Do You Use Dynamic Page Titles?

Real Estate Technology with IDX, LLC.

What are dynamic page titles? How are they different from static, or non-existent page titles? 

First off, a non-existent page title is just that - there is no tag in the header. The top of the browser page, above the URL bar, displays company name, if that.

What about a static page title?

It's a page that may contain IDX/MLS content that changes daily or weekly, and yet the page title remains the same for every property listing.

So what's wrong with static titles?

Static titles are considered duplicates by the search engines. Google considers usability a key attribute for any indexable site, and duplicate tags reduce usability. In fact, Google has a specific area on their Webmaster Tools site that provides information about pages that contain duplicate tags. They do this to encourage webmasters to REMOVE duplicate page titles from their website.

What should a dynamic title tag look like?

Below is an example of a dynamic, SEO-friendly, IDX property listing page title.

Notice that the tag starts with City name (dynamic) followed by static keywords, then street address, city, state, company name, and listing ID# - All dynamically generated for each property listing!

Realtors® began to notice that instead of getting low quality, high bounce rate traffic from paid and organic search, they began to show up #1 in Google for terms such as "Wichita home for sale Belle Terre".

As you can see below, this IDX listing page is getting picked up because the IDX tag is dynamic, unique, and keyword-rich for each individual listing:

Why are title tags important?

Title tags are crucial a piece of the SEO puzzle., a popular website focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) polled 72 SEO experts in 2009. The results of this survey were very clear.

Keyword-rich Title Tags are CRITICAL to getting IDX pages indexed, and indexed well.

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William Gallahue
Synergy Real Estate Group - Austin, TX

Not trying to hate but that title tag length is way beyond the recommended 65 character limit and the URL it refers to is not search engine friendly.

Jul 31, 2010 04:33 AM #16
Mark Watterson
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Real Estate

Still learning about this stuff.  I will book mark and following the comment thread.  Thank you for sharing.

Jul 31, 2010 04:50 AM #17
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I did not really understand all of this and could use some more information on the subject.

Jul 31, 2010 04:56 AM #18
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Makes total sense.

Jul 31, 2010 05:08 AM #19
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

So many things to manage....need to have the right team to do it all.

Jul 31, 2010 05:15 AM #20
Tom Waite
Thomas Waite Real Estate Broker - Cypress, CA
So Cal-Apartment Bldg Investments

So far, I know the problem but not a solution that does NOT include the IDX vendor who wrote the blog.

This blog is a sales AD not an informational story.

Jul 31, 2010 05:46 AM #21
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Great advice on page titles. This is one of the most overlooked items by real estate agents.

Jul 31, 2010 05:52 AM #22
Monica Atherton
The Associates Realty Group - Temecula, CA
Your Temecula Real Estate Gal

Does the techie world ever stop spinning?  Just when I think I have a handle on one area, another pops up.  :)

Jul 31, 2010 06:49 AM #23
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Parking for this one. Although many seem to be jumping on the bandwagon, the one naysayer has been overlooked. Hmmm.

Jul 31, 2010 07:34 AM #24
IDX Broker
IDX, LLC. - Eugene, OR

It's true that Weigand has built their custom title tags so that they're over the 65 character limit. Definitely less than optimal for Weigand. This is something that we could have pointed out in this post.

The search-friendly URL debate is interesting one, and yet still a debate. Some claim that they URL must appear to be static and contain keywords, Matt Cutts has said as much. On the other hand, there is also some evidence, via SEO forums, that a URL containing what appear to be dynamic variables may suggest to search engines that the content on the page is "dynamic" and should be crawled more frequently.

While custom results pages provide the option of displaying keywords in the URL, property details pages, such as the one used in the example above are going to use a dynamic vs. static URL standard.

We welcome a debate over IDX features. While it's true that we sell a product, IDX Broker, to address some of these SEO issues for Agents, we are also very passionate about that product and what can be done with it. We hope that this this passion for knowledge will contribute to a community that is open to debating these features, whether or not the feature can be found in our product. If the feature is not found in IDX Broker, and it makes sense to add it, we want to do that.

Thank you again for your feedback. We will look into ways to incorporate, or at least explain the character limit to customers.

Jul 31, 2010 09:01 AM #25
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

I am going to watch your blog because I need to get up to speed on this issue.

Jul 31, 2010 12:04 PM #26
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

It's kind of a no brainer when you think about it... it's the title!

Jul 31, 2010 03:31 PM #27
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

The more sophisticated the Internet gets, the more techie stuff there is to learn. I wish it came naturally!

Jul 31, 2010 08:45 PM #28
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

I have seen other tech savvy realtors changing their blog listing names and now I understand why. Thanks for explaining it - and thanks to others for the reminder about the 65 character limit.

Here is a screen shot of my Macbook. It doesn't have anything at the top, so the example you gave doesn't work for Macs. Even though this is on the AR post, it was the same when I googled both your 65+ character title and just the address. Even so, I understand what you are talking about.

my laptop

Aug 01, 2010 02:39 PM #29
Bradley Feinberg
PowerVision360 Productions, LLC - Scottsdale, AZ
PowerBoosting User Experience through Education

I really learned a lot regarding Dynamic page titles from your blog and comments.  I'm hoping to implement what i learned by recreating titles for existing items.  I would really like to reblog you blog to my community of real estate marketing providers.  How do I get permission to do this.

Suzanne Feinberg

Aug 02, 2010 08:52 AM #30
Jon Sigler
Keller Williams - Greater Hartford - South Windsor, CT
South Windsor Homes for Sale 860-306-8029

The buyer searching for a 5 gig black iPod free shipping is much more likely going to buy than someone searching just iPod.  Same is true for the surfer looking for information on 100 Main St Anytown, your state. 

Aug 02, 2010 12:49 PM #31
Kristina Heili
Keller Williams Premier Realty - Woodbury, MN
Comprehensive Real Estate Services

Great information. I've got this one tucked into my SEO file and definitely will revisit all of my website pages to make sure a dynamic title exists. I vividly recall speaking to my website support team member tell me not to worry about the page title, that it's ok as it is (same title on EVERY page!). Ugh! I just keep on learning with AR. Thanks for a great post.

Aug 03, 2010 07:53 AM #32
Lisa Hickling
Brampton, ON

Any chance that you'll add a bit of PHP code to demonstrate how dynamic page titles should be implemented? I'm interested.


Aug 07, 2010 03:02 PM #33
Crystal Morris
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Bremen, GA

Excellent post with excellent points.  Thanks

Aug 12, 2010 02:19 AM #34
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Thanks for the post and the great comments. This is good stuff.

Sep 21, 2010 05:13 PM #35
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