We say, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” yet we all do it.
Viewers judge a blog by its title.
That’s part of the reason why SEO is so important— we want to rank higher on Google’s search engine results page (SERPs), but it helps when you have a few clicks or two.
Whether you want to change the SEO title (title tag) of your page on WordPress because you think it could be improved or because you want to attract a completely different audience (or for other reasons), you can do so in 2 easy steps.
Remember this: your SEO title serves a different purpose than page or post title (your H1 heading).
A title tag is the title of your WordPress page that appears in SERPs as the clickable headline. Title tags are essential for usability, SEO, and social sharing.
If you do want to change your page’s title, here are essential features of an optimised title tag:
The SEO title can only consist of 600 pixels— I know that probably sounds confusing, so a general rule of thumb is to keep your SEO title to less than 60 characters long.
If you are trying to fit more words, avoid using ALL CAPS and letters that take up more space than others (for instance, the letter “m” takes up more space than the letter “i”).
Avoid default titles such as “Home” or “Product Page.” How likely would you, as a user, click on pages with such titles?
Titles with unique words will have a higher click-through rate and help search engines recognise that your content is valuable. Go for keywords that grab attention.
Speaking of keywords, put them first in your title. They should pop out at the viewer, and the best way to do that is by keeping them first in line.
Also, be aware that not all words are necessary. Consider every word and its worth in your title. Ask yourself: is this word necessary?
Putting your brand at the end of the title is probably your best bet. Look out for some of your title’s pages and replace “home page” with a keyword or your brand.
If you are a well-known brand, including it in the SEO title will help boost click-through rates.
As you generate a title tag, be aware of your viewers. They’re the ones clicking, so you want to make sure that the titles you create are relevant to the audience you want to attract.
Convey positive and accurate messages with your title.
You should check your WordPress SEO plugin before you begin changing the title tag of your website or page. Many plugins, like Yoast SEO, will generate an SEO title based on the title of your page (the H1 heading). If not, Google will do it for you.
If you want to change the title tag the easy way, try changing your website or post title, and the SEO title will change along with that.
However, if the post or page title is not easy to change or want to include a keyword in the SEO title but not the H1 of your page, editing the title tag is necessary.
The Yoast SEO plugin automatically generates the SEO titles for you (if you don’t have the plugin, Google will do it for you).
Follow the steps below to change your SEO title in WordPress:
The pink bubbles are snippet variables, which you can delete or generate others if you desire.
Click on “insert snippet variable” if you want to customise and replace one of the snippets.
There are many cases where you are better off customising your title instead— if you know the automated title tag is not suitable for you, change it if needed!
And remember, if you find that you are unhappy with the new SEO title, remember that you can always change it so that it is automatically generated.
SEO is a learning process, so don’t stress out if you don’t get it right the first time.
Lynn is a student at Bethel University who studies English and Business. She doesn’t have a plan after graduation except to never write an academic paper again. In her free time, she cruises around on her longboard and avoids eating mushrooms at all costs.