Optimising a title tag in this day and age is vital for boosting your visibility across Google’s SERPs. When properly developing a strategy for these elements, you can enhance your SEO and ensure your pages are visible to users.
There are many different ways to approach optimising a title tag. One is making sure they fit within the 55-60 character limit. Though some SEO experts suggest it’s okay to have title tags up to 70 characters long, it must be noted that the title can be truncated in search results or rewritten by Google. When this happens, it has the potential to affect organic performance negatively.
This blog is set to explore the basis for these concerns, looking through the guidance provided by Google and unpacking how to best design these text elements in the coming year.
Cut Off In SERPs
The number of characters for a title tag that Google can display in SERPs is measured in pixels. So when your title tag is too long, Google can cut it off. While the title is still present, shortening the text can have many adverse effects. Users will not understand the text’s full meaning, leading them to choose clearer options instead of your links.
The Title Tag Update And The Aftermath
In August 2021, Google released an update aimed at title tags specifically. This update enables Google to show a different title to users in SERPs than the one available in the HTML title tag.
HTML title tags may get rewritten in SERPs when they are too long or stuffed with keywords. Missing or containing repetitive language elements can also have an impact. For example, your home page is called “Home.”
Once the update was released, it caused an uproar in the SEO community as many experts have reported incidents where the title rewrite performed by Google changed the meaning and context of the title entirely.
This has caused some panic in the SEO community, resulting in hyperfocus on writing titles that are always in line with the length. However, with the inability to rely on these rewrites, professionals must tailor titles that will play ideally into the display length.
Most people accept that Google wants shorter titles in SERPs. But does that mean they will use the titles displayed in SERPs for rankings instead of the HTML title?
This has led many SEOs to assume that longer titles will either get cut off or rewritten, and Google will not consider them for rankings but will consider the new title displayed in SERPs for rankings instead.
Title Tag Length In 2023
In summary, you do not need to stick to a 55-60 character limit for your title tags. Your titles can be – and should be – as long as needed within reason.
Title tags are among the few assets which highly impact rankings that we still have some control over. So let’s make the best out of them.
If you’re worried about getting cut off or having your title rewritten, know these are secondary concerns. Instead, ranking well gets the highest priority.
Optimise your titles to rank first, even if you exceed the 60-70 character limit. Then, experiment with adjusting how your titles look in SERPs. But if you don’t rank, it doesn’t matter how long your titles are anyway.
Understanding the importance of the title tag in the coming year is important, but it is just as vital to understanding the priorities to focus on. While length is important, ranking comes first. Refining after the fact is the best way to approach it.
Contact our professionals to find out more.