I am beginning a small series about search engine optimization (SEO). I want to share with you some tips that I have picked up along my SEO journey. These tips are for the most part are going to be on-page optimization techniques. I am not re-inventing the wheel here, and many of these tips are well known by most people that have ever researched or been involved with SEO. However, at the very least, it will be a common place for me to keep these rules documented for my own reference and as a place to refer friends or clients that have questions about SEO. I will be attempting to make the tips as short and sweet as possible, so that you can easily implement them yourself if you are interested. With that being said, I will begin my “SEO Tips” series with “Page Titles”, enjoy.
Page titles are very important to the SEO process, and are often one of the first things that perspective visitors will see when finding your site in their searches.
This is an example of what a title would look like on a result from a Google search. You can see here that my title is longer than 65-70 characters and so the ellipsis is added at the end. 65-70 characters is the maximum amount of characters that Google will allow before adding this ellipsis.
Ideally you would keep your titles shorter to avoid the ellipsis, but this is not always possible. I am actually in the process of optimizing my page titles, and am hoping to bring the length of these down. A general rule of thumb is to keep your titles to approximately no more than 7 words or 65-70 characters total, and this is not always easy. If you can achieve this though, Google will put more emphasis on each word in your title. The longer your titles, the more your “word weight” will be diluted. Having titles longer than 65-70 characters is not believed to hurt your rankings, but you might be missing out on the visibility of some of your title keywords then. Try at all costs to keep it short and sweet and also include your most important keywords first.
Without a doubt, your titles should be relevant and unique to their individual page. It is never a good idea to duplicate content or titles and writing a title that has nothing to do with the page’s content is even worse. Keep it relevant and unique to your page.
Keywords in Title
You want to include your targeted keywords in your title. Preferably as early as possible in the title as well. Do not “stuff” them either, you want your keywords present, but not repeated over and over again. This type of practice could get you penalized by search engines.
Separation of keyword phrases in title
For separation of keyword phrases in your title, it is preferable to use a hyphen(-) or pipe(|). This makes the title easier to read, and gives the reader and search engines a clear separation of the phrases in your title. So instead of “Web Design Madison Website Design Madison About Us” you could use “Web Design Madison | Website Design Madison | About Us”. In regards to which character is preferred, it does not seem to make a big difference, either will work fine, and should not impact click through rates. See video below: “Should I use pipes or dashes in my titles?”