Measuring The Impact Of Page Titles

Following on from my simple experiment regarding the performance of different Adsense themes, it seemed like as good a time as any to start another experiment surrounding the impact of web page titles on search engine performance.

Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t ship with particularly search engine friendly page titles:

  • {blog title} » {blog archive} » {page title}

The biggest problem with the default title format from a search engine optimisation point of view, is that it contains relatively useless information in the title, positioned in the highest visibility location. The useless information I’m referring to, is of course the blog title and that a given page is within your blog archive. Some people might argue that your blog title is very important and in some cases that is the case, however in my opinion that isn’t the norm. As for the fact that a web page is within your archive, that has little significance, as publishing content online is essentially places it into an archive immediately – its called the internet.

To move the highest importance keywords and phrases into the highest visibility location, I have opted to place the page title at the start of the title tag. Since I don’t think users care about a web page being archived, I’ve also opted to drop that from the page title too. These changes have resulted in the page titles that you’re seeing currently, which take the form:

  • {page title} | {blog title}

Given that #if debug is taking a very small amount of traffic currently, any changes to the site at the moment are highly visible within the web statistics. I’m hoping that with the changes to the page title format, the search engine referrals will increase by a figure of over 10%. It is a modest figure, however given that I have so little content at the moment – it is something that I hope is attainable.