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- Google search result titles use bold Arial 20px font
- Google limits their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) titles to 600px
What Are Title Tags?
Terms like “title tag” originated within the tech industry. Eventually, they became a part of the everyday language used by the public. Yet, their definition isn’t always clear, even after they become a norm. This guide can help dispel any confusion you might have about this topic.
The language used to display documents on the internet is called the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). This specific term for page titles describes the HTML code used to add a title to a web page.
The page’s title is placed between “title” tags within the “head” container, which is the area you insert metadata to describe the elements of a document. Since the code also adds the title at the top of a browser window, you might hear someone refer to the title in that bar by this description.
In search engine results, the term describes a web page headline in the search snippet that you click to visit a specific page. Many people refer to this tag as the “meta title” because it provides browsers, search engines, and websites with the title of a web page. You might also hear it referred to as a “website title.”
Title tags can also be referred to as “meta titles” or “meta title tags” depending on the context. The title tag is the HTML code (between <title> and </title>) on a webpage that displays in the tab name or in search results. HTML meta tags provide additional information to search engines.
The title tag is one of three elements that Google shows for each result which include:
- Title tag title (in blue)
- Page url (in green)
- Meta description (in black)
The title tag is also shown in the tab of browsers and provides an easy way for people to quickly know what each tab is. For example, you would quickly know that the tab below is our site:
What Is the Ideal Meta Title Tag Length?
The ideal title tag length for Google results is 600 pixels (about 60 characters). This is because Google optimizes its search results to show website titles uniformly for standardized screen sizes. A 600-pixel width covers a wide range of devices, including older computers and mobile devices.
Search engines limit the number of characters you can use in a clickable page headline title. You should only have approximately 50 and 60 characters per page link title text on standard, non-mobile browser search results.
If you go beyond the recommended limit, search engines typically truncate or “cut off” a portion of the text and add an ellipsis, three dots ( . . . ) that represent missing text.
Whether a search engine truncates the title depends as well on the company’s pixel width limitations. Search engine companies often measure titles and other snippet details about a web page by the width of onscreen pixels.
You should also keep the meta title length short so that internet users can quickly determine if your web page can answer their queries.
Why Is Title Tag Length Important for SEO?
Google aims to provide a consistent user experience by giving all titles in its search results the same maximum width of 600 pixels. This allows for titles to render the same on multiple devices including mobile devices. See below for examples of how various pages on our site render in Google.
How Can You Measure the Width of Your Title?
Now that you know the importance of SEO title width, you can use our title tag checker tool above which will show you the width of your SEO title as well as score your title on various other factors.
Does Google Always Use the Title Tag?
No. The title tag signals to Google what they should use in SERPs, but Google may choose something else entirely. Sometimes they’ll pull from the meta title tag and sometimes the H1 tag on the page.
Are Duplicate Title Tags Bad?
Duplicate titles are not always intentional. Most of the time, this is caused by hundreds of pages like in an eCommerce store. A script error can also occur in which subtitles accidentally become assigned page title status. This type of error typically occurs on websites with multiple product pages under the same subtitle category name.
Duplicate titles are never a good idea for the following reasons:
- Poor user navigation. People who visit your website experience difficulty navigating it because every link has the same title and appears in search results as multiple snippets with the same name.
- Causes confusion. Site visitors who open up multiple pages in different browser tabs can find it more challenging because every tab has the same title.
- Disrupts indexing. Pages that you want in search results become lost at a lower rank or entirely removed because algorithms have only your inaccurate data available to them. Search engine algorithms assume automatically that content on those pages is identical and have difficulty determining appropriate rank. They also rank duplicate titled pages lower or remove them because the duplication triggers quality control algorithms designed to catch people who try to manipulate ranking by using duplicated content.
- Attract the wrong audience. The snippet that features incorrect keywords attracts people that don’t match your target demographics.
- Low website traffic. The traffic to your website decreases and adversely impacts whatever goals you have related to it.
How to Fix Duplicate Title Tags?
Since duplicate titles can cost you time and money in the long run, it’s essential to fix them as soon as you discover their existence. The process isn’t complex. You merely need to rethink the approach that you use to create page titles. You must make the titles as attractive and unique as possible so that they perform as you expect:
- Think about the content of a page. Write a list of keywords and phrases that accurately describe it.
- Use your list to create a single sentence that describes the page. Do not use complicated words. Write a title tag like you’re talking with your friend.
- Paste the newly created title into a search engine before using it for a specific page to confirm that it’s unique and not duplicate used on another website.
How Do You Optimize a Title Tag?
An optimized title should not only have a keyword. It should also reflect the actual content. If you also want your pages to rank higher and stand out more in search results, use these tips to guide you:
- Follow the steps outlined in the section on duplicate titles.
- Ask yourself what type of title you would expect to see for a specific page if performing the search online.
- Throw out bland keyword page descriptions like “home page” and “blog post.”
- Research competitor content and find out what words or phrases they are using in their titles. Then, determine if it’s best to use those keywords into your unique titles.
- Use keywords sparingly. Stick to one or two well-researched keywords or phrases at the beginning of a title.
- Avoid the use of all capital letters in titles. Capital letters take up more pixel width space than lower case ones.
- Place your brand name at the end of the title. Use a dash ( – ) or vertical bar/pipe ( | ) to separate the brand from the main portion of the title.
Why Are Title Tags Important for SEO?
Utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranks your website (or specific web pages) in search results. There are different methods you can optimize your website for Google and other search engines. One of which is title tag optimization.
An optimized title tag allows you to incorporate the main keyword your target demographic is searching for.
Let’s say you have an article about “best coffee pots,” and your main keyword is “coffee pots.” By including “coffee pots” in the title tag, search engines and people can determine that your content is about “coffee pots” and not teacups.
Alongside adding the target keyword, it’s also equally important to be mindful of the SEO title length because search engines often cut long titles in standard non-mobile browsers. If possible, you should have the keyword at the start of the title.
Additionally, if a person clicks a search result and arrives at a page that doesn’t match the content implied by the search snippet, they’re more than likely to exit your website, increasing bounce rates.
They may even tell others about their negative experience, which can damage your name and brand reputation.
As you’ve learned with this guide, you need to use accurate, concise web page titles if you want to increase interest in your overall site or one or more of its pages. The title tag must also be accurate so that your content ranks well with search engines. If you’re one of those who previously wondered, “what is a website title?” you can now safely say that you have a good understanding of the topic.