Why Are Page Titles Important?
Titles have been a major influence of Google SEO since SEO first began and are an important part of a site’s SEO.
- Page URLS
- Domain Names
- Meta Descriptions
to decide what a page is about and draw keywords and search terms for users to find. It uses this information to link a page to a viewer.
Google used to use Headers with the same key words and phrases as titles, but now uses them semantically – to provide meaning for a page. this meaning is both for SEO and for a human to understand a pages intent. So what should you keep in mind when writing page titles for humans?
Write to meet a searcher’s intent
Potential viewers go to Google to find something. They want to answer a question, learn something, be guided on how to achieve something. Their questions cover the who, what, where, why, how and when range of human questioning. They go to Google (and other search engines) with intent. If you want to get your page in front of them you need to meet their desire with and answer.
Understanding what your audience wants and the information they desire is critical to deciding what your page title should contain. It should meet their need. They should view your page title in the search engine results page (SERP) and scream – oh yes – that’s what I wanted to know – and then click to read further.
A page needs intent. That intent should be in the page title (and url, description, first paragraph) and supported by the headers structure. But here is the key take way – Your page’s intent must meet a searchers need. If you don’t know what people are looking for – you might have great content but it will never be found. Keyword research (and by keyword I mean key phrases) is vital. your page title must then meet that intent.
Write a page title, with wording that meets and answers the searcher’s intent (but the page focus must also be about that intended topic)
Provide a call to action (CTA)
Your page title is the bit that shows up in blue as the main part of a Google SERP. Here is how this page will appear (Fig 1 Below). If someone is looking for a how to or step by step guide to writing a good page title then the title should be of interest to them.
As an aside – you can preview your pages by going here – https://seositecheckup.com/analysis or using the page preview tool in Google Search Console (if you have an account and have registered your website.
This is the bit that will catch a searchers eye and will ultimately be most of the reason they decide to click or discard your page. Knowing what you want from a page and your outcome for that page are vital. The page should accomplish one goal only. ( we have a guided page writing template and hints to print here : Printable SEO Writing Template
As an example, this page contains no call to actions, no sales pitch, no advertising, no sign up – and not even a comments section. What do I want from this page? To educate. End of story. If I wanted sign ups i would be pitching for you to read more exclusive content, fill in a form etc.
If your page has a desired outcome the title should pull in the correct searchers and then guide them to take the desired outcome.
Ask, entice or command your users to take action. Make them realize you are meeting their desire. for example.
A searcher thinking, ‘I need to find a spouse’ – could be met with, ‘ Need to find a spouse? Try Us. We have the spouse you want right now. ‘
Spammy right? Yes – but it works because it:
- Understands the searchers intent and identifies the desire
- Speaks to that intent or desire
- Meets that intent or desire
- Invites an action
We offer Professional Services for Professional People
would be a lot strong if it said
Engage with the best agency to provide the professional services you need – See our offerings here
- The Desire – They are looking to engage professional services
- Speaks – We offer to meet that need
- Meet – We say we can meet that need
- Invitation – We ask them to see our offerings here
This is still a weak CTA, but it is miles ahead of the first iteration.
Stay Human Focused
Google is a lot cleverer than it used to be. it can pick up subtleties, synonyms and related topics. That’s why you often get search results that are not the exact phrase you searched for.
Avoid looking like a key word stuffer. Make titles unique (but on topic and focused on the page’s outcomes). Make them appealing.
Make sure the title meets the humans’ needs, not just typing to Google.
Make the title introduce the topic in an appealing manner
Do not over use words. Google is looking for phrases more than individual words. We offer Professional Services for Professional People so people can be professial is likely to get kicked to touch by Google. Plus humans hate that stuff.
The title, the whole title and nothing but the title – NOPE!!
The title is what is seen at the top of search results.
The title is what will draw a human reader in
The title is used as a strong indicator by Google
But if the rest of the content doesn’t match up, the URL is different, the headings don’t support the topic and the content is weak and wanders – then the title will get you very little. you might get clicks but you will get people bouncing off your page ASAP.
A whole page approach, with a consistent topic flow and engaging (and actionable) information is as important.
The title is the bait, but without a hook, line, sinker and someone to deal with the catch – it’s just chum – floating aorund, occaisionally gobbled up but yielding no results.
Titles are the eye candy that invite a response on a search result
They are an indicator (not the whole enchilada) for Google to understand your page
They are your first impression to a potential client
If they aren’t human friendly and inviting – you wont get found or clicked.
- I would recommend using the checklist on page two of the Printable SEO Writing Template as a guide to title writing and producing great copy.
- If you own a PC. Xenus link sleuth is an older, but awesome checker, with actionable information. We have a how to use here A Guide To Using Xenus Link Sleuth For The First Time – How To
Here is ours in Xenu – including this page. We get over 300 000 visits per year – on a site that is not optimised for SEO but that has decent page titles (because i wrote the question i asked to google down as the page title).