Just finished your website? It looks great, and is ready to rock! Have you made sure you titled the pages yet? This may seem like a silly thing to ask, but I just visited about 200 small business website over the past two days. Nearly 10% of them titled their home page “Home”. All I can say about that is, Ouch! I even found a few big companies doing it. Even worse, some didn’t even title their pages at all.
Importance of Title
I have mentioned the value of the title here many times, and here is one of my favorite posts about it: Title of Site. Having a good title for your site offers great clues to search engines about your site content, but more importantly tells the visitor what page they are on. Having the title “Home”, does indicate you are on the home page, but of what site? The site you are on, yes, I know. You are missing the big picture if you rely on this though. There are other sites besides yours, and below is how it could effect you.
Two Good Reasons Why
The first reason why you should change the title to something meaningful is because if you don’t, search engines and directories will title it themselves in their listing. Is that bad? I think so, look at this screenshot I took from Google. If you didn’t even include a title tag, listings can get really messy because the title is then just made up of first found content on the page.
Looking at this screenshot you can see it’s pretty easy to tell what each site is about, just by looking at their titles. There is one exception though, the first one title “Home”. Titling their site “Home” left no clue whatsoever about the website. This particular example was from a rather large company making this mistake, so you can see anyone can make it. You can also see how Home should not be a title.
The second big reason you should title your pages with more description is because the word home does not offer much of a clue when trying to find it in a list of bookmarks. Guest which bookmark leads to Best Web Image in the screenshot below?
Pretty easy to tell where Best Web Image is in this case. I bookmarked it amongst the sites I found yesterday with Home as their title. Pretty funny really.
Home Can Make a Menu Title Though
So I am guessing some of you reading this are about to go and make those changes, and I am also guessing some of you are wondering if you should change your menu items that say “Home” as well. Keep that Home Page anchor text the same in your menu, and let it say Home. It’s what visitors expect, and when they land on your home page, your title should explain it all.