What Is a Website Title and How to Write the Perfect One?

Have you ever wondered to yourself: what is a website title?

If you’re curious to know what a website title is and how to write a flawless one, then you are in the right place! 😎

Website titles are a vital part of your on-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Because titles are the biggest visible elements when people view searches in the search engine results pages (SERPs), they have a significant impact on your SEO. They can turn browsers into readers and readers into customers.

This straightforward guide will define a website title and show you how to write the perfect one. Let’s jump right in!

📚 Table of contents:

What is a website title, AKA title tag?

A website title, also known as a title tag, a website tagline, or a page title, is an HTML element that specifies the title of a webpage concisely. Its most important function is that it appears as a clickable headline in the SERPs as you can see in the example below:

What is a website title example

Your website’s title also identifies it at the top of a web browser (typically in the browser tab) and it’s usually what social networks use as the title if someone shares your site on social media.

Why bother with title tags? That’s the question I’m going to answer next.

Why is a title tag important for SEO?

Title tags are important for SEO ⚠ for three crucial reasons:

  1. They assist search engines to understand what a web page is about. For search engines to serve users with content that matches their search queries, they must first understand what a page is about. Page titles do that.
  2. They help users determine if a page applies to their search. Good website titles aptly sum up what a page is about. This helps searchers decide if the page will give them relevant information.
  3. They boost click-through rates to your web pages. Excellent title tags are like billboards. They tease readers to click on your headline in the SERPs and check out your content.

Where can I find the page title?

You can see 🔎 page titles in three places:

1. At the top of the browser window. Title tags appear at the top of the browser window when users open a webpage. This is especially useful when you have opened many tabs because it helps you go to the right page:

Website titles in browser tabs

2. In the search results pages (SERPs). Website titles also appear in the SERPs when people view the results of their queries:

Website titles in serps

💡 Note – sometimes Google will rewrite your website title for the search results page. It can happen when it thinks it can come up with a more useful title. But most of the time, Google will use your title exactly as you wrote it.

Unfortunately, you can’t control whether or not this happens. But if you follow the best practices we will go over later in this post, you should guarantee that Google uses your title most of the time.

3. On social networks streams. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter show title tags whenever you share a page on their platforms:

Page title social media

Title tag HTML code example

Below is an illustration 🖼️ of what an HTML code for a page title looks like:

<head><title>This Is Your Page Title</title></head>

WordPress generates page titles automatically. But you can edit them in your site’s HTML code or indirectly using SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or All In One SEO.

How to write a website title: best practices

With the basics out of the way, let’s explore seven steps for writing an exquisite website title:

  1. Get the length right to avoid truncation
  2. Include relevant keywords without keyword stuffing
  3. Add your brand name
  4. Be descriptive and ultra-specific
  5. Make sure it’s relevant to the page content
  6. Write captivating copy for humans
  7. Create a unique title tag for each page

1. Get the length right to avoid truncation

First, when writing your website titles, get the length right.

The disadvantage of writing a lengthy title tag is that your message get’s cut off before you communicate it fully.

It can look like this:

What is a website title? This is an example of a Hubspot website title that is too long and is showing an ellipsis in the SERP.

The ellipsis shows Google cut some words – “Your Digital Presence.” That’s the last thing you need as you seek to maximize limited space and persuade browsers to click on your titles.

As a rule of thumb, the shorter the title the better for SEO. But how short is short?

While Google doesn’t specify how long title tags should be, most SEOs recommend around 50 to 60 characters or 10 to 13 words. That’s because most desktop and mobile browsers display up to 70 characters. So ~60 characters are a safe bet.

You can preview and fine-tune your title using title tag preview tools like the Portent SERP Preview Tool shown below:

Title tag preview tool portent

2. Include relevant keywords without keyword stuffing

Next, to enhance the chances of your website title climbing higher in search engines, add relevant keywords to it.

Here are a few best practices on how to include keywords on your page titles:

  • Lead with your main keyword. Put your keyword at the beginning of your title so search engines and people know straightaway what your page is about.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing. Google frowns on the practice of cramming keywords into your titles to game the system. It produces a ridiculous-sounding copy that makes little sense to users.
  • Ensure the keyword fits the context. Make sure your keyword fits the context so that your copy reads naturally. Don’t force it in at the beginning of the title if it breaks the natural flow of the text.

This CoSchedule website title ticks all the above boxes:

Coschedule website title

They put the keyword at the beginning of the title, and it fits naturally.

3. Add your brand name

Third, not only does your title tag boost your SEO, but it can also be a branding tool.

How?

Add your brand name to your website titles. Searchers will see who is behind the content they are about to read. Assuming your content is fantastic, when users see the name of the company that produces great content, they’ll trust your brand more.

After a while, they will click your links instinctively once they see your name because they trust the authority of your brand.

ThinkOrion inserted its name at the end of a title tag:

What is a website title? An example of a website title from ThinkOrion, showing a branded website title tag.

However, there is a trade-off you must make to put your company name on your title tags. Your titles will become shorter because your brand name will use up some characters.

4. Be descriptive and ultra-specific

When browsers type their search queries, they aren’t looking for generic answers.

They want specific answers that match their intent to the tee.

Use these tips to make your title specific:

  • Be descriptive. The more descriptive your title, the more accurate it becomes. For instance, you can tell browsers what type of users your page suits. Is it for novice, intermediate, or advanced users? Users will self-select. You will only get clicks from your target ideal readers.
  • Add numbers. Using numbers in your titles shows users your pages are hyper-specific. Therefore, you will give them the distinct answers they are looking for, not blanket advice.
  • Include the year of publication. Today, info becomes obsolete fast. Adding the year you published your page tells people you are giving them the latest tips, not outdated stuff. Google even has a freshness algorithm, so search robots will love your content too.

Here’s an example from one of our title tags:

Specific title tag case study themeisle

It works well because it includes the year of publication. It also clarifies that this is a beginner’s guide targeting first-timers.

5. Make sure it’s relevant to the page content

Another crucial factor for writing an impactful website title is relevance.

Relevance is at the core of Google’s algorithm.

Google’s overarching goal is to serve users with the right page for the right query- every time.

That’s it.

So if there’s a mismatch between your title tag and the content on your page, users will bounce off your page immediately. Align your title text to the page’s content. Both Google and users will love your site to bits.

6. Write captivating copy for humans

Next, write for people, not just search engines.

For your content to appeal to human users, include the following in your website titles:

  • Benefits – people are self-serving. Before they decide whether to click through to your page, they want to know what’s in it for them. So, dangle the juicy benefits of your page content to entice them to click.
  • Action words – use action words such as read, see, discover, learn, try, download, and get to inspire searchers to take immediate action.
  • Evoke emotion – while people are rational beings, emotions sway them more. Therefore, if you tickle their emotions, you will get a click.

Below is an illustration of an effective people-focused title tag from SmartBlogger:

Smartblogger title tag example

The title tag shows how the page will benefit the reader “convert like crazy.” Also, the brand used a chatty active voice that captivates people.

7. Create a unique title tag for each page

Finally, since a title page is an accurate description of a web page’s content, write a unique title for each page.

Distinct titles help Google distinguish between the pages on your site.

Using one title for many pages confuses search engines. Categorizing and indexing your pages becomes difficult. That’s why distinct titles for each page are the way to go.

What is a website title?

To sum up, your website title is an advert for your page’s content.

It sells your page’s content to browsers. That’s why you must craft it with care.

A superb title tag:

  • Stops the scroll. A well-written title pops out from the SERPs and forces searchers to stop scrolling. Once the searcher stops scrolling, you’ve won half the battle of getting them to your site.
  • Draws browsers into the title and meta description copy. Not only does a remarkable title make searchers pause. It also sucks them deeper into the title text and meta description copy. To help create a great meta description to go along with your title, you can use a meta description generator.
  • Inspires browsers to click your page titles. If the title and meta description copy piques their interest or excites searchers, they click through to consume your page’s content.

📌 To further improve your website title, you might want to check out our guides on how to optimize your WordPress title and how to write catchy blog post titles.

Are you still wondering what is a website title? Do you have any other questions about what website titles are and how to use them effectively? Let us know in the comments!

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