In this video, Cyrus Shepard, SEO for SEOmoz, reveals interesting findings about how the size of html page title tags influence search results and on page-optimizations.
SEOmoz is a thought leader in SEO strategy offering some of the most comprehensive SEO tools and teachings in the industry.
For SEO and Page Titles, Size Matters
Title Tags are Key SEO On-Page Optimization Factor
Experienced SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practitioners know that few keyword factors of a webpage matter more in on-page optimization than html title tag. These title tags are important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is helping the search engines determine how relevant a webpage is relative to a user’s search querry. For instance, when viewing a webpage the title tag contents are displayed in the title bar of most browsers while viewing that web page.
There are number of studies with real-world data that back this up such as the SEOMoz 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors study which showed a .9 correlaton for keyword usage in the first word of a title, which was tied for first place in this witht he number ot times a keyword is repeated on a page for all of the page level keyword usage factors studied. I highly recommend you take a look at this study as it is the most comprehensive, publically available SEO Factors study that I am aware anywhere which includes input from some of the top SEO experts in the world combined with examining a larged data set of thousands of queries and search results. Best of all, it is FREE!
Another key reason that the title tag is such an important component of a webpage from a SEO standpoint is that the title tag is what shows up when the corresponding page is returned in the search results for the user’s search query. In fact, it’s the title that becomes the clickable link in the search results that users click on to navigate to the desired webpage. Therefore, title tag AND composition is a key factor in driving click through rates.
For example, if you think about how you read a newspaper or some other periodical, you often scan the titles to determine which articles are worth investing the time to read. Sort of like subject lines in an email being correlated to the likely hood that you will open that email. In the search results, a compelling title can help drive increased traffic through higher CTRs (click through rates) independent of search results position. That is not to say that pages higher in the search results don’t get a larger share of the clicks just that a well written title can influence CTR also.
Why are 70 Character Titles considered an SEO Best Practice?
A long-standing best practice among many SEO practitioners is to utilize a limit of 70 characters when creating html page titles. The primary reason is based on the widespread belief that search engines only evaluate the first 70 characters of an html page title. It is a fact that most popular search engines truncate title tags after 70 characters in the search results which probably contributed to the proliferation of the assumption that search engines only evaluate the first 70 characters of a page title. The following video will present evidence that challenges this long-standing assumption and cover best practices in html page titles along with the reasons why.
Cyrus Shepard, SEOMoz SEO on Page Title Size Impacts
In the video below, Cyrus discusses in detail why page title size and composition matters for when it comes to optimizing a webpage for search engines, improving rankings and click through rates.
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As always comments are both welcome and appreciated and if you look at the SEOMoz 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors study.