SEO Line Chart

Learn more about how meta title tags can impact your website's rankings...

  • Target Web Page: Admissions "How to Apply" Page
  • Target Keyword: "Medical School Application"

The "How to Apply" web page describes the process of applying to medical school.

The original meta title tag on this page used a branded keyword: "DGSOM Application"

Screenshot of Branded Target Keyword

However, very few people Google branded keywords. Non-branded keywords almost always have higher search volume.

So while the keyword "DGSOM Application" accurately described the content on the web page, it was unlikely to be used by people early in the process of researching medical schools.

Additional SEO research determined that the non-branded keyword "Medical School Application" had a much higher search volume (4400 searches a month) than the branded keyword "DGSOM Application" (ZERO searches a month). Plus, "Medical School Application" also accurately reflects the content of the web page.

Learn More About Selecting a Target Keyword

PHASE 1: Various page elements (including the meta description, various headers, image filenames and alt text) were optimized for the keyword "Medical School Application"

The Result? The page went from not ranking at all to ranking in position 13 for the keyword "Medical School Application"

PHASE 2: Then the meta title tag was changed from "DGSOM Application" to "Medical School Application"

Non Branded Target Keyword

The Result? The page went from position 13 (on page 2 of Google's search results) to position 7 (on page 1 of Google's search results) in less than a week.

Medical School Application Graph

Most impressively, the only other medical schools listed in the top ten results in Google (page 1) for this keyword are Vanderbilt University (currently in position 4) and Harvard Medical School (in position 10).  

CONCLUSION: Even the smallest of changes--such as optimizing the meta title tag for a high-traffic non-branded keyword such as "Medical School Application"--can dramatically impact a web page's ranking in the search engines and significantly increase traffic to the site.