Does changing page title affect a website's SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the process of methods and techniques that makes a piece of content or an entire website rank higher on Google. Since it is very important to be seen on the front page of various search engines, optimizing a page to make it place higher is crucial for many blogs and sites.
There are many things people can do if they want their site to rank high on Google. This can be anything from providing high-quality content, using keywords, using backlinks, and more. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can also negatively affect the SEO of your site. Among them is the process of changing the title of your page.
What are title tags?
After writing an article with top-notch quality, the work unfortunately does not stop there. There are several things that you need to consider in order for your page to rank aside from the keywords, images, backlinks, and proper headings. When posting content, you should never forget about optimizing your title tags. But what are they exactly, and are they important?
Title tags are the HTML elements in your page that contain the title of your website or content. It is the short sentence that we usually see and click when we search for something on Google. For example, when we search “Best cities in the United States to visit,” there are several articles that will show on the search engine results page or SERP. The sentences that are in a bigger font compared to the meta descriptions and will turn blue once we hover our cursor are called title tags.
Since a title tag can be compared to the cover of a book, it can be a factor that will let us decide if we want to read your content or move on to other books with a title that we think will help us better. For example, an article that says “The top attractions in New York to visit” will be much better than choosing the one with the title that says “The top attractions to visit in the United States” if we are planning to go to New York in the first place.
Why are title tags necessary?
Are title tags really necessary? Why should we even worry about them if we are confident about our content and on-page SEO?
Whether we like it or not, title tags are an important aspect of our content. This is because:
They are the face of your page
As we mentioned earlier, title tags are the cover or face of our websites. Since they are one of the first experiences that visitors encounter when visiting our page, it will help if they contain words that will be relevant for their purpose.
Hence, if the tags are not attractive or seem to not be what they are looking for, they will choose to click on another topic. This can be detrimental to the success of your site when it comes to ranking and getting leads.
They are visible in web browsers
Ever open all the tabs at once and want to return to a specific one among the number you have opened? Some of us randomly click through each tab until we find what we are looking for, while some hover their cursor on top of each tab to read the title tag.
Since they also act as placeholders, putting more thought into your page title is very helpful to make your site efficient and user-friendly while also looking credible and professional.
They are visible in the link of your content
Do some of your friends or coworkers send you links to a funny article or site that is work-related? Do you notice that you can have a hint of what they sent you by reading the title tag that shows as a preview to the link?
As one of the reasons why tags are important, a proper title should be visible to your readers from the Google results, or they may not open links if the source does not look trustworthy or eye-catching.
To make sure that you can make the title as eye-catching as possible, you should know how it would look in the search results. We like using the Moz title tag preview tool as it's easy to use and very helpful in constructing a title tag that encourages click-through.
How does changing the page title tags affect SEO?
When you have articles or posts on your site, the most common way for them to be seen is when they appear on the SERP or the search engine results page. Unfortunately, when your pages are not that visible through organic methods, the only way to read them and get some clicks is when you take people to the direct link of your site.
This is why it can be difficult for many people to make some changes to their posts. After all, if the results are unsatisfactory, then it will mean that the effort of changing the title tag may be useless. To answer the question of whether changing the page title tag affect your page’s SEO, the short response is yes, it does. But how exactly does this happen?
What happens when you change a title tag?
Most often, changing your page’s title tag can lead to two things: it will affect your ranking and will also influence your leads and sales.
- It can indirectly affect your page’s ranking
Before you panic about risking the rank of your page, take deep breaths. On its own, the act of changing a page’s title tag does not directly affect its ranking. However, CTR or click-through rates do.
Think of it this way: you change your title tag, which can make it more or less appealing to the people who are searching for a particular content. Since people click through the tags that they think answers their question or contains what they need, Google ranks sites that more people go to and puts them on top of the SERP. Hence, the higher the CTR is, it will also be on top of Google’s search engine results page. This brings us to the point – even if changing the title tag does not directly affect organic results, it will still be affected due to CTR.
- It will positively or negatively affect your leads and sales
Since it influences CTR and SERP, changing a title tag will obviously have an effect on your leads or sales. Depending on how good (or bad) your new title is, it can bring an increase or decrease in potential customers and sales.
- It can increase your clicks or sales
Let us be honest, when we search for “repairman in Minnesota”, what site do we click first? Isn’t it usually the first page? In most situations, many of us like going on the first site we see since it can be a hassle to scroll through the list of repairmen Google shows on their search results.
Fortunately, if you were able to optimize your title tag and make it comparably better to your old one, there is a higher chance that more people will click on your page. This results in higher click-through rates which makes your site rank higher in that particular keyword. Imagine if you were able to get top results for your website – there is a higher chance of getting more clients which will translate to more sales. Win-win!
- It can decrease your clicks or sales
Unfortunately, changing title tags can be a hit or miss. Although there are certain precautions and tips you can keep in mind while curating a title, it will always be possible for the change to not work the way you expect it.
In the event that your new title tag does not perform better than your old one, it will certainly show in the number of your prospective clients and sales. After all, how can you promote your site or product if you are almost invisible on the search engine results page? In this situation, you may have to revert to your old title tag or try a new one. No matter what you choose, prepare to stick with it until you have ample data if it works or not.
Changing a page title is not exactly taboo. Whether it works for you or it does not, there are many factors that can influence its results on your page or site. If you want to change the title of some of your pages, do it! Just make sure to do ample research to boost the possibility of its success.
Can you keep changing the title tag of your page?
We highly discourage you from constantly changing your title tags, it can be confusing to Google's algorithm and no one likes waiting for their page to rank for a different keyword(s).
If you really want to keep making revisions, give it a few weeks so that you will be able to monitor important data such as the number of clicks before and after the changes you made. This allows you to decide which tag works best or if you want to try using another one.
If you are using WordPress to manage the content on your website, a good plugin to use is Yoast SEO. It's easy to change your title tags, just make sure you don't change the URL unintentionally.
Although ranks and click-through rate (CTR) does not determine the entire success of your page, they can be very helpful when it comes to making your site well-known. If you have already reached the number of visitors you are satisfied with which is higher than your original numbers, this can be a sign that the tag change is working well. In most cases, it will be best for you to stick with your current title.
9 Things to consider when changing title tags
Are you planning on changing your web page’s title tag? In the process of doing that, make sure to carefully consider the following things or you may end up regretting your decision.
(1) Is the new title ultimately better than the current one?
Why are you changing your original title? Does the new title fit your content more? Or will the change bring little to no change to your page?
When replacing your original title, keep in mind that it can affect your rank due to the click-through rate and the way your content reaches your potential clients. Hence, make sure to optimize your title first before making abrupt changes. After all, you would probably not want to change it thrice.
(2) Is it original?
Is the new title you have in mind unique? If you want to make your page look more helpful, unique titles can bring more traffic to your page. Doing this may bring positive results to your site instead of burying it under hundreds or even thousands of web pages.
Of course, when changing your page title, the priority is still making it relevant to your existing content. If not, changing it will probably be a waste of energy. Since Google uses different tools to see if your titles and content match, a popular tag will not be effective in increasing traffic for a long time.
(3) Does it contain important keywords?
Do you have a list of keywords you use on your content? Since on-page SEO can be very effective in increasing traffic, having the right keywords can make or break your site. This also applies when it comes to your title page.
When people search the internet, most especially Google, they type in keywords in the search bar that is related to what they are searching for. Unfortunately, if you are not using these words, chances are, your site will not be found and will be buried deep in the web. Nobody wants this to happen to their website. This is why researching keywords that fit your content should be a priority before you click that edit title button.
Tip: Keywords are important, but this does not mean that you can stuff your title tag with it. Just use a few and leave the rest for your content.
(4) Does it follow the recommended character length?
What happens when you read a paragraph that is too long? You may find yourself skipping to the next part. What about paragraphs that are too short? You may be unsatisfied with how little information it gives you. This also applies to the length of your page title.
Finding the perfect balance of your title’s length can be difficult. Fortunately for us, there are certain sites that give some tips when it comes to the length of our page’s title. According to these awesome sites, they recommend keeping your titles between 60 to 65 characters. But how were they able to arrive at that conclusion? By observing Google.
Did you know that Google can cut your title if it is too long to read? This is because it can only display a certain number of characters to keep the site user-friendly. Since most of us scroll through the site and pick the most concise one, incomplete titles may do you no good. Unfortunately, since there are a lot of screen sizes, your title may not be displayed correctly on an iPhone or an android tablet compared to using your desktop. Hence, keeping your title tag around 60 to 65 characters will be best than it being too long to be displayed in the search results.
(5) Will you have to change your Meta description?
Meta descriptions offer a brief look into what your content is talking about. In most cases, you may already use your existing meta description without having to craft a new one when changing the title.
Since they are snippets that describe what your page will be talking about, it can be helpful to match your title to the description. Although it is not really necessary to write a new snippet, you should consider editing it along with your new title to optimize your page and have it appear in the top results over time. Changing meta descriptions may not take a lot of time for some, but if you do not have the time to
(6) Is it true to your brand?
Is your current title not effective in making potential clients stumble on your site? Does it not display your brand’s beliefs and vision? If so, making a change on your page title may be a decision you need to think about.
For sites that are currently prioritizing sales and traffic, an eye-catching title can make a huge difference. Stop yourself from hurriedly changing the title of your page and make a list of unique ones that can show off your brand while also making clients interested in your content.
(7) Is it helpful for your customers and clients?
What is the purpose of your page? Is it for information? Or is it mainly to sell your products? Whatever the intent of your content is, sometimes, the title can be the determining factor that will be the reason why your website is clicked through or if it will be a hard pass for potential customers.
Make sure that when you change your title page, you are considering if it is clear and concise enough for your ideal customers to understand and appreciate. After all, they will not proceed to your website if your title makes them feel like they will not get anything valuable from your content.
(8) Is it relevant in the present time?
Aside from the character it has and the positioning of the keywords, relevance is very important when you want to change your page title.
This is exactly why some blogs and websites update their content regularly. For example, you may find “Updated in March 2021” on some of the sites you visit. This lets readers know that their content is very much relevant in the current year we are in. If possible, you can always include the year on your meta description if adding it to the title seems a bit out of place.
Also, aside from adding the year, updating your title to suit current practices will always be a good idea. After all, if your title is not really popular in the present, chances are your ranking may drop significantly.
(9) Is it worth the gamble?
As we mentioned earlier, changing your page title can affect your ranking. Hence, you should always consider if the change is worth the risk or if you just want to leave it alone for the present moment.
Before you click the edit button, do a bit of research and analysis of your ranking. Does your site rank on top while searching for a specific keyword? If it does, you may have to think twice before messing your list. After all, as long as the changes are not necessary, you can always leave it alone and update your other low-ranking content instead.
Tips when changing your title tag
Do you want to change your page’s title ASAP? We know that you want to increase traffic and sales to your site. Here are some tips for a more successful and effective page title:
Know your clients well
What is your ideal market? Do you want to sell your content or products to women or men? High schoolers or people who are already working? Writing your title to capture the attention of your specific market allows gives you more success than keeping it general.
Use sites that let you see what your title tag looks like
Some sites allow you to see what your title tag looks like even without editing your page. Just search for free preview tools online.
Know your competition
As always, looking through your competition allows you to have a better idea of how to improve your own site. Of course, we are not saying that you copy everything they do. Instead, use them as an inspiration to create unique titles that match your brand.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours
Should you or should you not change your title tags? Of course, the decision is up to you. All we can do is let you know what may happen afterward and give you the important things to consider before doing the change.
Since not all situations and methods are the same, it is possible for you to experience a positive result or a decline in your traffic after replacing your page’s title. However, if you can take the time to optimize it and do thorough research, the possibility of a good result is always higher than just winging it.