SEO for Title Tags Tip 2 Character Length

by demtron on Sunday, October 05, 2008 11:04 PM

Neither search engines nor visitors care to see a whole slew of words in the title.  In general, SEs cut off any title after 65 characters in length, and many visitors won’t look past the first three words, either.  Stuffing multiple city names and product names is usually not worth the effort.  Consider these titles:

Bad: XYZ Company – We Design Web Sites for Businesses in Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis Using PHP and MySQL

Good: Chicago Web Site Design, PHP, MySQL – XYZ Company

In the Bad Example, the title is entirely too long and everything after Chicago will be truncated.  The alternate cities as well as the technology names will be lost and not impact SEO.  In the Good Example, we use 49 characters and convey the most important aspects of the page.  There are many factors to go into good title tag development, some of which I’ll cover in later segments.  For right now, I’m assuming that this company wants to attract customers in the Chicago Area for we site design services using PHP and MySQL.

One aspect of good site design is that each page has a separate topic and focus.  A short and simple title tag reinforces this notion as it forces us to think about what the pages is really all about.  What kinds of visitors should be attracted to this page?  What are the most important points of the page?  Keeping this in mind will make it easier to determine short, relevant titles.


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