Why should you be able to create a good SEO title for your website? Because the first thing a searcher sees in search results is… the title. The same goes for the search engine crawl spiders, which are looking for the topic of your website.
Given the importance of a good SEO title, as you might imagine, there is a lot to consider. So, I’ll make things a little easier and divide all of that info into two posts. You’re welcome.
SEO Title is not the same as Post Title.
You may consider this nitpicking — indeed, the two may turn out to be the same in certain cases — but there is a difference. There are two major kinds of title: SEO and post (or page). Look on your WordPress site’s ‘edit post’ page to find the two input fields.
The post (or page) title input field can be found on top of the page itself or post editor. We’ll deal with it in a later post.
Under the post input field, find the input field for the SEO title in the Yoast SEO metabox. Click on the ‘edit snippet’ button to edit the SEO title. The snippet preview will then open, containing three input fields.
Check how your SEO title will look in search results by using the snippet preview in Yoast SEO. The mobile version is used as default, since more and more websites need to be mobile friendly, but you can also switch to see the desktop version.
But wait. I can fit more than 120 characters into my SEO title!
How many characters in your title will Google display? Rather than using a character count, Google has a fixed area where it can show the title. Characters have varying widths, so try to use more skinny ones (i, j, l, t) than wide ones (m, w). Yoast’s snippet preview shows your title as it will appear in Google searches. But still, a good goal is no more than 120 characters, including spaces.
The SEO title is composed of the title, page number (if applicable), separator and site title. All of that. You can specify when you set up your website (another idea for a future post). So keep this title long enough for crawl spider interest, yet short enough to fit nicely into search results. Remember to include your focus keyword and limit your ‘stop words’.
Edit your SEO title in the first input field. Beneath it there will be a bar indicating whether your SEO title is well optimized. Green means go! If it’s orange or red you’ll need to make some changes.
Revealed: How your SEO title is different from your post title.
The SEO title is meant to show up in search results for people who haven’t yet found your website. Consider your SEO title to be the location of your neighborhood. The post title tells what the post or page is about. It’s there for people who are already on your site. Think of it as your street address. Visitors have to first find your neighborhood, then navigate to your street address. Right?
Your SEO title is in the snippet preview because it will be the lead-in to your snippet in a search. You want people to click on the snippet, come to your website, read your post or buy your product. Make your SEO title as interesting and informational as possible to capture that click!
For answers to questions about crafting a good SEO title, or for help with that, drop me a line. Email is regularly checked, so you’ll get a prompt reply.