The title tag is one of the SEO basics that anyone who only deals superficially with search engine optimization should be familiar. However, there are still a surprising number of unoptimized page titles, including on large commercial websites. Gary Illyes from Google responded to the question about the ranking factor and emphasized once again that the meta titles are still important. This has not changed since 2006. The topic must therefore still be taken seriously.
As discussions on many SEO websites prove, there are also ambiguities and discussions within the SEO scene itself about what the optimal SEO title should look like. We summarize the basics for you and give examples of successful and less optimal page titles for different areas of application.
The length of the title tag
A length of up to 65 characters is generally regarded as “best practice”. The most important reason for this: Google generally shows no more than 65 characters in search results, sometimes even less. There are also examples in which Google displays more characters for long search queries, but this is more of an exception and 65 characters or the pixel width are still used as a guideline. In this case, 569 pixels should not be exceeded. For example, the pixel width of the letter “m” is longer than the letter “i”.
This ideal is not without its problems: spaces, the brand and individual information about the page must be accommodated within the 65 characters or 569 pixels. Especially with long product names in online shops or longer article headings on news sites, the length of 65 characters can quickly be exceeded. This does not necessarily have any dramatic consequences, because Google indexes around 150 characters, in individual cases even significantly more. Even if the surplus characters are no longer visible in the search results, they are still rated.
So what speaks against long SEO title tags? It is common knowledge that Google gives higher priority to keywords at the beginning of the page title. A meta title with a large number of keywords runs the risk of diluting the relevance of the individual keywords. On the other hand, keywords that appear in the 10th, 20th or 30th position in the page title are hardly rated as significant. Anyone dealing with the topic of search engine optimization busy knows that the number of generic keywords a single page can optimize for is very limited. It rarely makes sense to optimize on more than one or two strong keywords. So why inflate the page title with ten more keywords? In this context, the use of excessively long SEO title tags should at least be viewed critically.
Against the background of the increasing importance of social media, long title tags are simply impractical, difficult to share on Twitter, look spammy and are probably less popular.
Html title tag in the source code:
The html title tag is included in the header area of the page:
Buy Micro Sparrow X4 E-Scooter kids online | fahrrad.de
Structure of the title tag
As explained above, the most important keyword should appear at the beginning of the title tag if possible, since the position of search engines is seen as a clear signal. From the user’s point of view, it is also advisable to choose the meta title identical to the h1 heading. In the search results, the page title attracts enough attention to arouse certain expectations in the user. If the main heading deviates significantly from the page title, this can in the best case lead to uncertainty, in the worst case to leave the page. The brand is found at the end of the title tag on many websites, and for legitimate reasons: At this point it is visible and helps branding, but does not hinder the optimization of the title to the most important keywords that are placed at the beginning.
In the following, special application examples and possible solutions for an optimal structure of the meta title are shown.
Highlight the brand in the title tag: If the branding effect is particularly important on a website, for example on a company page, it can make perfect sense not to end the brand. If the page title exceeds 65 characters for individual pages, the brand disappears from the search results. Title tags are of the type
[Main keyword] at [brand name] – [other keywords]
a good solution. In an online shop that attaches great importance to the brand, the meta title tag could be:
[Product Name] by [Brand] – [Call to Action]
Short brand names have a clear advantage here, as they take up few characters in the title tag and leave more space for keywords:
SEO title tag in the online shop: Product pages in the online shop are a kind of special case, as they not only provide information, but also encourage visitors to buy. For a high click rate in unpaid search results, it can pay off to include a short call to action in the title tag.
Discounts or special offers can also increase the click rate, provided that the expectations aroused can actually be found on the respective landing page. The product name should be placed at the beginning of the page title to ensure that the search engine gives it the highest relevance.
The call to action is then placed before or after the fire; for example:
[Product name] – [Call to Action] on [Brand]
Meta title tags for paginated pages: The topic of pagination of websites is not only problematic for reasons of duplicate content in the page content. Often all the pages of an article that is divided into several URLs have exactly the same title tag.
The same applies to the results pages of product categories in an online shop. If there is no “view all” page that is offered to the search engine (with the help of the canonical tag) as the preferred page, all paginated pages should at least distinguish themselves from one another by specifying the page number.
The solution to attach the page number as an addition to the page title is widely used:
The first page does not have this addition. In order to give the first page the highest relevance to the respective topic, the page number can also be placed at the beginning of the page title. In the case of article pages, it is also advisable to give each paginated page an individual page title, which is formed from the first subheadline of the page. This approach may mean more effort and the optimization of the subheadlines, but it can pay off in practice.
Special characters in title tags
In general, it is not easy with special characters in the meta titles or in the meta descriptions. On the one hand, the SERPs in the search results can be optically pushed and more conspicuous, on the other hand, it can appear unclean and the readability of the title tag is influenced by it. So it’s a very fine line to walk.
But can special characters be used at all? How does Google see it? Almost a year ago there was a statement from John Mueller.
Google does not seem to mind if other special characters such as “*” or “#” are used in addition to the special character to separate the brand. A user asked whether there was anything against the use of special characters beyond “-” or “|” in the title and whether characters such as “*”, “#” or “%” could also be used.
In summary, it can be said that the title tag still plays an important role for Google and should not be ignored. Optimized title tags should also continue to be checked, e.g.whether Google will include the optimized title in the SERPs or whether further adjustments would have to be made.
Author Bio – Vishal Garg has several years of experience in digital marketing. With good expertise in advanced marketing and promotional strategies, he has helped numerous brands establish their online niche with his out of the box internet marketing strategies and lead generation capabilities. Currently, he is running a successful seo company in Jaipur