What is a headline and what is an SEO title?
As a new blogger, I wanted to punch a wall while looking for answers to these seemingly straightforward questions. And finding helpful articles to link to from this post made me want a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Allow me to shed some light…
First, we’ll address the various names for a blog post title… it has more aliases than James Bond.
What is a headline?
A headline is the SAME thing as your blog post title.
The blog post title is described as a title for your readers. It shows up above your blog post.
It’s also known as:
- H1 header
- H1 tag
- Header tag
- Headline of the post
- Post title
Now, all of these aliases aren’t exactly accurate, but I’ve seen them many times in reference to blog post titles.
Here’s a question posed to me the other day: “Does my blog post title count as an H1 tag, or do I need to repeat it within the blog post?”
My reply — and this entire post — will only pertain to WordPress users. Sorry about that… but it’s what most business bloggers use.
[If you’re brand new, and don’t have your blog set up yet, I highly recommend just going with WordPress right from the start.]
What is H1?
H1 tag HTML is simply code that’s placed around text so that it displays as the largest text for a post or page. It tells the search engines that this is THE most important thing is the post. This is what the post is all about. For WordPress users, the title you type into the very top box is your blog post title and it displays as the largest text [H1].
It doesn’t say H1 beside it on your blog post, but you will see it built in if you check out the HTML code. I’ve put a red star next to the title box in the screenshot below.
Multiple H1 tags
WordPress also offers H1 as an option in your blog content header (text) sizes. As shown below in that drop down menu.
This causes needless confusion. There’s really no reason to use H1 headers a second time in your post. In fact, adding more than one H1 isn’t good SEO practice. It confuses the search engines. It’s also very weird for your readers to see multiple “titles” all over your post.
Since H1 is so big, it’ll definitely look like multiple titles throughout your post! Instead, use the Heading 2,3, and 4 etc. to break up content. That’s what they’re for. 😉
While we’re talking about headlines a.k.a. blog post titles, let’s look at a few different types.
Your headline is extremely important because it’s the deciding factor for that click into your post. This is why studying some copywriting and using headline analyzers is a great idea!
Several types of headlines:
- List post headlines
- How-to headlines
- Shocking or click bait headlines
- Fear of missing out headlines
- Authoritative headlines
- Personal story headlines
There are dozens of headline variations and many great tutorials on how to craft a perfect headline.
What is an SEO title?
The SEO title (also called meta title) is what comes up on Google’s search result pages. It’s the clickable blue headline that describes your post. It also shows up as the title on the browser tab at the top of your screen.
Think of the SEO title as the search-engine friendly title. It can be a good place for detailed post/article information or variations of your keywords.
If you sell products on your blog, you may not want a price in the actual blog post title. However, it might make good business sense to put that price in your SEO title so Google searchers will click through. That’s one advantage of the SEO title.
Meta title examples:
An SEO title has several different aliases as well. Isn’t that special?
Other names for an SEO title:
- Page title
- Title tag
- Meta title
And there may be others, but these are the common ones.
WordPress SEO title
You can find and edit your SEO title in WordPress through the free Yoast plugin. If you don’t have Yoast yet, you should definitely download this useful SEO plugin. The free version works just fine.
**You do not have to create a separate SEO title. If you choose not to, your blog post title will become your SEO title by default. That’s what will show on Google search results pages.
You can add a specific SEO title in the “Snippet Preview” section (bottom of your post) when you click “edit snippet”. You’ll see an SEO title box where you can add a different title than the one you put at the top of your post.
- 12 Simple SEO tips you can do in under 30 minutes
- How I earned over $22,000 on my blog in April
- Easy On-page SEO
- Easy Backlnks for SEO
Blogging resources to jump start your blog traffic and income
- Amazon – I love affiliate marketing on Amazon. For the last 2 months, I’ve been earning over $7,000/month just from Amazon. Here are 2 super helpful Amazon ebooks that allowed me to leap frog my previous results.
- Cracking the Code on Amazon – This is for beginners and really covers the types of articles you should be writing to drive Amazon commissions It’s for beginners.
- Niche Post Conversion Strategies – Seriously, I think this is the best ebook/course I’ve ever taken. I can not recommend this enough. You will not find these tips anywhere else. It skyrocketed my sales on Amazon.
- PINTERESTING STRATEGIES: – Pinterest is one of the easiest and most effective ways to drive massive traffic to your blog, especially if you are just starting out. I generally get 140,000 to 180,000 pageviews a month from Pinterest. If you want a jump start on how to use this amazing platform, check out Carly’s course. It is simply awesome. She is so down to earth and straightforward, and you’ll see that in her writing. I LOVE this course (it was formerly an ebook, but now it’s new and improved.
- SEO – As you know, I’m hugely into SEO and it has been the key to my success. I generally get 300,000+ SEO pageviews per month, and this traffic converts much better than Pinterest and other social media channels (especially when it comes to affiliate marketing, products and email sign ups. I estimate that every pageview from organic traffic is worth at least 3x as every pageview from Pinterest! Yes, 3 times as much! And, it’s much steadier, more sustainable and more passive. Check out my 2 SEO books.
- Affiliate marketing – I love affiliate marketing and have been earning over $7,000/month just from affiliate marketing. I highly recommend Carly’s affiliate marketing course. It’s amazing and half the price of some of the bigger bloggers’ programs…and I think it’s much better, too.
- Email marketing – Learn from the master, Jennifer Maker. She has over 100,000 subscribers in around 2 years. She’s an incredible teacher. Her ListLove course is amazing. Or get started with her FREE email course here.
- Sponsored Posts – Sponsored posts can be a great way to supplement your income, especially during the first few years. Many just don’t even know where to get started or how much to charge or how to create a media kit or where to find the best sources. Well learn from a master, Tracie Fobes. She’s been doing this for 10 years! And, she charges well over $2,500 + per post. Her course comes complete with a media calculator and templates to set you up for success. Check out Sponsored Success here. If you just need the sponsored post calculator, you can purchase it a la carte here.
- Getting started/setting up your blog – If you’re a very beginner and need help in just setting up your site and getting everything set up, check out Tracie Richmond Fobes’ FREE intro course. She goes over all that critical stuff at the beginning that no one seems to cover, but everyone needs to know such as site structure, how to set up google analytics correctly and google search console, which plugins to use (and which to avoid). She is a wealth of information. (and she has may other courses that are soooo good).
Key points about headlines and SEO titles
No matter what you decide about creating a separate SEO title or defaulting to your blog post title, here are some key takeaways.
- Always make both titles as clickable and enticing as possible.
- Use strong relevant keywords (preferably longtail) in both titles.
- It’s optimal to put the keyword/phrase near the beginning of a title whenever possible.
- Improve titles by using headline analyzers and studying some copywriting…the clicks are in those headlines!
If you take time to craft a catchy headline and title, you’ve got a great start towards best SEO practices. The more traffic you attract with quality content and enticing titles, the more Google attention your blog will get.
Separate SEO titles aren’t always necessary, but now you have the tools to go forth and create as needed!
Please PIN and share!