If your website isn’t optimized for the web, there’s a high chance it won’t be successful. Correct web optimization allows search engines to crawl your site and understand it so as to drive traffic to it. On top of that, it boosts your brand’s visibility and business growth.
After all, the right people need to see and navigate your website so you can generate the right results that you want for your business.
One of the key search engine optimization (SEO) aspects is the website and article titles. These are the first things people will see as they search for specific keywords and view the search results or when they click on your link and visit your webpage.
In brief, a website title signifies search engines what your website is about. Whereas an article title indicates what kind of content a web page has. It could simply be the name, or the headline of the article.
If your website title or article title isn’t correctly optimized, users can opt to click away instead of clicking through your site.
In this guide today, I will explain what each of these represents and how you can optimize them on your site.
Let’s get started.
A website title, also known as the title tag, appears in several places across the web. The title helps users and search engines identify your web page and what it’s about.
In code, the website title is displayed on top of a XHTML or HTML document within the head tag as follows:
<title> your website title </title>
On a web browser, the website title is displayed at the top of the window or tab while in search results, the website title appears as bold hyperlinked texts. Ideally, you need to ensure that your website title is clear, 50 to 65 characters long, and is descriptive without being truncated.
The website title provides users with a brief but comprehensive description of the content of your web page. This way, search engine algorithms can determine whether your website is relevant enough to the inputted keyword or search term.
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The website title acts as an entry point for users to your website while serving as your brand or business online storefront. Visitors can get more information as to what your page and website are about.
If you don’t optimize or word your website title correctly, users may not click through to your site. On the other hand, a properly worded and optimized website title can bring copious amounts of visitors to your site, which is why your overall SEO optimization strategy must include experimentation and optimization of your website titles.
Strong website titles also encourage and attract clicks especially if your web page isn’t ranking in the top five results on page one of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Adding a target search term or keyword in your website title also allows search engine bots to know that the content is relevant. This way, they can pair the information with what the visitor is looking for.
Once users are familiar with your brand, you can always include your brand name in the website title to encourage more clicks based on the name.
For example, you can have a website title like, Website Title Vs Article Title: What’s The Difference – Rigorous Themes. Here, the brand name Rigorous Themes is included to ensure that the users who are already familiar with the brand can click through to learn more about the keyword.
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As we’ve already seen, you need to optimize and word your website title correctly to avoid common mistakes that may cost you website traffic and business growth. Here are some best practices you can follow to ensure that your website title is presented in the best possible way:
Title truncation happens when the title is too long to fit into search engines’ pixel width. If it’s too long, visitors may not be willing to click through because the title looks unfinished and uninformative. Plus, it can affect your site’s rankings if the search engine bots can’t crawl the entire title. Keep it precise and concise enough for your visitors to get the information they need.
Website titles need to look professional, not spammy. If your brand name is in all caps, you can keep it at the end of the website title, but make sure the main title is in sentence or title case for better formatting.
Keywords should appear in your website title naturally, and not be stuffed such that irrelevant keywords are placed all over the website title to manipulate page rank. Optimize your website titles for a particular selected keyword, not many.
Give each of your pages unique titles just as your page on a website should be unique. Each page’s website title needs to be optimized such that it will reflect the content on the page. This way, search engine bots and users can understand the information in your content and what your page is about.
It’s possible to duplicate your page titles, but this only affects your search engine rankings because the search engine bots aren’t able to differentiate the difference between the pages. When this happens, the bots will consider and rank the pages as the same.
The risk of duplication is higher for eCommerce store owners especially if they sell similar products in shape, identity, or size. Create titles that reflect your page content accurately, whether or not the difference between the pages is minor. You can have different creative angles through which you can present the content or focus on a particular aspect per page.
An article title appears above the content on the web page to show what the content is about. It’s the large heading displayed above the article content and forms the basis for the page name and URL.
The title may be something as simple as a name or the subject of your article. However, if the article topic doesn’t have a name, it may be a description of the topic.
It’s not possible for two articles to share a title, so it’s necessary to add information that distinguishes them from each other often in the form of a description after the name.
Generally, an article title takes the <h1></h1> format and helps identify the subject precisely.
An article title, commonly referred to as an H1 header tag is significant for several reasons.
To begin with, the article title is essential for your website visitors and for search engines as it determines the kind of impression both will have with your content.
From the user side, the article title represents their first experience with your content, while helping search engines understand what it’s about.
As the headline of your page or article, this title gets more attention from Google because it’s the largest thing the website visitors can see on the page.
Just like writing a website, there are certain common best practices you need to follow in order to write a suitable and optimized article title, including:
- Creating a catchy article title that will draw the user’s attention
- Using the article title only once on the page
- Using the recommended number of characters (usually 50)
- Avoiding over spamming with queries
- Intersecting exclusively with what is discussed in the text (body) of the article
- Using a frequent question that didn’t fit in the title
Your article and website titles don’t have to match though they often intersect in meaning and tend to have similar queries.
If you use them properly, the website and article titles can help you rank better in search engines. On the other hand, if misused, they can affect your position in search engines negatively, sometimes leading to penalties so be sure to use them appropriately.
A website title and article title may look similar but there are some distinct differences that can help you tell one from the other. Both titles serve to describe to your site’s visitors what your webpage and website are about and they can be leveraged for SEO.
To be sure you know which is which, here are the subtle differences between a website title and article title.
A website title acts as a meta tag and is found at the head of the page but it doesn’t form part of the actual content. You won’t see the website title on the page but at the top of the screen of your web browser.
An article title, on the other hand, is visible on your web page and is the most prominent text.
A website title is designed to let Google and search engine bots know what your page is about and is displayed in the SERPs as people searching for specific keywords click on to visit your page. When someone bookmarks your web page, the website title provides a default bookmark title.
The website title also contains keywords that help promote a specific page and boost its ranking in the SERPs.
An article title, on the other hand, helps your site’s visitors know what to expect on that page.
If you run a site that’s powered by WordPress, you can easily set the website and article titles using a few simple steps. Here’s how.
Once you’ve installed WordPress, you can change your website title and its tagline too so as to welcome the users to your site while letting them know the purpose of your site. The website title and tagline also help promote a good user experience and encourage engagement.
To set a website title on your site in WordPress, you’ll use the Theme Customizer in the WordPress dashboard by following these steps:
- Sign in to your WordPress dashboard.
- Navigate to Appearance > Customize or select Customize in the left pane.
- In the Customizer, click Site Identity.
- Next, select Site Title and Tagline.
- Once you’re done, hit the Publish button to save your changes.
Note: In the Site Identity options, you can set the website title and tagline, set a site favicon or icon, and upload a logo too. If you just want to show a logo, you can disable the website title and tagline.
To set an article title on WordPress, use the steps below:
- Open a new post by selecting Posts on the left pane and then select Add New.
- In the new post screen, you’ll see a section at the top labeled Add Title (depending on your theme).
- Type in your article title and select Save Draft so you can save your changes as you work on the rest of the content.
- Once your article is ready to go, select Preview to see how the article will look like when published.
- If everything looks good, hit Publish and your article will be live on the site.
Web optimization is a key part of any business or brand as it boosts visibility and business growth in general.
A website title and article title may look like a minute part of the overall strategy. However, they help search engine bots understand your pages, serve them to the right users, and make it easier for them to navigate and find whatever they’re looking for.
Creating useful titles for all your website pages doesn’t require writing much, but you shouldn’t assume they’re the same, and that they’re something you should treat as easy and quick. Ignoring their role in SEO and optimizing them for the web can cost you dearly.
Take some time to create the best website title and article titles as they’ll signal to search engines what your page is about and communicate better to users. Ultimately, if you get these two components right, they can improve your site’s rankings and increase your click-through rates.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.