What Is The Title Tag?
The title tag is a HTML meta tag used to provide search engines and browsers with a descriptive sentence about the page they are viewing.
You can view the title tag on search results, at the top of the browser bar and when articles are shared across social media platforms.
The title tag does not display on the website page but is there to help search engines understand what your page is about, and can be optimised as such to improve a website’s search engine ranking positions.
How Long Should A Title Tag Be?
Ideally a title tag should be between 50-60 characters in length and should not be truncated when you view it on a search engine.
The perfect length of a title tag is between the 50-60 character limit and this is because it fits in full on a search engine, it allows the search engine to understand what your page is about without being too overloaded and it also stops the title being too keyword heavy or spammy.
You can have a title tag which is longer than the 50-60 character limit but it will be cut off when you view this in a search engine. This is not to say that the search engine stops reading the title after 60 characters and will ignore the rest of the tag – it doesn’t – however it may give the page a lower score it if believes the title tag has been keyword stuffed.
You can see from the image below there are 2 different websites with differing title tags, 1 is too long and 1 is just right – however the website with the longer title tag actually ranks higher than the perfect title tag website, but there will be other factors at play which account for this.
Why Have A Title Tag That Fits Perfectly?
As you can see from the above image the website at the bottom has a title tag which fits perfectly on the screen without being cut off. The benefit of this is that the person searching can read the whole title and understand exactly what that page is about, and often this will mean a higher click through rate than a title tag that gets cut off.
There is a subtle visual difference which means users are drawn to the shorter title tag, so even though it may not rank as highly you can get more traffic than websites higher up due to a more well formed title tag.
How To Format A Title Tag
You should aim to have the most important keywords at the beginning of the title tag, and any secondary keywords placed after this followed by your website name.
So it would look like – First keyword | Second keyword | Website Name
So we have used this title tag for this article – “SEO Title Tag – How Long Should It Be? SEO Tutorials – Lottie SEO”
We have got the main keywords at the beginning of the title, followed by the question users often ask, followed by the category the post is within and then our business name.
There is no difference in the search engine’s minds whether you separate your keywords with a dash, pipe, slash or none at all, it is entirely up to you.
There is also no real need to add your website name on the end, however this helps if you have good branding as you brand name will draw in more clicks and increase your website traffic.
What Not To Do
You should never stuff lots of keywords in to the title tag – Google and Bing can spot this and will penalise you for it.
So never do this – “SEO Title Tag – How To Write A Title Tag – Title Tag – SEO Title Tag Tutorial”
Not only will you get penalised by the search engines but users will not click your website link as they will instantly think your website is spammy due to the overuse of the keywords.
Lottie SEO are an SEO company based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and are available to work on your website – simply send us a message and we can discuss your needs further.