SEO: More on creating great titles

October 21, 2008

There’s an informative post up at Search Engine Journal on the essential criteria of effective page titles (as a reminder, these are the titles that show up on the top bar of your browser window, in your bookmarks and in the results listings in search engines). It’s worth a read, and here are a few key points:

Don’t make it too long. It will get truncated wherever it shows up, so keep it as short as possible: readers in the comments suggest 60-65 characters.

Make it unique. Google wants to know that every page is different, and the easiest way to show that is for every page on your site to have a different title. Also note that the unique part should go first as the end gets truncated not only in search results, but in tabbed browser windows.

Make it catchy. You want people to click through from search results.

Include keywords, and make sure they match the keywords in the body text.

Most CMSs these days will create titles based on your heds – if so, pay extra attention to your heds and in all cases, definitely consider rewriting the print hed when repurposing as they rarely work for web.

SEO basics
SEO: HTML titles and URLs
The 3 secrets of writing effective web heds


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