Website Title That Search Engines (and Users) Will Love
What’s the number one mistake businesses make when creating their site page or blog post? A poorly crafted website title.
As one of the first things potential clients see, a website title or title tag is vital for driving traffic to your site.
Crafting a website title is not rocket science. All it takes is a bit of effort and creativity.
In this post, we’ll explain what is a title tag, how to write a title tag, and some common website title mistakes.
What is a website title (or title tag)?
A website title tag definition is simple: it’s the main heading (or title) of your website page displayed on the search engine results page (SERP).
So, for example, when I type in “Calgary law firm” in Google, I get the following results:
Your website title will also appear on your browser tab:
Finally, you can identify the title tag quite easily within the source code of a website:
That’s all a website title tag is. It’s the main title describing your web page.
What’s the difference between the H1 and Title tag?
There is often confusion between a title and H1 tag. While the two may look similar, they serve two slightly different functions.
As we discussed, the website title appears in the SERP and the browser tab.
In contrast, the H1 header appears as the main heading/title after you click on the title.
The H1 tag functions a little differently than the title tag. Where title tags aim to get users to click to the site, H1 tags aim to get users to continue reading the rest of the post.
The best practice is to have your keyword located in both the Title and H1 tags. Keep the general message the same, but word it differently, so the two tags are not identical.
Title tag – “Rear-End Car Accidents: Collision Injuries & Damages”
H1 tag – “Rear-End Car Accidents: What You Should Know”
How important is a website title tag for SEO?
Conventional wisdom typically states that the title tag is the most important factor for on-page SEO.
However, in an interview with Google’s John Mueller, he mentioned that title tags were used for ranking, but it’s not the most critical part of a page. The most important part of the page is content.
While it’s true title tags won’t single-handedly rank your page, it’s still a crucial tag for two reasons:
- It’s still a ranking factor. Google still looks at the title to understand what your page is all about. It’s not all about the title, but an optimized website title is still an important ranking factor.
- Click through rates. Even if you ranked in the first position, if no one clicks your title, it defeats the whole purpose of ranking high in the first place. Your title needs to be written not only for SEO but also for a potential client or customer.
With hundreds of billions of web pages vying for the top spot, first impressions are key. The website title not only helps you rank, but it should drive users to actually click through.
How do you write a good title for SEO?
So, how do you come up with a good title tag? Here are some best practices for writing a good title for both SEO and for the user:
1. Keep your title within 55-60 characters in length
If your title is any longer than 60 characters, Google will cut-off your title:
2. Keep it descriptive
Your title should be descriptive and useful to the user. Avoid generic titles, like “Home Page” or “Product Page.”
Local law firm homepage: “Smith Law Firm: Business Law and Litigation Firm in Calgary”
3. Use keyword
Use your keyword once near the beginning of the website title tag.
If, keyword = Calgary Car Accident Lawyer, then a good title could be:
“Your Top Calgary Car Accident Lawyer | Smith Law Firm”
4. Use “Power Words”
Power words are words or phrases that evoke curiosity or interest in the reader. They should immediately capture a reader’s attention and make them want to click on your link. Use these power words when writing your webpage or article title.
Here is a great list of Power Words from Sumo.
Power words such as:
- “The Ultimate…”
- “Guide to…”
- “The worst mistakes…”
5. Include numbers
Numbers help draw interest from readers. Likewise, including the year will help improve click-through rates as well.
“5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent in 2020”
6. Monitor your click-through rate (CTR)
Analyze the CTR on your website pages or blog posts through Google Analytics or another tracking tool. Make note on the types of headlines that get the most clicks.
Common title tag mistakes
1. No title tag
Often businesses make the mistake of not including a title tag. Each web page should have a title tag. Just because you have text that looks like a title (i.e. large font at the top of the page), it doesn’t mean you actually have one.
Most website builders will give you the option to simply enter in your title tag in a certain field. You can check whether your site title tag is missing through viewing the source code of a page and searching for: “<title>.”
2. Duplicate title tags
Every web page needs to have unique title tags. There should be no duplicate titles, or even similarly phrased titles. Duplicate titles confuse search engines and could potentially hurt rankings.
3. Keyword stuffing
Use your keyword once inside your title. Don’t overdo it, though. An example of keyword stuffing in your website title could look like:
“Calgary Personal Injury Lawyer | Your Car Accident Lawyer in Calgary, AB”
Google’s algorithm is getting smarter. Even if your keyword is not exact or precisely in the title, Google can determine what your article is all about through synonyms and other related keywords. The key point is to write for the user and ensure your content is high-quality.
4. Witty website titles
Titles that are cryptic or witty will not convert. They make it hard for users to understand what your site is all about.
An average human’s attention span is a mere 8 seconds. When subject to information overload, the attention span is likely less. Make it easy for your customer to understand what your site is all about and why they should care with a clear and direct title.
Josh Lee: Calgary Content Writing Services
As you can see, crafting the perfect website title helps you not only rank but gets you that much closer to converting a new customer.
We’ll give your business the voice that you need to attract customers in today’s digital world.
PS: We are offering our FREE SEO On-Page Checklist. It includes best practices for website title tag writing and much more. Check it out!