For our latest newsletter I’ve written an article on title tag optimization — what I call the “easiest way to boost your Google rankings.”  If you’ve read the article and have feedback or questions, please submit them below.

Given that we often spend 5+ hours on Step 2 alone, it was a challenge to create a process that could be done in under an hour.  If you have the time and want to do a more thorough job with title tag optimization, here are some other steps you can take.

Check Competitors

(I originally included this as Step 2 but cut it out in the interest of simplicity.  I recommend doing it between Steps 1 and 2 in the article.)

Google the phrases you identified in step 1, and click through to the sites of any competitors or similar companies that appear on the first few pages of the organic search listings.  Look at the title tag (see Bank of America screen shot in the article to know where to look) and the most prominent text on the page you land on.  See any good keywords that you missed in your brainstorm?  If so, integrate those into your existing phrases or add new ones.

You can also go directly to the sites of competitors you already know of; but especially if you’re a small business, expect many of them not to have keyword-rich title tags.  The advantage of finding competitors through Google searches is you know they’re well-optimized for search.

For Randi’s site, I Googled “dc nutritionist” and checked out sites of two similar businesses that ranked well organically.  From their title tags I picked up a few new phrases like “certified,” “health and wellness,” “specialist,” and “counselor.”

Step Up Your Keyword Research

If you have a lot of time, replace steps 2 and 3 with the much more rigorous, 10-step keyword research process I describe as part of our SEO makeover for the Melete Foundation.  Expect it to take at least a couple hours.  It’s hard to emphasize how beneficial this process is if you’re serious about SEO.

Optimize Title Tags on Your Other Pages

In the article I focus just on the homepage because that’s the most important title tag for SEO and I wanted to make the process manageable.  But the same general process can be used to optimize title tags throughout the rest of your site.  Service pages, product pages, and about us pages are ideal candidates for keyword-rich title tags.  And if you came up with a lot of phrases in your keyword research, much of the hard work is already done.  Just try to tailor the title tags to the specific pages as much as possible.  As part of our Melete SEO makeover, I’ll have more detailed tips on full-site title tag optimization.  Stay tuned …