <META> schmozzle… i.e. what’s true and what aint! And thanks for dropping by, eh!

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One Response to “DIY Canadian SEO…Chapter 1”
  1. MikeY says:

    I like it, I like it a lot. It teaches me things I did not realize, sort of more in depth. Thanks Jim!