How Many Characters/Words Should be in the Title Tag of a Page?
I was doing some research today to check what the latest SEO findings are related to how many characters should be in the title tag of a web page – meaning, what is the character limit that you don’t want to go over.
The best answer is that there is no magic number there anymore and I’ll explain why. It used to be 60 characters but now it’s less. It’s less than that because of mobile devices and it’s not really a character limit but a space limit. Since we’re not dealing with monospaced fonts (think the Courier New / typewriter font, which is monospaced and every character takes up the same amount of space), how many characters you get will depend on how thin/thick each character you use is and if you’re using upper or lower case letters.
This article does a great job of explaining this:
New Title Tag Guidelines & Preview Tool (moz.com)
Just Make it Compelling
And really, there’s a good chance that your HTML title tag on a page (what appears in the web browser page title bar/browser tab) will be used on a search result. Yes, Google sometimes changes it – but really, you want it to be compelling.
Think about when you do searches and which results you click on. They’re the ones that relate to what you’re searching for, right? Ideally, the title you use should have a good keyword phrase in it AND be compelling. It should be one of those results where you think, “yeah, I want to find out about that… I’ll click on it.” This is your goal.
To figure out a compelling title, it’ll take some creativity and testing but it’ll mainly come down to motivation. If you can figure out someone’s motivation, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Are people trying to find a product that you sell to solve a problem? That is their motivation… not really to buy the product but to solve the problem. State in your title a little information about solving that problem.
I like to also employ this technique in meta descriptions since they’re used a lot in search results. The meta description should contain a verb as the first word – things like:
- Discover how…
- Learn more about…
- Find out why…
- Learn how to…
Make the first word in your meta description a verb and then you’re creating a call to action. This increases clicks and gets you more traffic.
Then, of course, be awesome.
You want to have great content. Use headings, bullet points and bold text to make the page scannable. Succinctly solve the problem. Use images and videos. Just make the page/content awesome. Put time and research into it. Make it “bookmark worthy” or “share worthy” content.
You’ll want to get paid for your work, so have social sharing icons on key pages like this so that people that visit the page and find your awesome content can share it.
If you invest in putting great content on your website, that piece of content continually works for you, 24/7. How much work have you done today that keeps paying off like that?
Check out the moz.com article above and then evaluate your page titles and meta descriptions since they’re important. It’s really all about the searcher. Cater to them with the appropriate page title length along with a compelling reason to go to your website and then reward them with great content. You really cannot lose with that formula. It’s what Google wants and it’s what searchers want. The cream always rises to the top – so be that cream!