Page titles that are audience-tailored, well-written, and keyword-specific can drastically impact your search ranking and click-through rating. For example, Ahrefs, a respected SEO toolset company, has recorded an increase of over 37% in search ranking from page title edits alone. Much like a book title, the importance of a good page title cannot be understated.
WordPress doesn't give you the option to edit page titles efficiently. More often than not, the default title field in WordPress is associated with both the h1 tag and the page title. Because of this, the title people see in search is often the same large headline they see when they open the page. Such duplication translates to wasted sales space.
That's why WordPress plugins such as Yoast SEO, the All in One SEO Pack, and SmartCrawl SEO have become so popular. They allow writers and SEO experts to craft a custom title and description for search engines and ensure it's completely separate from their page headline. Being what people see in search, the title and description are used to draw visitors in, while the headline becomes more like a sales pitch.
The process for writing an SEO title is the same regardless of the plugin you choose:
1) Use keyword research to identify the primary keyword people will use to find your content.
2) Edit your page in WordPress and scroll to the bottom of the page. From there, you will see a panel that allows you to edit the SEO title, the SEO description and even add a default image for social media shares.
3) Use your primary keyword to craft an assertive title that accurately sells the content on your page.
4) Test your newly updated page title with a tool like metatags.io.
- Expect to update and test your titles at least several times a year. There is rarely such a thing as optimizing a title once for excellent results.
- Track your title, description, and content changes in some form or another with the dates changed. We use Excel and Git. Blend this information with Google Search Console and Bing Webmasters to determine whether changes have a positive or negative effect.
- Descriptive but concise titles almost always win the top positions in search. Use five or more words and remember that Google and Bing highlight phrase matches and synonyms.
- Only use your brand in the title of pages about your company, or if your brand is recognizable enough to influence visitors' actions.
- A descriptive title is more important than a branded title. If the length of a good title requires you to leave out your brand, do so.