Continuing on from Naming Your WordPress Blog for Better Search Engine Rankings that touched on how important the title element (title tag to illiterate SEO experts :) ) is, in this part of my WordPress SEO Tutorial I’ll cover title tag/element optimization.

When it comes to on page search engine optimization there is no other single area of a web page more important than the title element/tag. For this reason we have to make sure our title elements are search engine optimized when using WordPress.

The title element is so important I’ve written two other SEO articles on optimizing title elements:

SEO Title Optimization
SEO Title Tag Optimization

Both of these SEO articles are to cover all websites, not WordPress specific, this SEO tutorial article will be WordPress specific.

Why Page Titles Should be Optimized for Search Engines

When using one of the WordPress AdSense/SEO themes for sale on this site when you create a single blog post, blog page (like this one), category, tag and even search result pages the WordPress theme will add a lot less irrelevant text to the title element than all other WordPress themes I’ve looked at.

Most WordPress themes will have this title element structure for various types of pages:

Home page title > Blog Name
Single pages title > Blog Name : Title of Page
Single posts title > Blog Name : Title of Post
Categories title > Blog Name : Category Name
Tags title > Blog Name : Tag Name
Search result title > Blog Name
Monthly archive title > Blog Name : Date Archives

Some of these are terrible for SEO reasons. As discussed in the last WordPress SEO tutorial article if your blog name is keyword rich your home page title tag should be OK, but having the blog name in ALL page title elements is terrible from a search engine optimization perspective. We should only add keywords to the title element that adds search engine and/or user value.

This page is about Title Element/Tag Optimization for WordPress users and so I don’t want to use all the keywords I used to name this WordPress blog as the title element for this webpage! This is what the title element of this page might look like in another non-SEO WordPress theme:

SEO/AdSense Ready WordPress Themes : WordPress Title Element Tag Optimization

Why would I want to use the keywords “AdSense” and “Ready” in the title of this page? I wouldn’t since they add little/no SEO value to content that’s about title tag optimization, even the keyword “Themes” isn’t that relevant to this pages content. About the only time I’d consider adding the name of a site in all titles is for branding reasons, if I worked on Amazon or Ebays sites it makes sense from a branding perspective to add the name of the site to their titles because there’s a lot of trust in those brands that WILL increase the click thru rate from Google etc… Well worth the SEO loss in having an extra word (I’d only add Amazon or Ebay in these examples).

Since branding is not an issue with this site (and most sites that will use my SEO themes) I changed the template code of my AdSense/SEO WordPress themes to only use the name of the post/page and not include the name of the WordPress blog at all for those pages and use similar SEO concepts when creating the title elements of other WordPress page types:

Home page title > Blog Name
Single pages title > Title of Page
Single posts title > Title of Post
Categories title > Category Name
Tags title > Tag Name
Search result title > Keywords Searched For
Monthly archive title > Blog Name : Date Archives

You can see other than the monthly archive pages (which I recommend you don’t use) the title elements of all blog pages are keyword focused as long as you name your posts, pages, categories and tags with search engines in mind (WordPress search results pages are automated): if you call your posts “I had a great morning” when it was about and should have been titled “How I Won at Poker” you are never going to maximize the search engine traffic to your WordPress blog even if you are using one of my awesome WordPress SEO themes :)

If you are reading this and thinking, damn all my 3,000 WordPress posts are along the lines of “I had a great morning” and my SERPs suck, don’t worry, you can spend the next 6 months editing them one at a time :) to search engine optimize the titles without harming current search engine rankings.

For a WordPress post with a terrible SEO title edit it and change the title to something relevant. What WordPress will do is change the title of your posts, but not the URL’s of those posts (I do it all the time). So if you had a post “I had a great morning” and changed the title to “How I Won at Poker” all that would happen is the title would change, but the URL would remain (assuming you use the URL format I recommend at SEO Friendly WordPress Permalinks).

Since I sell WordPress SEO themes on this site and when WordPress updates I have to check the AdSense/SEO themes still work fine in the latest version of WordPress I use the ability to rename a page title without renaming the URL to gain the latest WordPress SERPs. I change the theme sales pages titles to include the latest version of WordPress, currently that’s WordPress 2.7.1. You can see on the Talian sales page the title is currently

WordPress 2.7.1 Theme Talian with Targeted AdSense and SEO Optimisation

But the URL is

which tells us the original name of this page was

WordPress Theme Talian with AdSense and SEO Optimisation

So I’ve added 2.7.1 and Targeted for better SERPs without having to mess around with the URL of this page. When WordPress updates to WordPress 2.8 say I’ll check the Talian theme still works, fix any problems (send out free updates by email) and update the sales pages title to something like:

WordPress 2.8 Theme Talian with Targeted AdSense and SEO Optimisation

WordPress SEO Title Tag Optimization

You can do similar with category and tag names. Edit the category name or tag name, but not the category slug or tag slug value (the slug value is for the permalinks) and like with renaming page/post titles the search engines won’t have any problems finding the URL of the page since it’s not changed.

When I created this WordPress blog I called one of the categories “WordPress Themes” and this resulted in the category slug “wordpress-themes”, I’ve since changed the category name to “AdSense WordPress Themes”, but NOT changed the category slug as that would result in Google etc… receiving a 404 error when visiting

Edit WordPress Category

So don’t panic if you’ve named your categories and tags poorly, rename them taking SEO in mind.

When you’ve got your page titles, category names, tag names etc… SEO’d my WordPress SEO themes are designed to use that information in various parts of the SEO template to improve search engine rankings. If you look close at the page you are reading now you can find the title of this page several times NOT within the main content.

This includes:

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Without any input from me the title of this page is used twice as body text where the vast majority of other WordPress themes would not use this text. Add to this the title is used as a H1 header near the top of the content and it’s a very good SEO start.

Now I’m an SEO consultant so have also sprinkled relevant phrases through out this page, but if someone with no SEO knowledge at all made a page that the title by luck was keyword rich, “How I Won at Poker” for example. The page would automatically be partially optimized for How I Won at Poker.

If you use the Translation links widget on the menu (supplied with all my WordPress AdSense/SEO themes) you also use the page/post title seven times as alt attribute text (that’s the text when you hover over images alt=”some text here”) in the format “Translate WordPress Title Element Tag Optimization in Language” where Language is French, German etc… and Google counts this text towards a pages SERPs

Do a search in Google for these phrase:

German SEO Themes
French AdSense Themes
Japanese AdSense Themes

Currently all number one in Google, (before I made this page) funny hey :)

Including the title element the title of a page/post is used at least 11 times in areas of the page counted by Google etc… without having to type anything beyond the title of a page/post!

If you also use the Recent Posts Plugin (my free SEO version), Popular Articles and Recent Articles Sidebar Widgets you might get another three links using this text as the anchor text.

As you can see by search engine optimizing the title of posts, pages, categories and tags the SEO WordPress themes on this site go a long way to optimizing your content for the major search engines.

SEO Tutorial for WordPress

1. WordPress SEO Friendly Permalinks

2. Naming Your WordPress Blog for Better Search Engine Rankings

3. WordPress SEO Title Tag Optimization

4. WordPress SEO Meta Tags Optimization

David Law : AKA SEO Dave, Search Engine Optimization Consultant, Internet Marketer, WordPress SEO Theme Developer and Nice Guy :-)

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