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Title Tags and SEO

25 Jun 2015

The words inside your title tag, and how they partner with the words on each page, could be considered the most important SEO element on a webpage. Search engines (like Google) use the title tag to help determine the context of the page. It will be used for the link to your page in the search engine results. To ensure that you index well and that people are enticed to click, make sure that your title tags are working for you in the most efficient way.

Watch Your Title Length

Ideally, your title should be between 55 and 60 characters. Too long, and you risk having words cut off on the search engine results page. Too short, and you might be missing valuable opportunities to communicate what your page is about. If you look at older guides, you’ll see recommendations all the way up to 70 characters. Why the change? Google changed their page layout in 2014 and increased the size on titles form 16 to 18 pixels. The larger size is clearer and more readable, but allows for fewer characters.

Emphasize Keywords

Save the clever wording & wit for the title that appears on the page itself. The words that go in your title tag should all be in service of showing what your page is about. Include the most important keyword you want to index for, what else you have to say about them, and, if there is room, the name of your site. Search Engine Watch‘s title for their recent post on title tags is a perfect example of best practices: Title Tags & SEO: 3 Golden Rules | SEW. In 38 characters, they convey what the article is about, the structure of the article and brand.

Keep It Unique

Many sites have the same title on every page of the site. This is a lost opportunity for optimization. Not only will Google read it as duplicate content, you have not given the search engine the information needed to properly index each page. Also, make sure that your home page is descriptive; simply having “home” or “index” can hurt you in the SERPs.

Spending time on every page title can feel nitpicky and frustrating. But, when you put in the effort to write the best titles for every page, you can improve your SEO and make sure that you get seen.