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In this weekly blog series, we’re featuring an in-depth look at one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software for our clients. These strategies individually contribute to your online presence and increase your chances of bringing free traffic to your site. Subscribe to the UpCity Daily Tips Newsletter for daily recommendations on how to bring customers to your site.
What is a Title Tag?
A title tag explains the topic of a particular site to users and search engines. Though it is a hidden piece of code on your website, it’s also a highly visible text in two different contexts: on the web browser and the search engine results page (SERP). The two example screenshows below use the phrase, “WordPress> Blog Tool, Publishing Platform, and CMS” as the title tag.
1. The title tag is shown on the top title bar of a user’s web browser.
2. The title tag is shown as a clickable headline right above the description on the SERP.
Why is a Title Tag Important?
A title tag is a content descriptor for the page of a website and is considered a strong ranking factor for search engines. The title tag tells the web spiders exactly what content is shown on the specific page. Similarly, title tags should be written well so they can increase click through-rates (CTR) from the SERP. Quality and powerfully written title tags bring more user traffic, while more often than not, poorly written descriptions may drive potential visitors away.
With the significance of title tags in today’s competitive world of online marketing, it’s crucial to be able to update the content on your blog or website easily. Luckily, many built-in, user-friendly content management systems (CMS) are available to update title tags. Today, we will review how to update the title tags in a general WordPress site, one of the most widely used publishing platforms.
Before we begin, it is important to note that two titles are utilized for every web page including the homepage.
Page Title versus General Title
We also want to differentiate the “General” title and the “Page” title. In both aspects, the title tag describes the site’s main ideas. The general title is static and applies to all pages of the website, such as a business name or theme. On the other hand, the page title is more customized and unique to specific pages throughout the website. Page titles should contain keywords to optimize each particular page.
To add or edit a general title, we recommend directly using the WordPress platform’s menu options. To update a dynamic page title, this action requires an external WordPress plugin to be installed. Two popular options are the All in One SEO Pack and WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. These plugins will provide an automatic and user friendly method to add the essential page titles.
Process to Add a Title Tag
1. To begin modifying the general title of your homepage, you will first need to login into the WordPress account for the webite. Append “/wp-admin” to your domain name in the address bar and press Enter.
2. You will be taken to the login screen to enter your WordPress username and password.
3. Once logged into your WordPress account, you can view the Dashboard page.
4. Locate and click the Settings menu on the left side of your screen, which expands to a number of options to select from. Click the General button that enables modification of the blog’s general settings.
5. Enter the desired general page title in the space provided, and click Save Changes. This alteration will apply to all pages of your site, so we advise you to plan ahead accordingly. See below for some tips on compiling an appropriate, quality title tag.
6. After the new general title has been added, let’s now add the page title to your homepage. As mentioned above, a plugin such as the All in One SEO Pack or WordPress SEO Plugiin by Yoast, will need to be activated. Expand the Settings menu and begin configuring the plugin of your choice.
7. Make sure the plugin is Enabled, and enter your chosen homepage title in the space provided. Last, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update Options.
Congratulations! You completed adding both general and page specific titles for your homepage. Mouse over to see both the titles appear adjacent to each other as shown in the example below.
Some Best Practices to Build Titles:
Using the steps outlined above, you’ve hopefully enhanced your website to become more search engine friendly and increased its chances for ranking in Google. Here are a few tips to creating quality titles:
- Make sure you are effectively describing the topic of the web page.
- Include the essential items such as the business name and the target keyword(s) .
- Check that you are not over-stuffing the text with keywords– this is a bad thing to do! In addition, try to avoid repeating the same words in a title.
- If you own a local business, consider focusing or including the state or city of your target market.
- Use dividers or dashes to combine all of the above elements. For example, a nice structure could be as simple as <Business Name> | <Target Keyword> – in <Location>.
- Try to limit to about 5-12 words and 65-70 characters.The full title will display in the snippet of the search engine results.
- See also Title Tags: Monday’s SEO Tip for more helpful strategies.
Complete other optimization tasks in the UpCity curriculum to fulfill more benefits of SEO for your site. UpCity members, follow this pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Optimize Your Presence > Expand Your Presence II > Website 201: Website Optimization.
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