SEO

How Long Should the Page Title Tag Be?

We’ve shared tips on crafting a good page title several times on SEJ and each time we’ve came to conclusion that it is better to keep it short and concise. But how short should actually be and should it really be short?

A WebmasterWorld discussion tackles this questions looking at various aspects.

  • How short? If you want to keep your whole title in SERPs, create a title tag containing fewer than 70 characters including spaces.
  • Does title length effect ranking algorithm? Despite the fact that Google cuts off long titles in the SERPs after a certain number of characters (normally 64-70 – depending on your own word breaks), it actually “reads” and takes into account the whole title as we have seen many times that pages with longer titles perform for keyword searches where the search terms were towards the end of the tag;
  • Why to keep it short? Having bold search term in the visible part of the title (before the three periods or ellipsis) works rather for clickability than rankings as people are more likely to “scan” and click the title containing the search term in bold. So most important is not to actually keep it short but to add your keywords closer to the beginning (“Keep the most important stuff at the front then trail off into secondary and/or synonymous phrases”).
  • Should it really be that short after all? Longer titles may generate more long tail searches – therefore it must be a clever idea to craft a title that consists of more than 70 characters but follow the following formula: [Your primarily keywords go in the first part - Your keyword synonyms and related terms go in the second part].
 How Long Should the Page Title Tag Be?
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
 How Long Should the Page Title Tag Be?

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22 thoughts on “How Long Should the Page Title Tag Be?

  1. I disagree with the last point. Titles aren’t just a place to put keywords. They should sell the website and brand. If you include your brand name within the 65 characters, you get exposure whether people click your listing or not.

    1. Yea exposure is great but if you don’t get people to click on it what good does that do you in the first place?

      I can place a billboard up advertising something. It gets a ton of exposure but if no one ever reacts on my offer, it’s wasted.

      1. Regarding the last part, titles which are too long can look quite spammy and also detract from your main keyword focus. Use the title as you wold the title on a spine of a book ~ relevant, to the point and include your brand.

  2. As always a very informative article. This data will help me when building and growing my site. Thanks and greetings!

  3. Hey, Thanks for detailed information. I am also using 60-70 for title and very careful with description with maximum 250 limit.

  4. I think the brand exposure is really only something I would worry about if you
    don’t have enough to describe this unique page within the 65 characters.

    i.e.(hypothetical!)

    (title)Cherry Bombs and Other toy Fireckrackers from KidswithBadtoys.com (end
    title)

    That would work, But I would suggest that you may want to put MORE supportive
    keywords in and do the branding outside the 65 chars – as it will show up in the
    browser title still.

    i.e.
    (title)Cherry Bombs, Caps for Capguns and Other toy Fireckrackers from
    KidswithBadtoys.com(end title)

    -note don’t look at how poorly my keywords support each other… !

  5. i read an article that stated that 150 is the standard characters used but 70 is ideal.
    Now, mine is 128 characters with spaces. do u guys thinks is ok?

  6. This may not have anything to do with length of titles, Ann…but what is your opinion about where your brand should be in relation to beginning, back of title text?

  7. Thanks Ann,
    I googled this article as the tools I use say that 80 is max in terms of being 'robot friendly'. But some of our competitors have longer titles than this (which is obviously to catch the long-tail stuff as you say. But how does being 'robot friendly' compare to visibiltiy of the tag in the SE's and is there a cut-off point where the SE will just stop reading the tag?

  8. Thanks Ann,
    I googled this article as the tools I use say that 80 is max in terms of being 'robot friendly'. But some of our competitors have longer titles than this (which is obviously to catch the long-tail stuff as you say. But how does being 'robot friendly' compare to visibiltiy of the tag in the SE's and is there a cut-off point where the SE will just stop reading the tag?

  9. W3C’s recommendation for a page title is a maximum of 64 characters.
    Google recommends a maximum title length of 60 characters. Though there is no strict guideline for that.
    Bing prefers a title between 5 to 65 characters long where as Yahoo! recommends a maximum of 67 characters for a page title.
    Yahoo search results are now provided by Bing (since mid-2010).

    Thanks for the post Ann. that would definitely help the website developers.

  10. Thanks for the post! Does anyone know how punctuation marks affect a search? Like a question mark or exclamation mark? Or do they even matter at all.

  11. thanks Ann smarty would you please tell me more key points about SEO i am new to this field i would love to hear from you i want to update my websites so please guide me so i can have better SEO techniques.