By default WordPress page titles are not quite ideal. I already talked about how to optimize your URL’s in WordPress in order to appease the search engines, but I forgot to show you how to optimize your title tag as well.
Originally, my title tag for each page was something like this “TRUE (Website Name) >> Blog Category >> (Post Title)“.
This is not ideal for a couple reasons:
1. Your “post title” is what catches the interest of a potential reader when your site shows up in the search engines and if your “post title” is not near the beginning of your title tag then it’s not likely people will click on your site listing.
2. Search engines place more importance on keywords found near the beginning of your title tag.
For this reason, you want your title tags to be situated more like this:
“(Post Title) – (Website Name)”:
You can do this in WordPress by heading to Appearance > Editor and clicking on Header.php. There you will find the title tags.
Copy and paste the following inbetween the title tags (see image):
<?php wp_title(”); ?>
After that just save your changes and you should be good to go.
Write For The Visitor, Not The Search Engines
Remember though that when writing your post titles (that then later become your title tags) you want to write to the visitor first and foremost. Don’t write content that appeals exclusively to the search engines. This is usually the biggest mistake most beginners make. Read my post Search Engine Marketing Simplified to understand where I’m coming from. Remember, just focus on appealing to humans, and the rest will take care of itself.
Check out these sweet title tag tips from SeoBook:
“Tips on Page Titles
- Google shows the first 60 to 70 characters in the search results. Make sure your important keywords occur early in the page title for scan-ability. If your title goes beyond 70 characters Google may cut off the title before 69 characters and display … at the end of your page title.
- Rather than making your page title just the keyword and/or starting your page title with the keyword, sometimes it helps to add in a descriptive modifier before your core keyword. This helps ensure your page is less likely to get filtered out of the search results (and thus makes your rankings more stable) while helping you rank for additional terms.
- Page titles are used to draw in clicks from search results amongst many anonymous competing offers, thus they present an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition and qualify prospects to your offer.
- Good titles evoke an emotional response, ask a question, or promise something (that the landing page fulfills).
- Since the page title is one of the few elements search engines can show searchers before sending them to your site, they place significant weight on the words in the page title. In addition, some people link to pages using their official page title as the link anchor text.
- Overlapping modifiers in a reasonable and readable way allows you improve your relevancy scores for an array of keywords, but they still need to read well. Rather than loading up page titles with a keyword list it is better to write a clear compelling offer that contains your keywords and describes your services.
- Qualifying the wrong prospective clients with a bad offer will lead to a low conversion rate, or wasting time servicing non-clients. For example, if you sell something that is high end you wouldn’t necessarily want to rank for your keyword with modifiers like cheap and discount, as servicing those people will waste your time.
- Page titles should be differentiated from page to page on your site. Unless limited by the size and scope of your site, it is best not to have all your page titles follow the exact same formula across your site. You also should not use the same keyword at or near the start of every page title.
- The format, order, and word selection of the words in your page title should be (at least slightly) different than the words in your meta description and on page headers.
- If you have a strong brand you may want to place it at the end of your page title. If you have one of the leading trusted Internet brands (Amazon, eBay, etc.) then it might make sense to place your brand at the start of the page title. In most cases the page title should still be more focused on the page copy and searcher’s intent than on your brand.”