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Best Title Tag Length for SEO

Title tags are important for search engines, but they are also important for people reading your content. The answer to “what is the best title tag length for SEO?” might seem simple, but it is not as easy as you might think. What we do know is that not only do titles affect how many people click on your web page in the Google search results, but they are also a confirmed ranking factor. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about title tag length, including the best title length for SEO.

best title tag length for seo

Best Title Tag Length for SEO

What is the best title tag length for SEO? Is it better to go short or long? If your title tag is too long and exceeds the display limit of the user’s device, then Google will only show part of the title to make it fit. But if it’s too short, you might not get to include all the necessary keywords, and Google might rewrite that, too.

The most frequent answer is that Google displays up to 600 pixels on a desktop, which is between 50 and 60 characters. However, this can actually be a disingenuous answer, for several reasons.

For example, more than half of Google search traffic is on mobile, not desktop. And mobile shows varied title lengths depending on the device you are using. And even on a desktop, the display limit isn’t always constant.  It is also absolutely possible that Google might display different titles on mobile and desktop devices. 

The best way to ensure that Google displays your entire title without rewriting it is to make sure to keep your title under 600 pixels, or between 50 and 60 characters.

Definition of a Title Tag 

A title tag is an HTML tag that tells your audience and search engines what the web page is about. It is the headline you see on the SERP, or search engine results page. If you ever use search engines, then you have seen a page title tag before. Your title tag also appears in browser tabs. In order to create a great title tag, you need to write something that appeals to both real people and makes search engines happy. 

Title Tags and Google 

Google is notoriously mysterious about ranking factors, but title tags are a confirmed ranking factor. John Mueller of Google said in early 2022 that page titles are a Google ranking factor, but they are not critical for ranking (especially when compared to the main content. 

how long should a title tag be for seo

Does Google Rewrite or Shorten Title Tags?

It is also important to know that Google does not define a limit for how long your title can be. However, if your title is too long, Google might shorten it for you or rewrite it to fit within the search results. Google might simply shorten your title by putting ellipses at the end, like this …

The search engine might also rewrite titles that are too short. Though shorter titles are easier for people to read and simpler for search engines to crawl, it shouldn’t be too short. 

Best Title Tag Lengths for SEO 

Ideally, both search engines and readers should be able to see and read the entire title tag so they can understand what your content is about. If you want to reduce the chances of Google rewriting your title, your best bet is to write a title between 51 and 55 characters. 

How Title Tag Lengths Affect Search Rankings and Traffic

Now that you know all you need to know about title tags, let’s discuss whether or not the length of your title tags have any real, measurable impact on traffic and rankings. Search engine optimization experts agree that there is a real relationship between title length and traffic. 

For instance, a Backlinko study of five million Google search results found that titles between 15 and 40 characters had a much higher CTR (click-through rate) than titles that were shorter or longer. And the difference was significant. The titles in that range earned about 36% more clicks than those outside the range. 

All of the SEO studies to date show a clear relationship between medium-length titles and higher traffic. This means it is best to keep your titles between 50 and 60 characters whenever possible. 

How to Check My Meta Title Length

If you want to check your meta title length, there are several different SEO tools that will calculate title length for you automatically. Free options include Paul Shapiro’s Search Wilderness and Climb Marketing offer bulk title tag pixel counters. For a paid option, Screaming Frog will calculate the pixel length of all titles found in a crawl, which you can then export. 

Find the Best Title Tag Lengths for SEO with SEO Design Chicago

If you want to optimize your title tags and your website for better traffic (or you simply don’t want to have to worry if you are writing your title tag the correct length) contact SEO Design Chicago today. Our team has the best experience writing the best title tag lengths for SEO.

title tags and seo

FAQ: 

  • What is the best title tag length for SEO?
  • Is a title tag a Google ranking factor?
  • What is a title tag?
  • Does title tag length affect traffic?  
  • How to check my meta title length?

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