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Meta Title Wars: How To Deal With Less-Than-Straightforward Keyword Targeting

As a digital marketer working at an agency, I write a lot of meta titles (AKA title tags, or title elements etc). 99% of the time it’s super straight forward. Small to medium sized business normally have small, straightforward websites. So, coming up with a keyword strategy for the meta titles is, well, pretty straightforward too!

But that’s not what I’m writing about. What I’m writing about is the 1% – those meta title conundrums that are less straightforward. In my experience they break down into a couple different categories:

Conflicting Home & Internal Pages

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Sometimes we get a website that has been hanging around the internet for some time and is pretty well known to Google for the business’s main service. Problem is that want – no, NEED – that traffic to be going to the appropriate service page. You have your reasons.

Overlapping Landing Pages

Your landing page strategy is on fleek – maybe too fleek. You’ve got staff pages by location and you’ve got services by location and you’ve got location by location. Landing pages with overlapping targeting can complicate the process of sorting out a meta title strategy to maximize your reach.

E-Commerce

Much like overlapping landing pages, e-commerce website can have overlapping product pages, depending on how the site is structured. I’ve worked on a website that, due to it’s structure, had overlapping landing pages for product categories – one static landing pages and one in the online store.

So… what do you do?

STRATEGIES

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  1. Strengthen the signals – when Google is confused about which page to rank, internal or home, make it beyond obvious, both on & off page. In addition to shaping meta titles, make your keyword usage on page very deliberate, shape internal anchor text (in a non spammy way!), external links (nothing black hat, just be deliberate about the subject matter of the back linking site, categories, anchor text, etc.
  2. Identify what’s unique – when you have overlapping landing pages, identify what’s truly unique about this page (and what people are looking for) and lean into those keywords.
  3. Focus on actions – if the content is more or less the same, divvy up the verbs – is one page more suitable to browsing/research while the other is more purchasing focused?  Distinguish the pages by actions.

Got any ideas of your own? Share them in the comments