Many times you’ll see websites that auto generate the open graph, twitter card and even H1 tag from the meta title on the page. Not only is this bad for SEO, but it can negatively impact your ability to get traffic from social networks as well. Here is what each one is meant to do, how to write them and a couple bonus tips.
- Title tags are used by search engines to display the topic of the page, browsers as bookmarks and to define the pages you were on for the forward and backward button.
- H1 tags are for the main topic of the content. It is different than a title tag because a title tag says what the page is about “red tshirts at amazing prices” where an H tag is “red tshirts” because that is what the page has on it.
- Open Graph titles are what Facebook uses to display the topic of the page and the algorithm optimizes for user relevance and potential engagement (although some people will argue differently).
- Twitter Card titles – This is what Twitter uses to pull and display to their users.
Why Title Tags, H Tags and Open Graph Should Be Different
Because each one serves a different purpose, they should all be unique. Google for example is looking to solve queries whether it is to buy a product, find an answer to a question or discover a list of providers for a service. Facebook looks to prevent click bait and create engagement with other users, same with Twitter. This is why it is important to always create unique titles for each.
Here’s an example:
The “7 Best Repair Men in DC” could be good for Google or “7 Red Tshirt Designs You’ll Totally Love” may work, but that will probably get flagged for clickbait on Facebook because of “best”, “7” and “you’ll totally love”.
Here’s How to Create Each Type of Title With Some Bonuses For Exposure
How to Write Title Tags
When writing title tags, always make sure to:
- Use 55 characters or less
- Include the main keyword phrase
- Have it stand out from the current 10 titles ranking and ads
- Complement the description below it
How to Write H1 Tags
The important thing to remember when writing an H1 tag is to clearly and quickly define what the main topic of the page is or what the person will find on the page. It should also be all encompassing of the H2, H3 and other H tags you’ll find lower on the page. Using the example Red Tshirts from above, H2’s could be crew neck or vneck. H3 would be sizes or possibly men’s or women’s or sizing charts.
How to Write Open Graph Titles
- Make sure to never use click bait
- Be cautious of using numbers
- Avoid too good to be true phrases like
- you’ll never
- only XY% of people know/get this/score
- Give a reason someone should interrupt their Facebook experience to click through by thinking about
- what will they learn
- how will they be more entertained
- will they gain something by leaving Facebook for your site
How to Write Twitter Card Titles
Twitter card titles are very similar to Facebook, but you can do a bit more with them since Twitter automatically parses their own callouts where Facebook doesn’t.
- If you feature someone or the post is sponsored, add their handle with @inserthandle (this is for the display but lets the visitor know who the sponsor is)
- You can use hashtags in the title if it’s important (description too) to help make sure it is making it too your readers so they also know what you’d like it tagged with if they share
- Have the wording stand out by being unique for the streams on the topic.
- Check the hashtags for your niche and look at the words that get engagement, are not being used and are generating more attention
- Figure out what words are being enjoyed or engaged with the way you want with the retweets, hearts and comments number counts
- Create something that encourages the correct type of reaction based on engagement that also does not use clickbait
As you can see, Title Tags, H1 Tags, Open Graph and Twitter Titles need to be different because each serves a different purpose. There are times where they can be the same like on some blog posts where a title tag and H1 tag are directly relevant, but in many cases you’ll want to create unique options for each so you can properly optimize them by channel.