Use the Right Title in Building a WordPress Website

You want your new WordPress website to be easily found by search engines, right?

One thing that you need to think long and hard about is the title of your website. This title will show up on every search engine’s search results page, which shows the link to the homepage of your website.

The title should not only contain the keywords you want to target, but it should also invite searchers to click on that title.

The WordPress Title

Most themes will show the title as the title of your post or page, with or without the title of the site (which is set under Settings —> General).

For myself and the majority of my customer’s sites, I use a plugin called Headspace2 which gives you the ability to write different HTML titles. These are the titles that are shown in the title bar of your browser, and are also the titles used by search engines.

With Headspace, you can set different titles for your homepage along with several other pages (archive/category pages, etc.). It shows a separate field under your writing panel where you can put the title.

On this page, you see the title “Use the Right Title in Building a WordPress Website.” But if you look at the top of your browser, you see the title “The Importance of Using the Right Title when Building a WordPress Website.”

The WordPress Theme Header

There is a little catch for Headspace2 to work the right way…. you need to check the way your theme uses the Title function in your header file.

To check this, go to Appearance —> Editor,  select the file called Header (header.php) and look for this coding:

<title><?php if (function_exists(‘seo_title_tag’)) { seo_title_tag(); } else { wp_title(”); bloginfo(‘name’);} ?></title>

In the example above you can use a plugin called “SEO Title Tag” that will do the same as Headspace2, with the exception of a few limitations. You can also see that the name of the site is appended at the end of the title. You need to change that code for optimal use of Headspace2 and replace it with:

<title><?php wp_title (”); ?></title>

For branding purposes you could add something extra into the code, such as:

<title><?php wp_title (”); ?> |</title>

The only problem with this is that the title will get too long for the search engine listings. Search engines will cut the title at this moment to about 60 positions.

Did you install the plugin and change the title function in the header of your theme? If so, it’s time to read up on how you can write those great visitor-attracting titles over at Copyblogger’s How to Write Magnetic Headlines.

P.S. The code “wp_title” is taken from your database table. If you have another table prefix, you have to change the prefix to match your installation (WordPress Installation).

WordPress Titles

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  1. This is good advice. The title is crucial for good SEO and attracting the right visitors to the site. For those interested in building their first wordpress site the right way, this is a helpful guide:

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