Page Title SEO: How to Optimize Title Tags for Search Engines and Readers

Page title SEO helps you optimize content for search engines, improve click-through-rates (CTRs), and drive more traffic to your website. If you aren’t already optimizing each title tag on your site, here’s your guide for getting started.

We’ll cover:

  • What is page title SEO?
  • The difference between a heading tag and title tag
  • Where does a title tag appear?
  • Why title tags are important
  • How to use page title SEO
  • How to fully optimize search and social snippets
  • How to check and improve page title SEO

What Is Page Title SEO?

Page title SEO strategically adds and optimizes unique meta title tags on a webpage to make it more attractive to readers and search engines. Title tags are assigned to a page by adding a line of HTML code: Example Title Tag.

page title seo html

Title tags are different from heading tags.

A heading tag (identified with a line of “H1” HTML code) is the title that appears at the top of a webpage. In WordPress, heading tags are added to the title section of a new post or page.

page heading example

A title tag (identified with a line of “title” HTML code) can be different from or the same as the heading tag on a page, and it doesn’t appear on the page of content. Instead, it is featured in other places that work to describe the content to search engines and provide a preview of the content to readers. Keep reading to find out where title tags are found.

Title tags are different from heading tags. Do you know the difference? Click To Tweet

Where Does a Title Tag Appear?

Here are three SEO page title examples that show where title tags appear.

1. Search Engine Results Pages

The title tag is the headline that shows in a search engine results page (SERP) snippet along with the page URL and meta description.

page title seo title tag example

2. Social Media Snippets

When a link is shared on social media, it populates a snippet that shows the page’s title tag, featured image, URL, and meta description.

page title seo social media example

3. Web Browser Tabs

A web browser shows the title tag in the tab for the page to help users refer back to it if they have multiple tabs open.

page title seo browser example

Why Is a Title Tag Important?

Page title SEO and adding unique meta titles to each page of a website is important for two reasons.

  • It helps search engines understand and rank the page. Adding title tags is an SEO best practice. When a title tag is optimized for a target keyword, it is more likely to attract search engines and improve a page’s visibility on SERPs.
  • It increases CTRs and drives more users to your content. When a title tag is optimized to attract attention from readers, it is more likely to get searchers and social media users to click on the snippet and drive traffic to the page.

How to Use Page Title SEO

Now that you see the value in using page title SEO, let’s look at how you can improve your meta titles. Every SEO checklist should include the following title optimization tasks.

  • Limit your title tag length to 60 characters.
  • Use your target keyword near the beginning of the title.
  • Create a unique title tag for each page on your site.
  • Use best practices for writing headlines that catch attention.
  • Tell the reader why they should click. Communicate value and benefits.
  • Remember that the copy is for readers, not just search engines.
  • Install a tool like Yoast SEO to make it easy to add unique title tags to your pages.
  • If you have a recognizable brand name, consider using it after your headline phrase (example: Page Title | Brand Name).

How to Fully Optimize Search and Social Snippets

A title tag is just one piece of a larger meta tag SEO strategy that improves a page’s appearance in search or social.

optimize on-page seo

To get the most out of your page title SEO, also optimize the page’s meta description and URL. Because all three items appear in SERPs and social media snippets, it gives you an additional opportunity to attract users and drive website traffic.

To get the most out of your page title SEO, also optimize the page’s meta description and URL. Click To Tweet

Write an optimized SEO meta description.

  • Use your target keyword near the beginning of the blurb.
  • Write between 135 and 160 characters.
  • Don’t duplicate the same meta description for multiple pages.
  • Include a call to action.
  • Include a value proposition.

Create an optimized SEO-friendly URL.

  • Use your target keyword.
  • Relate to the page title.
  • Don’t include special characters or numbers.
  • Remove stop words and phrases.
  • Keep it short, clean, and concise.

How to Check and Improve Page Title SEO

Once you optimize your meta tag and page title SEO, check your work to ensure that you didn’t make any errors or miss any optimization opportunities.

Enter your page URL into Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker to scan your page for proper keyword optimization, SERP appearance, and more. Use the tool to check on-page SEO for each piece of content to make sure it’s fully optimized for search.

check page title seo with alexa

For even more on-page SEO tips, read: On-Page SEO Checklist: Optimize Every Page on Your Site

Optimize Your Page Title SEO with Alexa

Now you know what page title SEO is and how you can use it to boost your brand’s visibility in search, improve CTRs, and drive more readers to your content.

Start optimizing your pages and sign up for a free trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan to use the On-Page SEO Checker to review your work and access keyword research tools to help you find the best keywords for your content.

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