Sunday, September 21, 2008

How to Write Page Titles for Google: Free SEO Workshop #2 - Contractors & Construction Advertising

We talked last week about writing page titles for websites. We kept it very simple and allowed you maximal flexibility to think about the type of information that Google requires to understand what you mean: the type of business, its location and some services offered. You may have noticed that there was a little bit of redundancy or duplication in the page titles. It is often a good thing because it helps to emphasize the importance of keywords to the particular website or project. The way that search engines interpret or understand page titles is constantly changing. Search engine optimization (or SEO), therefore, becomes the study of trying to find out what Google, Yahoo and (sometimes MSN) need to help businesses rank well in search results.

Having a good page title is your most important asset in SEO. In this workshop, we will examine the way that Google deals with page titles and what it means for you business. Let us start by telling you the terrible truth, everyone uses Google so usually its a good place to start. Here is a simple page title for a business. If it does not seem like your business, substitute the name contractors for "electricians,' for example:

We will use a business that actually exists so y0u can see the problem with the page title. Here is the current page title used by Bartlett Cock which ranks about position 21 in Google, presently :

Bartlett Cocke General Contractors : Building Value for San Antonio, Austin & Houston Areas

Here is a simple revision to the page title that will prove more effective in search results: Houston General Contractors | Building Contractors in Houston, San Antonio & Austin Texas.
So, what are some requirements for good page titles in Google:

Maximal characters indexed

Actual Characters displayed

Title Tag Importance
Very High

How do you know that what I am saying is true. Lets do a search for "houston general contractors." The top 5 pages titles are as follows:

The main problem with the page title used by Bartlett Cock was basing it on the name of the business. This strategy only works if your company is so well established and branded that you don't need any more customers because they no longer search for Houston general contractors, they simply say "Bartlett Cock," which is highly unlikely. Page titles must be based on the needs of the customer first.

Pacific West Global Media is an online consulting firm and advertising agency for contractors and construction businesses located in Vancouver, Canada. The company provides services that include seo, lead generation, pay per click advertising and recruitment. To get help with your website, contact us directly 1-866-535-3771.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

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Pacific West Global Media is a an online advertising agency specializing in the unique needs of contractors, construction companies and independent business operators. The company builds customized lead generation and advertising programs for contractors. To learn more about our variety of services, please visit us directly:

Contractors & Construction Advertising
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

How To Write Page Titles: Free SEO Workshop #1 for Contractors & Indpendent Business Owners

In about grade 4, my elementary school teacher - Mrs Tellefer - had us play a game that required us to "find a word in the dictionary." This game is the basis of all search engines. It requires you to think linear using the alphabet, and it requires you to make some basic guesses about where information should be found - near the front, middle, or end of that big thick black book.

There were 2 boys in my class, Let's call them Google And Yahoo. Google knew the answer to everything. He was much smarter than Yahoo. The teacher would put up her hand and say something like "Would someone name this dark equator on the moon?" Google would pause for about 2 seconds as say, "the Sea of Tranquility." Yahoo would find the same answer but stumble upon it taking a few seconds longer to get it right. It's not that Yahoo is dumb. He was just a little slower and methodical in his work. But, this is not a workshop on search engines. It is, however, a workshop that intends to help you to get more out of search engines - so they work for you rather than against you.

While Google and Yahoo dominated the class, I watched pensively gathering data and getting smarter. You might say that I am a thinking search engine such as "Hakia'" or "True Knowledge." Artificial intelligence is coming and its going to change the face of computing and search engine optimization for ever. But, that's another story and we will all have to wait for it to come to fruition.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you want to understand search engine optimization fully, then you need to think about a 5 year old. Now, tell the 5 year old to get the book.

This discussion represents the interaction between search engines and customers. They can use Google to find you only if you put the right kinds of information in your Page Title. Many people who open their first online business title it something like "Tim's Books." They wait week after week wondering why no one finds their book store, which sells book shelves, and books related to construction, contractors and starting a business. What would you title the business so a 5 year old might understand it?

Option A

  • Tim's Books

Option B
  • Books & Bookshelves on Construction Advertising, Contractors & Business Advertising.

Option B is the best title because it tells young Google a lot about your business:

  1. You sell Books and Bookshelves
  2. Books are on Construction Advertising
  3. Related Items are Contractors Advertising and Business Advertising.
Using this methodology, you just helped Google find your business. Of course, Google does not live and is not located near you. It will need information about the location of your business such as Vancouver, Toronto, Seattle. Therefore, the title that works best for Google will be as follows:

Vancouver Books & Bookshelf on Construction Advertising, Contractors & Business Advertising. Of course, you might say, "You're not helping my business because I am a plumber." Lets go through the model again.

  1. Look for your website in Google under phrases such as [name of city] and plumbers, [state] and plumbers, and using just the word plumbers. If you don't find it in the first 10 pages, then it not is going to be found by your customers. If you have a website, with this problem, you just wasted between $1000 - $10,0000 on a website. Don' t worry, I've seen businesses spend up to $100,000 on a website that no one can find. Unfortunately, due to the owners own ego, no one can tell him that they made a very big mistake.

  2. Change the Title of your website from "Bob's Plumbing," for example, to something that will help Google and your customers to find you -"Calgary Plumbing Contractors Heating & HVAC Repair Contractors Calgary." This apparently stupid (or child friendly) page title will help you to get from page invisible to page 1 to - especially, if you apply a similar process to all your page titles. Remember that all pages should have unique Page Titles. Do not use title on every page.

  3. Before, you get all excited, let's just make sure that your website is actually in the search engines. Go to Google and type in the name of your website as follows in the search bar:

You might notice that I actually found a website named "Bob's Plumbing." What mistake does this website make in its Page Title? It does not tell Google where to categorize or position the business. Is it Vancouver, Toronto, Alaska or Seattle. Remember the dictionary game; well, Google needs to know the position of things - is it at the front of the book, the middle or the end?

Please make these changes to your website. If you need some help, we can help you.(

Thank you,