Titles and Display Names

Have you ever created a new page in the CMS only to stop and wonder "what is the difference between the Display Name and Title of my page"?  It's required Metadata, but what does it actually mean?

Title Tags - SEO

Title Name

A TITLE <title> tag is the main text that describes an online document. Title elements have long been considered one of the most important on-page SEO elements (the most important being overall content), and appear in three key places:

  • Browsers
  • Search engine results pages
  • External websites

Titles in browsers- Examples

Above you see it in the two browser tabs.
Below you see it in search engine results.

Titles in Searches - Examples

An effective page title is created with how people search for things on the page in mind.

Display Name H1 Tag

Display Name

The DISPLAY name is actually the page heading.  This is your <h1> or heading tag, and is the main header for your web page.  It will usually be the largest text at the top of the page.  There are other header tags in HTML too, like an h2, h3, h4, etc.  Each can have a lesser degree of importance on the page.  Having only ONE <h1> tag on your page is good practice. 

Since the <h1> or DISPLAY name is often the first page element a visitor sees upon landing on your page, it's important that this headline assures the visitor they are in the right place and have found what they are looking for.  If it is, they will likely spend time on the page, resulting in the “long click”. This illustrates how the <h1> is not only a direct ranking factor, but also an indirect ranking factor by assisting in user engagement. 

The Display name will not only appear as the main header for your page but is also the text used in your left navigation.

Optimizing Your Titles

Because title tags are such an important part of search engine optimization, implementing best practices for title tags makes for a terrific low-effort, high-impact SEO task. Here are recommendations for optimizing title tags for search engine and usability goals:

  • Title Length

    Search engines will truncate titles in search results that exceed a certain length. If the title is too long, engines will show an ellipsis, "..." to indicate that a title tag has been cut off.  Many believe search engines may use the keywords in your title tag for ranking purposes, even if those keywords get cut off in search results.  In the end, it's usually better to write a great title that converts and get clicks than it is to obsess over length.

  • Place Important Keywords Close to the Front of the Title Tag

    The closer to the start of the title tag a keyword is, the more helpful it will be for ranking—and the more likely a user will be to click them in search results.

  • Leverage Branding

    Many SEO experts recommend using the brand name at the end of a title tag. If a brand is well-known enough to make a difference in click-through rates in search results, the brand name should be first. If the brand is less known or relevant than the keyword, the keyword should be first.  To simplify things, the CMS adds " -Lamar University" to the end of each TITLE tag, so you never have to worry about it.  Concentrate on key words and phrases that are relevant to the page content. 

  • Consider Readability and Emotional Impact

    Creating a compelling title tag will pull in more visits from the search results. It's vital to think about the entire user experience when you're creating your title tags, in addition to optimization and keyword usage. The title tag is a new visitor's first interaction with our brand when they find it in a search result; it should convey the most positive message possible.

Additional Metadata Fields

When creating a page in the CMS there are other metadata fields that you need to consider.  Below is an example of the inputs available to every user for every page.  Fields with gold stars are required but completing all metadata fields can be beneficial to getting more traffic to your site.

metadata examples


Keywords are words or phrases that don't actually appear on your page but are inserted into the <head> of each page you create.

These keywords may or may not be used by search engines to help people find your content.  Many debate as to whether these keywords help in search engine rankings, but it certainly doesn't hurt to add a few important keywords to your page. 


Description tags are just that..... a short description of your page content or general information about your organization.

While not important to search engine rankings, descriptions are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs (Search Engine Results). These short paragraphs are a web person's opportunity to advertise content to searchers and to let them know whether or not the given page contains the information they're looking for.

The meta description should employ the keywords intelligently, but also create a compelling description that a searcher will want to click. Direct relevance to the page and uniqueness between each page’s meta description is key. The description should optimally be between 150-160 characters.

Below you see the results for Lamar University and how the Description used for the home page is nicely displayed.

Lamar Search Results Example

There's a lot to think about when creating web content.  Be mindful when creating your titles and headers for every page you present to the public.

As always, when in doubt, please contact Stacey or Charla in Web Communication for assistance.