If you’re asking “What is a page title in SEO?” and wondering how it works for you, you’re not alone.

Whether you write page titles first or save the best for last, your business depends on the impact of a good title.

After all, over 50% of shoppers use Google to discover or find new brands. If they’re doing research online, your audience is scanning to find what they’re looking for. So, let’s talk about how page titles affect SEO.

Page titles are an important on-page factor for SEO, according to many experts. But which page title are they talking about?

In this article, we will cover:

Before diving into the details, let’s talk about the terminology we’re using.

A sort of title tag is the content that will be displayed in browser tabs and (most likely) search engine results pages (SERPs).

Title Tag Example: HubSpot,

If your main goal is to increase your click-through rate (CTR), this is a great resource to learn more about optimizing your title tags.

H1 is an HTML title, which is usually the largest and most important title on the page. The page title appears on the page itself, usually represented using H1-style coding.

H1 Example, HubSpot, Page View of

Therefore, the page title can refer to the title tag or H1, depending on where you publish your website content. Other phrases you might see instead of “page title” include:

  • browser title
  • SEO headlines
  • blog title

This can be confusing. If you’re new to SEO, this may be part of the reason you’re asking about page titles in SEO.

For clarity, in this article, we’ll use “page title” to talk about H1, and “title tag” when talking about titles in the SERPs.

As you read on, keep in mind that what you call a page title is not as important as it can be.

Why is page title important for SEO?

Why are page titles important for SEO if they don’t show up directly on the SERPs? Because a strong page title improves SEO on your website and improves user experience due to its prominence on the page.

The page title is at the top of the post. It can tell your readers what your post is about and entice them to read the full text.

Page titles have the power to engage and engage readers without competing with ads, snippets, and featured images like title tags.

There are other reasons why your page title is important for SEO.

1. Page titles help users and search engines understand what your page is about.

According to Search Engine Magazine, Google uses page titles to figure out the content and structure of a page. This information is directly related to page ranking.

Your page title helps search engines determine whether your page meets search intent. It answers the user’s question more completely.

2. They assure users that they have found what they are searching for.

Although the title tag tells users what the page contains, this tag does not appear on the page. So the page title confirms that they are in the right place. This creates a better experience for people visiting your website. Google’s guidelines also say that user experience is a ranking factor.

3. If Google modifies your title tag, the page title can confirm the page content.

Google explains why they don't always use title tags in SERP results. Sometimes they use page titles.

Google doesn’t always use title tags to generate the titles you see in the SERPs, but your page title is another way you can tell readers and search engines what your page is about.

4. They keep readers engaged and on your page.

A good page title can help reduce bounce rate and increase time on page. This is because visitors who find what they are looking for quickly on your site are more likely to engage with your posts by clicking on other pages on your site and spend more time reading your content.

While this data isn’t a direct ranking factor, low bounce rates and dwell time are both important for SEO because they show Google that your pages contain high-quality content.

Page Title SEO Example

In these examples, you can see the main difference between page titles and title tags.

1. Copy the blogger

This page title from Copyblogger leads you to their articles by pointing out what’s important and when.

Page Title SEO Example: Copyblogger,

The title tag is missing the time, but its inclusion in the page title will ensure that the page appears in the correct SERPs.

Example title tag: Copyblogger,

2. Ahrefs

This title tag from Ahrefs uses the term “beginner’s guide” to stand out in the SERPs.

Title Tag Example: Ahrefs,

After clicking on an article, they simplify the quote.

Page Title SEO Example: Ahrefs,

3. Essence

The page title stands out in the SERPs with interesting adjectives that show what makes this listing unique.

Title Tag, Essence:

Once readers click through to the page, Essence expands the title to emphasize the fun summer vibe.

Page Title SEO Example, Essence:

4. Fast Company

This title tag stands out because it addresses a problem and how to fix it.

Fast Company,

Fast Company adds 2022 to page titles to show freshness. They also use stories in subheadings to draw readers into their content.

Page Title SEO Example: Fast Company,

Now, you might be wondering, “How do I get started?” Below, let’s review the best practices to keep in mind when writing SEO page titles.

How to Create a Standout SEO Page Title

1. Include relevant keywords.

While you don’t want to stuff your page titles with keywords, it’s still a good idea to include your main keywords.

Putting it up front, if you can, helps search engines and users quickly figure out what your page is about.

A SERP example for the keyword

If you can’t include your main keyword, you should try to include keyword variations that satisfy search intent.

2. Write for users.

Your content should be written for readers, not search engines.

This means that your page title should provide your readers with something useful. Often this will be information that will help them better understand the problem or bring them closer to a solution. You may also want to arouse their emotions.

3. Try long sentences, but pay attention to the length.

Long titles are often more effective if you use competitive keywords. In fact, according to a 2020 content study by Backlinko, 14-17 word titles drive 76.7% more social shares than short titles.

Page titles have no strict character limit to prevent title tags from being truncated in the SERPs. While you don’t have to worry about Google removing your title, for a page title to be useful for SEO, it should still be around 60-70 characters.

Your page title should be long enough to attract readers, but short enough to make the meaning and purpose of the page clear to both users and search engines.

4. Don’t repeat or stuff keywords.

Your page title should not contain multiple versions of the same keyword phrase.

A good example of a bad page title is “Toaster, Toaster, Kitchen Toaster, College Toaster, 8 Slice Toaster, Bagel Toaster | Chris’ Toaster Emporium”.

Titles like this promote the worst practices and often result in using the same page title on most, if not all, pages on your site.

Also, it doesn’t help users understand what’s on the page.

5. Don’t put your company name in front.

In most cases, your website already ranks high for your business name.

Take advantage of the fact that search engines place more importance on words that appear at the beginning of page titles. Use your keyword phrases to form your title first, then use your business name if it makes sense.

6. Be specific.

Every page on your website should have a specific purpose. Creating a unique page title for your blog is easy. But e-commerce and business sites often encounter duplication.

Great page title SEO in this example from West Elm The page title is

Unique page titles help prevent traffic cannibalization. Cannibalization occurs when two pages from the same domain rank for the same keywords and steal traffic from each other. With unique page titles, you’re less likely to create pages that Google thinks serve the same keywords.

To improve your page title, consider the details of the page in front of you and try to describe it.

For example, if the page is only about “toasters,” the title should contain toaster-centric keywords. Don’t add generic keyword phrases like “kitchen appliances.”

7. Get help.

Writing a great page title used to take a lot of practice and testing. But you can speed up the process by taking advantage of useful tools and templates to create original and performant page titles.

If you enjoy the writing process, try one of these headline analysis tools:

Another option is to use a blog topic research tool, which also provides great headlines. If this idea appeals to you, try the HubSpot blog idea generator.

Search engine optimization is not easy.

While writing headlines can be difficult, it doesn’t have to be. Once you master the art of SEO page titles, you can focus on other strategies that can drive traffic to your website.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2010 and has been updated for completeness.

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