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How to Write the Perfect Page Title With SEO in Mind

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

Whether you write your page title first or save the best for last, your business relies on the impact of a great headline.

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

Many experts say that the page title is an important on-page factor for SEO. But which page title are they talking about?

In this post, we’ll cover:

Before we dig into the details, let’s talk about the terms we’re using.

A title tag is what’s going to show up in the browser tab and (most likely) the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Title tag example: HubSpot, “What is a Marketing Plan & How to Write One [+Examples]

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

H1 is an HTML heading, and it’s usually the largest and most important heading on a web page. The page title appears on the page itself and is often denoted using H1 style coding.

H1 example, HubSpot, Page view of “What is a Marketing Plan & How to Write One [+Examples]”

So, a page title could refer to either the title tag or the H1, depending on where you publish your website content. Other phrases that you may see instead of “page title” include:

  • Browser title
  • SEO title
  • Blog title

This can be confusing. If you’re new to search engine optimization, it’s probably part of the reason why you’re asking about page titles in SEO.

For clarity, in this article we’ll use “page title” to talk about H1s, and “title tag” when talking about the title in the SERPs.

As you keep reading, keep in mind that what you call the page title is less important than what it can do.

Why Are Page Titles Important for SEO?

If page titles don’t show up on SERPs directly, why are they important for SEO? Because a strong page title can improve SEO on your site and improve the user experience because of its prominence on the page.

The page title sits at the top of the post. It can tell your reader what your post is about and draw them into reading the full article.

The page title has the power to lure and entice readers without having to compete with ads, snippets, and featured images the way that the title tag does.

There are a few other reasons that your page title is important for search engine optimization.

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

According to Search Engine Journal, Google uses the page title to find out the content and structure of the page. This information relates directly to page rank.

Your page title helps search engines decide if your web page satisfies search intent. It can more completely answer a user’s question.

2. They reassure users that they’ve found what they’re searching for.

While title tags tell users what a page contains, this tag doesn’t appear on the page. So, the page title confirms that they are in the right place. This creates a better experience for the people visiting your site. Google’s guidelines also say that user experience is a ranking factor.

3. A page title can confirm page content if Google revises your title tag.

Google explains why they don’t always use the title tag in SERP results. Sometimes they use the page title instead.

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

4. They keep readers engaged and on your page.

A great page title can help cut down bounce rates and increase time on the page. This is because a visitor who quickly finds what they are looking for on your site is more likely to engage with your post by clicking to other pages on your site and to spend more time reading your content.

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

Page Title SEO Examples

In these examples, you can see major differences between the page title and title tag.

1.Copyblogger

This page title from Copyblogger leads you into their article by pinpointing an important what and when.

Page title SEO example: Copyblogger,

The title tag is missing the when, but its inclusion in the page title will ensure that this page shows up in the right SERPs.

Title tag example: Copyblogger,

2. Ahrefs

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

Title tag example: Ahrefs, “Keyword Research: The Beginner’s Guide by Ahrefs”

They simplify the offer once you click on the article.

Page title SEO example: Ahrefs, “How to Do Keyword Research for SEO”

3. Essence

This page title stands out on the SERPs with fun adjectives that show what makes this listicle unique.

Title tag, Essence: “25 Stylish Bloggers Who Are Slaying This Summer”

Once readers click into the page, Essence expands the title to emphasize the fun, summery vibe.

Page title SEO example, Essence: “Blogger Beach Babes: 25 Stylish Bloggers Who Are Slaying This Summer”

4. Fast Company

This title tag stands out because it targets a problem and how to solve it.

Fast Company, “Best activity tools and tips for hybrid teams”

Fast Company adds 2022 to the page title to show freshness. They also use a story in the subheading to draw readers into their content.

Page title SEO example: Fast Company, “Here are the best productivity tools and tips for hybrid teams in 2022”

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

How to Create SEO Page Titles That Stand Out

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 primary keyword.

If you can, putting it near the front can help search engines and users figure out what your page is about quickly.

SERP examples for the keyword “How to write great headlines” to help users understand what is a page title in SEO.

If you can’t include your primary keyword, you should try to include a variant of your keyword that satisfies search intent.

2. Write for the user.

Your content should be written for the reader, not for the search engine.

This means that your page title should offer something useful to your reader. Usually this will be information that helps them better understand a problem or brings them closer to a solution. You might also want to spark their emotions.

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

If you’re using competitive keywords, a long headline is often more effective. In fact, according to a Backlinko content study from 2020, 14-17 word headlines bring 76.7% more social shares than short headlines.

Page titles don’t have the strict character limits that keep a title tag from getting cut off in the SERPs. While you don’t need to worry about Google cutting your title off, for a page title to be useful for SEO it should still stick to around 60-70 characters.

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

4. Don’t be repetitive or stuff keywords.

Your page titles shouldn’t include multiple versions of the same keyword phrases.

A great example of a bad page title is “Toaster, toaster oven, kitchen toaster, college toaster, 8 slice toaster, bagel toaster | Chris’ Toaster Emporium”.

Titles like this promote worst practices and often lead to having the same page titles used across most (if not all) of the pages on your site.

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

5. Don’t put your company name at the front.

In most cases, your website will already rank high for your company name.

Leverage the fact that search engines give more weight to the words that appear at the beginning of a page title. Form your titles using your keyword phrases first, and then your company name if it makes sense.

6. Be specific.

Every page on your site should have a specific purpose. It’s easy to create a unique page title for a blog. But ecommerce and business sites often run into repetition.

Great page title SEO on this example from West Elm page title reads “Your outdoor oasis awaits” while the title tag reads “Modern Outdoor Furniture” to show the intent of the page.

Unique page titles help prevent traffic cannibalization. Cannibalizing happens when two pages from the same domain rank for the same keyword and are stealing traffic from each other. With unique page titles, you’re less likely to create pages that Google believes are serving the same keywords.

To improve your page titles, think about the specifics of the page in front of you, and try to describe it.

For example, if a page is just about “toasters”, the title should include your keywords centered on toasters. Don’t add generic keyword phrases like “kitchen appliances.”

7. Get some 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 high-performing page titles.

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

Another option is to use a blog topic research tool that also offers great headlines. If this idea appeals to you, try using the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator.

SEO isn’t easy.

While writing titles can be hard, it doesn’t have to be. Once you’ve mastered the art of SEO page titles, you can focus on other strategies that can drive traffic to your site.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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