Skip to content

SEO slug & title guide

For this guide, we will use the University of Washington Magazine’s story “Pulling Together” as an example of where you can see the different components and best practices for search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO best practices

  • Continuity between all components (including body copy) greatly improves SEO, so it’s important to make sure that there is repetition in your language/word usage
    • Ex. As you can see in the story example below, the words used in the slug are also found in the page title, story page headline, dek, etc.
  • Due to design restrictions, the story page headline has to be short. Make sure that the words used in this are also used in other areas, such as the page title, to improve SEO.
  • Keep page title and slug identical or as similar as possible


Definitions and examples

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. It targets unpaid traffic rather than direct or paid traffic.


Page title

Title should be descriptive of page content. Think of this as a standalone headline that would describe the story on its own. This appears in the browser of the web page and the markup of the HTML document, so search engines will read it.

  • Ex. At 1936 Olympic Games, UW pulled together to make history


Story page headline

Short headline visible in the header that typically contains 2-5 words. This is the H1 of the page.

  • Ex. Pulling Together



The intro text in your header typically which more fully describes the story and provides additional information.

  • At the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the UW crew made history and set a legacy in motion.



The web address of the webpage



The end part of a URL after the backslash that identifies the specific page or post

  • at-1936-olympic-games-uw-crew-pulled-together-to-make-history


screenshot of University of Washington Magazine story on olympic crew team with different components (Page title, slug, story page headline, dek) circled and labeled.

Read the story