Creating good website page titles is a crucial component of optimizing your website for the search engines. The title tag or site title is the first thing that a user sees when your website is listed on the search results. It influences his decision to click or pass up on your site and, when done right, can direct quality traffic to your website.

What is a website title?

When asked what is a site title, people tend to confuse this element with the main title hat usually shows in the text content of a website. Some pages lead with the main heading to grab a user’s attention and get him or her to continue reading. This part should not be confused for the website title which is the topic for this article.

Site titles refer to the HTML title tag for your website. This usually appears on the page tab on tabbed browsers. On search results lists, site titles appear as the text that you can click on to get to the website it represents. Check out the website title examples as they appear on the search results page.

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What is the purpose of the site title?

Site titles give users an overview of what your page is about. Most users click search results entries and gauge search relevance based on the information they get from the title tag. This HTML tag also tells search engines what they can expect to find in your content. Search engine bots like Googlebot rely on this information among other things to gauge the relevance of your site’s content to certain searches.

Title tags are also used for brand recall and awareness. If your brand has already attracted its own following, adding your company name on your title tag can entice people to go to your website, which in turn leads to more traffic for your site.

Role in SEO

Website page titles entice users to visit your website so they directly affect a ranking factor - click through rate (CTR). This ranking signal is an indicator of relevance. The more people go to your website, the higher its chances of ranking high on relevant searches. Suffice to say, the title tag is used to create a good first impression.

Best practices

Because of its impact on site traffic and click through rates, crafting great website titles is important for SEO. here are a few guidelines you should take note of:

1. Avoid title truncation

If you’ve been using search engines for a while, you must have noticed some website title examples that are cut off. Check out the example below.

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This is called title truncation and it happens when the site title is too long to fit into the search engine’s standard pixel width. Ideally, your website’s title tag should be short enough to fit into this width. Rule of thumb is to keep your title within a maximum of 60 characters (including spaces).

2. Do not use all caps.

Using all capital letters on your site titles is bad form. No website (at least to our knowledge) has ever had a top ranking just because its title is written in all caps. It has no bearing on rankings so it’s better not to do it at all. For title tag formats, either go for the sentence case (capitalizing the first letter of the first word) or by title case (capitalizing the first letter of most words).

3. Write titles for human users

Search engines are going to see your title tags, yes, but it’s human users who will be reacting and clicking through your website when they find the title relevant to their search. Write your title tags with potential users in mind. If you have a multi-page website, make sure you have a unique title for every page. Conversely, make sure that all pages have title tags.

4. Select a primary keyword to target

Your website title should be optimized for your selected keyword for the page. Make sure it contains the keyword but it should appear in the most natural way. Do not stuff your title with irrelevant keyphrases just for the sake of ranking. Search engines are starting to see through this tactic and your page might get kicked off the search results if you do this.