Last Updated on October 26, 2022
A website is now an essential part of many businesses and organizations. Without a website, it will be harder for any business to reach new customers and generate sales. However, creating a website is not enough to thrive in this digital age.
You also need to optimize your site for search engines to help drive traffic and build your brand. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on options that will help your business grow.
In fact, Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average. That’s over 3.5 billion daily searches and the chances of getting found by a potential customer.
So why pass on this great opportunity, right?
But let’s be honest.
Optimizing your website for search engines isn’t a walk in the park. There are many factors of SEO you should be familiar with, and this can be overwhelming.
Before you dive into the technical part, the first thing you need to understand is the basics. And a website title is as elementary as it can get.
In this post, I will discuss what a website title is, its importance in SEO, and best practices so you can get your foundation right.
Ready? Let’s Fly!
What is a Website Title?
Also called a “title tag,” a website title is an HTML element that refers to the title of a webpage.
This is displayed as a clickable headline on search results, which helps users and search engines understand what the specific web page is about.
Basically, it’s an accurate representation or description of a page’s content.
Taking a look at the HTML element, you can find the title tag on top of the HTML or XHTML document inside the head tag noted as <head> and </head>. It is illustrated by the code <title> </title>.
On web browsers, website titles appear at the top part of the window or page. In search results, they are displayed as bold hyperlinked texts.
When looking at other external websites, such as social networks, you can also use your title tag to find out what to show when your webpage is shared.
You may sometimes see title tags referred to as “meta title tags” or “meta titles.” While some dispute the name, in reality, either one is fine.
Why Do You Need Title Tags on Your Website?
Think of title tags as the storefront of your business. It’s the entry point that can attract visitors to your site. It is one of the most substantial aspects of search engine optimization that you have complete control of.
A well-written title can increase traffic to your site. In contrast, a poorly made one can discourage users from clicking on your page.
Here are other reasons why website titles are critical to the overall success of your website:
Search Engine Optimization.
Do you know that the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks in a search result? This is why you must have a killer website title.
In this era of search engines, you don’t write for people alone. You also need to ensure that Google and other search engines can understand your content, so you can rank within the search engine results and get even more visibility to gain extra visitors to your site.
This means that you don’t only need to create eye-catching website titles, but you also need to add keywords to them to be able to rank in Google and other search engines.
A website title should represent your web page and inform the search engines what the content is about. From an SEO perspective, title tags should include keywords to rank in SERPs (search engine results pages).
These keywords must be relevant to the content of your page, or else they won’t rank well.
At the same time, users also check the web title to see what the webpage is about. Potential readers will likely leave your page immediately if the website title is irrelevant to the content.
We have all used Google before. We know that titles are one (if not the only one) of the factors we look at before we click on a site. This is why you should make it so appealing that people will want to click on it to continue reading.
The more eye-catching your website title is, the more clicks you get on your site.
In the digital marketing space, the click-through rate represents the number of people who click on your link against the number of people who saw it but didn’t do anything about it (known as an impression).
Still, controversial click-through rates have been suspected to impact search engine rankings. While it’s not confirmed, many people believe it to be true.
So, if you can create an engaging website title, it can increase your click-through rates, which in turn, may or may not affect your overall page rankings.
In my opinion, it is good practice to believe that click-through rates impact rankings, as there’s nothing to lose if you do it well but have everything to gain.
Title tags can also help with brand visibility, especially if the reader is already familiar with your business. If you add your brand name to it, it may encourage more clicks.
But be careful with this. More on that below.
How to Write a Website Title?
Since title tags are integral to SEO and search user experience, you must write them effectively to generate the desired results. It may seem daunting to create a website title, but it’s not something you should be afraid of.
In fact, you can easily create one by simply following these tips so that you can have an optimized website title.
1. Keep Your Title Concise.
Your website title should generally be around 50-60 characters long. If you have a longer title, search engines will not display the whole thing and instead may add an ellipsis (“…”), remove words, or rewrite the entire thing.
Although keeping your title 60 characters long is recommended, the exact display limit isn’t as straightforward as that. It is also based on a 600-pixel container, and the characters you use may affect what part of the title will be displayed.
For example, a character like uppercase “W” is wider than many lowercase characters and can take up a lot of space. That’s why some titles with more than 60 characters are not truncated since they still fit the 600-pixel container.
While others, even if the title is shorter than the recommended character limit, are changed because they use characters that take up more space.
Also, avoid using ALL CAPS on website titles. Not only does it look out of place, but it may limit the number of characters Google can display, and it will also be harder to read.
In some situations, search engines may choose to display a different title from what you provided, even if it’s within reasonable length. Reasons may vary, but it’s mainly applied to titles that aren’t following best practices.
While optimizing website titles for search results is good practice, some situations may not call for a concise description. For instance, longer titles often work best on social sharing.
In other cases, some titles are just naturally long, and cutting the word count is usually not an option. That’s why it’s best to still use your judgment when framing the length of your website title.
2. Create Unique Website Titles.
If your website contains different website pages, it may seem easy to use similar titles or general terms such as “Home,” “Product Page,” and “New Page.”
It’s not a smart idea to do this, as Google may think that you have duplicate content across your site. These titles also reduce click-through rates, and you don’t want to push your visitors away.
So, make sure that your website titles are unique from one another as it helps the search engines understand your page content and also drives higher click-through rates.
This tip may seem unreasonable for websites with hundreds or thousands of pages. But modern CMS and code-based templates can help you generate data-driven unique titles automatically, allowing you to save time and effort.
If you can’t find the right tool, you can also create a template to follow. Here are some examples you can try:
- [Product Name] – [Product Category] – [Website Name]
- [Product Name] [Brand Name]
- [Product Name + Category]
There are various templates you can try, and it’s all up to you to choose. Make sure they are unique, and you won’t have any problems.
3. Add Keywords at the Beginning of the Title.
According to Moz, adding a keyword at the beginning of your website title has more impact on search rankings. Apart from that, research on user experience shows that most people only scan the first two words of a headline.
So, having the search term right at the start of your title can make it more successful than those that don’t highlight the content of your page.
A common mistake I see when reviewing website titles is adding general information, such as brand name, at the start. This makes it harder for users to understand precisely what the page is about, especially if this information is unrelated to the keyword itself.
4. Don’t Forget to Use Your Brand.
If you have an established brand, it can be an option to add your company name to the title. This may encourage more clicks on your website.
If you’re going to use this, I recommend you add it at the end of the title, but if the page is more brand-focused, like the homepage or services page, it can be added at the start of the title (unless you are going to try and rank it).
Again, use your judgment here and see which works well for your title.
5. Write For Your Audience.
In this day and age of the interwebs, SEO writing has actually become a thing (who would have thought!). This means optimizing whatever content (whether titles or articles) to rank for search results.
While ranking for SEO is a crucial marketing strategy, your customers aren’t robots. You must consider the entire user experience, not just optimization and keyword usage.
Again, your website title is your visitor’s first online interaction with your company, so make sure it represents your website correctly.
6. Don’t Stuff it with Keywords.
While keywords play a crucial part in your website title, you don’t necessarily need to stuff your title with them.
If you over-optimize, Google may choose to rewrite it, and that’s not good as it may change the whole meaning of your title.
Choosing one keyword and phrase is best, ensuring they appear naturally.
A title tag may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of website creation and SEO. But its impact is a big one.
If you post incorrect or uninformative titles, it may directly harm your page ranking and click-through rates. It will also push visitors away from your site, and nobody wants that to happen.
So be sure to take your time and consider what titles to use. This will not only help with SEO but will also set you apart from your competitors.
And finally, remember that you’re not writing for Google alone. You should also write for all the users who may soon be converted as your customers if you can encourage them to click on your title.
It’s time to be the pilot of your life, not just the passenger.
Chris Bournelis is a blogger, search engine optimization, and content marketing specialist. He has been working in the online business since 2015. Join him here at ChrisBournelis.com for the best SaaS reviews and tips to get the most out of your online business.