With over 951 million websites out there, how do you make your website stand out and compete for a share of the internet’s traffic? If you can come up with an eye-catching title and a creative tagline, you’ll have a better chance of drawing in visitors and making them remember you.
With that in mind, in this post we’ll explore what titles and taglines are, and how to come up with ones that really set you apart from the crowd.
What Are Titles and Taglines?
Your website’s title and tagline are the first things most of your site visitors are going to see, so it’s important to use them to communicate what you’re doing. Do you blog? Are you selling something? Sharing work samples? Whatever the purpose of your website is, it needs to be evident right away.
The title, as you may have guessed, is what you call your website. It tells people who you are, and is how they’ll identify and find you online.
The tagline, on the other hand, is a short statement similar to a subtitle or advertising slogan. It tells visitors why your site exists and what it’s about. WPExplorer is a good example of this:
It gives you the name of the blog and says exactly what you’ll find when you visit the site – concise, accurate and professional.
Your Website Title
Coming up with a website title can be scary, because it will be the first impression that customers get of your site. Think about it this way: your title is your brand. It’s how people recognize you among all the other sites out there.
In order to come up with a good title, consider the purpose of your website. Is it a personal blog? A business site? A portfolio? Your purpose will affect how you name your site. It’s also helpful to figure out what direction you want your site to go. Is there a particular way you want to be presented? A niche you want to fill? A cause you want to focus on? This can also have some bearing on the title you choose.
What’s In a Name?
When you know what your site is about, it’s easier to come up with possible names. But if you’re still finding it difficult, try these:
- Use adjectives or phrases that describe you, or words or phrases that describe what you do. For example, let’s say you have a do-it-yourself blog about a variety of things you’re good at doing and can help people with. You could call your blog “Jack (or Jill, or your name) of All Trades”.
- Deliberately misspell or invent words that are related to who you are or what you do. Do you provide case-based dictionary and thesaurus help? Call your site “Dictosaurus”. Here’s a personal blog that does this well:
Keep your website’s purpose in mind. It’s fine to use something fun and crazy for a personal blog, but you should have something at least understandable (and a little professional) for a business website.
If your website is your online portfolio or a means of promoting your freelancing business, a good option is using your own name for the title – for example, yourname.com. This might strike you as too forward, but it will tell people who you are without them needing to dig into your profile at all (it’s what one of our other authors, Kevin Muldoon does, it looks like it’s been working well for him).
Your Website Tagline
Taglines can be harder to come up with than titles. But in some ways they are just as, if not more, important:
- They provide context for your title, if it doesn’t already clearly indicate what you do.
- They emphasize or draw attention to the purpose of your site.
- They set the tone for your site.
- They contain keywords that will help your site show up in searches.
You could have the coolest title in the world – say, for example, Shiny Betrayed Dinosaur – but without a tagline, people aren’t going to know that your site is a personal travel blog about your experiences exploring new and exciting places.
Your tagline is what’s known in marketing as a unique selling proposition. It’s how you can show visitors what the benefit of checking out your site will be, answering the question of what’s in it for them. If they don’t know why your site is here, or how it’s relevant to them, chances are they won’t visit.
What’s the style of your website content? Do you have witty statements and punchy humor? Are you showing off your skills as a designer or technician? Are you upbeat, sarcastic, matter-of-fact? Let that show in the tagline – visitors will get a taste of what they’re in for.
Coming Up With a Good Tagline
A good tagline will not only draw visitors in, but also help them remember you. The best taglines have the following traits:
- They’re short. Try not to use more than 60 characters, because that’s what will be displayed in the search results. Being concise is more effective than being long and rambling.
- They add strength to the title without repeating it. Remember, you’re providing context!
- They’re different and catchy. You want to say something about yourself that other bloggers or businesspeople aren’t saying.
It’s also helpful to figure out who your target audience is. What kind of readers are you hoping to attract? What benefit do you want to provide them with? This will help you come up with a tagline that stands out in a search.
Why Is a Good Title and Tagline So Important?
As we mentioned earlier, there is a lot of competition on the internet. The last few years have seen an exponential increase in the sheer amount of content available online. According to a 2014 infographic from Uberflip, every day there are nearly 145 billion emails sent, 2.73 million blog posts published and 500 million tweets – not to mention all the hours of video uploaded to YouTube or news articles published. Imagine how much that has increased in the last year!
With so many people creating and marketing so much content, getting people to care about your content has gotten a lot harder. Having a title and tagline that catch readers’ attention and are relevant to your site will help you draw more visitors and stand out from the crowd.
Search Engine Optimization
To help you hold your own among the competition, consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – that is, using particular keywords to ensure your site shows up high on the list of search results in order to get as many visitors as possible. While you shouldn’t rely only on search engines to generate site traffic, they are still a useful tool.
Search engines look for keywords, so having relevant content with appropriate tags will help – but making your title and/or tagline SEO ready will yield better results. Titles generally function as the brand name and don’t always have room for keywords, so most SEO will happen in your tagline – make sure they’re relevant and your tagline still makes sense!
How To Add An SEO Friendly Title & Tagline
WordPress includes built-in options for your website title and tagline. In fact, you should have chosen your site title when you first installed WordPress. To make changes or to add a custom tagline, simply log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Settings > General:
Or you can click on Appearance > Customize to go to the live theme customizer. In our Chic blogging WordPress theme, the site title and tagline are the very first customization option.
In Chic (and other premium WordPress themes) the tagline might be hidden by default, so you’ll probably have to enable a setting if you want to display it. For Chic, the option is right in the customizer General Theme Settings section under Header options. Just check the box and click save.
But these titles often aren’t the best option, since the default title and tagline will apply to your entire site. To really improve your SEO you’ll want to enlist the help of a plugin. We love WordPress SEO by Yoast, which you can get for free from the WordPress plugin repository.
Once installed, hover over the new SEO menu item in your WordPress dashboard, and then click on Titles & Meta. From here you can add better default SEO-friendly titles and taglines to the various sections of your website – including the homepage, custom post types (this applies if you WordPress theme includes portfolios, testimonials, staff, events etc.), taxonomies (that’s your categories, tags and more), archives and miscellaneous pages (this would usually be your 404 and search results).
WordPress SEO by Yoast includes tons of variables to make automizing your titles and meta descriptions (which are like taglines for all your pages and posts) easy. This is a must have feature, since you likely won’t want all of your blog category pages to share the same title and tagline description. Here’s an example of how we format our blog post titles on WPExplorer:
We’ve setup our blog posts to use the %%title%% variable followed by our website name by default. But, Yoast also has individual per page and per post options to override the defaults you’ve chosen above. To change your title or meta description format, just open your page or post and scroll down below the content. You should see a WordPress SEO settings box like this:
From here you can check general SEO (see if your desired keywords are found enough in your page or post, run a page analysis, etc.), but you can also see if your default SEO title is working, and you can add a custom meta description as well. If you look in the picture above, you can see out title is actually a bit too long so we should probably add a custom one, and we’ve already added in a custom meta instead of using the default (which would have been the first 156 characters of the post, since we set the metas to %%excerpt%%).
WordPress SEO by Yoast has tons of other great SEO features, and if you really want to learn more you should checkout their knowledgebase. There are detailed instructions on how to use all of the other SEO options!
Having a good title and tagline for your website is necessary to set yourself apart from the crowd and drive traffic to your site. With the tips we’ve given you above, coming up with your title and tagline doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it could turn into a lot of fun! Do you have a title or tagline that you’re particularly proud of? Let’s hear it – post in the comments section below!