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Joomla SEO title tags: everything you must know (and more)


When browsing through a bookstore window, it is often the title that persuades you to choose one book over another. It's the same thing when you look at the results of the Google search results pages. You click on the most relevant result to your search, and you ignore the poorly written or unclear titles.

That's why crafting optimal titles for your pages is imperative; SEO-optimised titles are vital for any website owner. Indeed, the title tag can be the first thing a user sees in the search engine results pages. It's also one of the most important factors that Google uses to determine a page's topic. In short, well-written titles are essential to SEO!

This article will cover some examples of title tags, how to create and add them in Joomla, common mistakes, and some best practices to improve your pages' visibility.

What is the page title for SEO?

Let's start with the basics.
A title tag - or <title> tag - is a piece of HTML code that indicates to the search engines the title of a webpage.

Optimising your SEO title tags is one of the simplest strategies to boost your search engine rankings. These title tags inform Google about the topic of your page. Title tags are displayed as links on the search engine results page (SERP). The title tag can be found in the head section of the page if you take a look at the source (CTRL + U or right-click the page and select see Page Source). The title tag appears as follows:

<title>The largest directory of Joomla templates to create your website</title>

SEO title in the source code

This is the HTML title tag, also called the SEO title. When you ask something to a search engine, the results displayed are a list of snippets. The most visible part - that looks like a headline - is the SEO title. The SEO title usually contains the post title but can include other elements, such as the site name.

In most cases, the SEO title is the first thing people see, even before they get on your site. In tabbed browsers, you will usually also see the SEO title in the page tab, as shown in the image below:

SEO title in a browser tab

Differences between post title and SEO title

Even if both titles can be identical, you should not confuse the post title with the SEO title.

  • The post title is your page's main heading (H1). Similar to the title of any document, this title informs your viewers of the subject being covered. Your post title is primarily there for the users. It gives your page structure and helps your readers understand what you're writing about.
  • The SEO title only appears in the page's source code, search results pages, browser tab, and social media shares.

Let's translate this into Joomla language.

  • The post title is the title of your article.
  • The SEO title is the text you must add in the Browser Page Title field in the Options tab. Don't ask me why this parameter isn't next to the description field in the metadata section; this has been a Joomla mystery for many users for ages.

Why is SEO title so important?

An optimised SEO title encourages users to click through to explore your website, engage with your content, and potentially purchase your products or services. Without optimisation, your title risks being overlooked as users gravitate toward other results. Basically, your SEO titles must follow two main objectives:

  1. It must make people click through to your pages.
  2. It must help you rank for the keywords you've selected.

When determining your relevancy for a given keyword, search engines take into account a variety of signals. Even if you initially have good rankings, if no one clicks on your result over time, your rankings may decline. The inverse is also accurate. You might appear lower in the search results at first. However, search engines will take note if your headline encourages people to click on it. As a result, over time, your rankings may rise.

What happens if a SEO title is missing in Joomla?

Without a title tag, web users may ignore your page in the search results in favour of one with an appropriate title. The SEO title of the page may be chosen by search engines and social media sites using a text excerpt that may not adequately describe the content of your page. Since search engines place significant emphasis on page titles in their rankings, it is essential to fill out this field and incorporate your primary keywords at the beginning if possible.

Where are the SEO titles in Joomla?

As previously mentioned, it would be logical to consolidate all the metadata, including the title, description, keyword, author, and robots, into one section, but this is not currently the case.

Joomla article metadata parameters

In com_content

  • For your articles: Field "Browser Page Title" in the tab "Options",
  • For your categories: See the menu item parameters,

These settings apply to article layouts unless they are changed for a specific menu item.

In com_menu

  • For your menu items: field "Browser Page Title" in the tab "Page Display",

Concretely: Your blog is displayed by a menu item where you have to set up the SEO title for your blog. For every blog article, you have to fill in the field "Browser Page Title" in the tab "Options" of the article.

How to write an optimal SEO title?

An optimal SEO title must have two characteristics:

  • have an ideal width,
  • contains your keyphrase,

If your SEO title is too long, the last words may be truncated in search engine results pages and social media. You should avoid this as much as possible. To ensure optimal display, you should also verify how your SEO titles appear on various devices, such as desktop and mobile.

Here's the desktop snippet:

Google snippet see on desktop

and here's the mobile snippet for the same request:

Google snippet see on mobile

Wait, is it width or length?

We've been discussing breadth rather than length since the beginning of this post. How come? Google uses a predetermined pixel width to display the titles rather than a character count.

There is a limit to what can be seen in the search results, even if your title tags can be lengthy and Google has no predetermined character limit. Google will visually sever your SEO title if it is too wide. And that might not be what you wanted to have.

This title should be about 60-65 characters long, with a maximum of 570px on desktop and 550px on mobile.

Additionally, you should refrain from making the title too brief in order to save space. Last but not least, the SEO title frequently guides other title-like components, including the <code>og:title</code>, which has display restrictions.

Luckily, some Joomla extensions can help you! You fill in your SEO title, and the extension will give you a preview immediately. So, keep an eye on that snippet to create better headlines:

Snippet preview in Route 66 lite version

How to include your keyphrase in your SEO title

The first rule is simple: Start the SEO title with your keyphrase.

When optimising for a term with high competition, everyone will put the keyword at the beginning of the SEO title. If so, you might try "indenting" your result somewhat by adding one or two words before your focus keyphrase to make it stand out. You may, for instance, begin your SEO title with "10", "a", "who", etc. before your keyphrase.

The second rule is obvious: Make your SEO title readable. In some cases, inserting the entire keyphrase at the beginning doesn't make sense, such as when you have a long keyphrase. If your SEO title appears awkward with the keyphrase at the beginning, rewrite it while paying attention to readability and natural flow

Should you use AI to generate your SEO title?

The use of AI tools offers a unique chance to streamline and improve the production of visually powerful titles for SEO success. You can save time, increase click-through rates, and improve user engagement by utilising the power of AI tools.

However, it's important to keep in mind that AI should complement human skills rather than completely replace them. You may generate SEO titles that are useful to users, optimised, and captivating by fusing the creativity of human content creators with the aid of AI tools.

Example of an AI prompt to generate SEO titles:

Create [X] distinct title tags with a maximum of 65 characters. They must be descriptive and contain the word "[keyword].

Should you add your brand to your SEO titles?

In Joomla, you have the possibility to add your brand (site name) to your SEO titles. So, should you do it or not? Some SEOs advise against including the site name in the SEO title. Although the site name wouldn't assist, the point is that the "density" of the title matters.

On that point, we disagree. Your brand must appear in your SEO title, preferably in a style that is easy to recognise. Even if a person doesn't click on your link the first time they see it associated with a particular topic in the search results, they might do so if they see your brand again on the following page of results.

To add your brand to your SEO titles, open the global configuration of your Joomla site and search for the SEO parameters. Here, you have three options:

  • to add the site name after the page titles,
  • to add the site name before the page titles,
  • no to add the site name.

Can I change an SEO title after publication?

Yes, of course! You always have to optimise your titles from an SEO perspective. A better title can drastically increase the click-through rate on search engine results pages. Take a look at your Google Analytics or Matomo and search for the pages with the lowest traffic. Here are the pages that you should focus on first.
Now, let's take a look at this example:

Joomla security advices - Joomla Community Magazine

Now, let's turn this into:

Joomla security in 5 easy steps - Joomla Community Magazine

To be honest, the new title is unlikely to elevate the page's ranking since it maintains the same keyword perspective. However, its enhanced intrigue could potentially lead to a higher number of clicks, which is, ultimately, the desired outcome.

Social media and SEO titles

A good SEO title for search engines may not always be a good SEO title for social media. And with social media, having a specific title for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., may be important because you are supposed to communicate differently on these platforms.

The creation of a compelling title is more crucial than keyword optimisation. Often, the brand name is not necessary in the title. If you include branding in your post image, this is especially true for Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook preview share

If you're using CCC Social Media plugin, you can have a different SEO title for Facebook and Twitter for your articles, and your menu items. Just enter the SEO title in the fields "Browser Page Title" in the Options tab. The Facebook and Twitter titles can be entered in their respective fields on the CCC Social Media tab. If you don't enter a title for Twitter, Twitter will use the Facebook title instead.

In conclusion, your Joomla site deserves SEO-performing titles!

I hope you've learned something new from this article that will help you perform. The primary goal of this post is to motivate you to devote the necessary time to creating compelling SEO titles. It's really worthwhile. After publishing, going back and tweaking a few of your SEO titles I hope you've learned something new from this article that will help you perform. The primary goal of this post is to motivate you to devote the necessary time to creating compelling SEO titles. It's really worthwhile. After publishing, going back and tweaking a few of your SEO titles.

The content of this article have been proofread and validated by Louise Hawkins from Oyster SEO. Thank you Louise, you have all my gratitude for your precious help.
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Comments 2

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Vahid on Wednesday, 04 October 2023 14:05


Thank you for this good Article.
One question. Is there any way to use post title for SEO title automatically? Specially if we have a website with hundreds post which don't have SEO title

Hi, Thank you for this good Article. One question. Is there any way to use post title for SEO title automatically? Specially if we have a website with hundreds post which don't have SEO title
Daniel Dubois on Tuesday, 24 October 2023 04:47
SEO extension

Hi Vahid,
Thanks for reading and for your comment.
Yes, I think it should be doable with a SEO third part extension.

Hi Vahid, Thanks for reading and for your comment. Yes, I think it should be doable with a SEO third part extension.

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