Strategic Marketing Blog

SEO

Duplicate Page Titles and Meta Descriptions Diminish SEO Results

In our e-book, 5 Common SEO Mistakes Found on Company Websites—And How to Fix Them, we address the most frequent mistakes we see and provide tools for making improvements that will drive better SEO performance.

When we review a website for performance, one of the first things we look for are page titles. Page titles (also known as title tags) are one of the most important factors in helping search engines understand what your page is all about. Having unique and strategic page titles will help Google quickly understand what your page is about and help rank you higher for the specific search terms or phrases that it includes.

Page titles can be easily found by looking in the tab at the top of your screen. When you hover your mouse over that tab, you’ll likely be able to see the page title that has been set for that particular page on your website. (See example below.)

SEO Image

One error we often find is that sites have no specific page titles set, which typically leads to having the company name used as the page title throughout the entire website. The issue with this is twofold—one, unless someone is searching specifically for your company name, they’re unlikely to find your site for other relevant search terms (like the services that your company offers); and two, when you have duplicative page titles, Google will select and rank only one of the pages with that page title. You’re missing a great opportunity when you skip this important step.

We also find that some basic website templates may simply copy and use the headline of the page as the page title. While this is better than having duplicative page titles or no page titles at all, it is best to go through the effort of selecting your title tags more strategically using search terms or phrases that people are looking for. You can do this by using some free tools, such as Google Keyword Planner.

Outside of the web browser, page titles are also shown in search engine results pages (see the example below), and similarly in the preview text on social networks when sharing a page with your audience. Ensuring that you’re selecting strategic, concise, unique titles will help garner more clicks to the page.

SEO Image 2

Meta Descriptions

Aside from just having unique page titles, you should make the effort to select page titles that are unique and descriptive of your site’s pages. While having unique meta descriptions is important, the importance is weighed differently with Google. Google does not read the content included in that meta description for search terms or phrases to help with its ranking. Instead, the importance of a meta description is to ensure the page is user-friendly when it is shown in search results. Having a meta description will help the searcher know what the page is about and, when done effectively, will help to attract more clicks to that page when it is shown in search results.

SEO Image 3

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To find out more about website development, SEO and other online marketing services, read our e-book, 5 Common SEO Mistakes Found on Company Websites—and How to Fix Them. For more information, contact Bob Goricki, Director of Digital Marketing, at 440-605-7234 or email Bob.
5 Common SEO Mistakes E-Book

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