The Value of a Page Title Verses Heading One: Layman’s Terms
Page Title vs H1: Layman’s Terms
Read Time: ~6 min.
Author: Mariah Desirae Manes
Does optimizing your website’s Titles and Headers really matter?
Well, YES! …But why?
When creating an arbitrary page title to display the content within a page, one may be missing out on some amazing opportunities for the search ability of a website.
What does a title tag look like from a searcher’s perspective? (see photo)
Let’s take a look at Titles and Headings on a basic level, “Although headings and titles are similar, they are distinct: A title leads the entire document and captures its content in one or two phrases; a heading leads only a chapter or section and captures only the content of that chapter or section.” Scribbr talks about titles and headings in a document setting and puts their difference in a recognizable way that can translate into URL formatting and website development terms.
Now that we know Title Tags and Heading 1’s are unique, should they read the same wordage?
The answer is, maybe…
The biggest question is not simply, “should my title tags and H1’s have the same wording?” The biggest question to ask yourself is, “what do I want my audience to see when they are searching for my website?”
The fact is, whatever you claim your title tag to be, that is what your searchers will click on to discover all you have to offer them through the information on your website. The H1 will then work with the title’s clickability to display the information that led your searchers to your website in the first place.
While the H1 typically does not appear in the search bar results, making sure your H1 leads the viewer to feel that their search was done correctly can provide a sense of trust and a friendly user experience. Suppose your audience is searching for a service you offer, and they find a title that appears to provide the correct information, and they click on this link that leads them to a page with a heading that does not coincide with what they’re searching for. In that case, they may quickly click back to the search results and give their business to your competitors.
#1: No keywords in Title Tags.
Your customer searches, “best tire shop in Spokane.” You have a website with the slogan, “the best tires in Spokane, Washington,” written throughout your content; however, there are no blog posts, pages, or other page titles with the keywords, best, tire shop, or Spokane, in them.
The search engine does not display your information to the searcher because it determines that the content will not provide helpful information to the searcher based on the page’s improper or lacking H1.
If the Title Tag correlates with the Heading 1 on the page, the customer may quickly select what they are looking for and spend engaging time on your website, therefore, boosting your ranking within the search engines.
#2: Headings and content does not correlate with the Title Tags.
Your customer searches, “best tire shop in Spokane.”
Your title tag is simply your business name with no added information about what type of business you are. Your website was not ranked within the top ten because the search engine sees that your website’s content does not align with the Title Tags presented.
The search engine’s primary goal is to provide its viewers with the best and most accurate information possible. In that case, it will rank the websites with the most relevant content throughout each of the website’s pages.
When determining the correct H1 for each of your website’s pages, take a moment to consider your audience, the message you are sending, and the message you want to send.
Today, our online attention spans average at about eight seconds total viewing time. Suppose your audience sees that your content is not easily read or that the heading does not match the context within the title tag. In that case, they may quickly click out of your website to find that your competitors are more reliable with user-friendly content.
Because of the short engagement time that a viewer may have with your page/s, search engines will take this into account, and it may decide that your page is not relevant for the search that was made.
What should your titles look like anyways?
Most highly engaged search engines recommend your titles stay around 60 characters (not to be confused with 60 words). The format of the keywords can look differently for each business, but a good “Vexing Media rule-of-thumb” is to label the page’s goal, your company name, and the location at the end.
While we can dive deeper into meta description use later, this effective title display leaves no room for questioning what the actual page’s content will provide a viewer looking for the team behind their favorite website development agency. 😉
Taking the precious time to write engaging content throughout your website should not be wasted because your Title Tags or Headings are not understood or not used effectively.
Have your favorite website developing team analyze your pages to ensure your website receives the amount of traffic your service deserves!