Note: I originally wrote this blog post in 2015 and in four Years working eCommerce, I actually have developed a more nuanced opinion on this subject. Namely, I think product pricing and ranges are stronger intent signals than words like cheap etc. I try to include the product price in title if applicable, and make it dynamic. Better CTR, strong purchase intent. You can learn a lot in four years and my original opinion isn't neccessarily wrong, it is simply too narrow in scope.
I often contribute to StackExchange websites, mainly to the Webmasters StackExchange as SEO is the main topic there.
I plan to go over all of my (successful) answers on the Stack Exchange website and dive deeper in my blog.
Yara asked the following question on the Webmasters StackExchange:
Price in page title?
Yara has an interesting problem and wonders whether it is a good or bad thing to include the product price in page title.
The web page is a product description page, for example women's shoes.
The interesting twist in Yara's problem is that the price changes twice per year - meaning that this is a seasonal product.
Optimising for search intent and transactional terms
SERP Placement should not be effected by the inclusion or exclusion of the products price in a vacuum.
It is much more preferable to use descriptive keywords in the page title to communicate value - keywords such as "price", "cost", "cheap" etc.
Those type of keywords serve a specific search intent which are transactional in nature and are an important signal to search engines to indicate a page is relevant for transactional search intent.
Adding actual pricing numbers in the page title would certainly effect click-through rates as users qualify themselves as customers from the search engine page - which help drive more quality traffic to the target web page and improving the conversion rate for your website.
Using qualifier terms to communicate product value
There is one exception to adding a product price in the page title affecting organic search traffic and that would invole pairing a price directly with a qualifying transactional term.
These qualifier terms help provide context in framing content with its intended purpose.
For Yara, these terms used in a page title would be similar to
Cheap Women's Shoes from $19.95or perhaps
Women Shoes under $20 - Free Shipping.
Terms such as "From", "Under", "Less Than" etc. are a part of human natural search patterns which is clear if you observe Google Suggest for these terms.
Sophisticated enterprise search engines are build on top of natural language processing engines that analyse content to help identify context for phrasing and purpose.
In computer science this field is related to n gram analysis where things as subjective as synonyms, phrase swaps and even writing style are identified computationally.
For Search Engine Optimisation, this would be more relevant for manual quality review of search engine results (i.e. Bing HRS, Google Quality Rating System).
Should Yara include product price in his page title?
As an ecommerce SEO specialist, I would advise that product price in the page title is a "can't hurt" piece of content as it is less than 10 characters in length.
Keep in mind: product price in title provides little value without any pricing intent terms such as the ones I described above.
Because Yara is constantly changing the page-title, it might be better to keep the raw price figure outside of the page title.
Yara might approach using the product price as a lead in the Meta Description in order to maintain page consistency however search engines probably assign little value to this activity.
If Yara was specifically target keyword terms such as "shoes under $20" aggressively then I could see the business case for showcasing the product price within the page title.
However it does seem like it may be more semantically meaningful to leave it out.
Ultimately, Yara's choice depends entirely upon:
- his customer base
- the purpose of his website
- the effect of seasonal pricing
- if price sorting is used natively on the website
These factors and many more would be in consideration before identifying what is best for Yara's website.
Other than Yara hiring me as his digital marketing consultant to work on his SEO strategy, I can't really find any more actionable advice without sitting down and picking his brain for 45 minutes.
However these insights and expertise into the factors that influence price related search are hopefully useful in his pursuits for growing his ecommerce website's overall visibility.