The days where a page title is so simple are long gone. Today an age creating a title is not so simple, well not if your interested in attracting as many visitors as possible. You have different search engines, different devices and even social media platforms. How can you make sure you have optimized your title lengths? Without a doubt there is no problem what so ever in having long titles. But the weight of the keywords will decrease per extra word you have added.
In other words lets talk about all the things you need to be aware of, we will be talking about the major search engines, mobile devices and social media platforms.
This article is a great addition after or before reading SEO Title Research, which covers the subject on how to research what the best keywords are for your titles.
Titles For Search Engines On Desktops
First and most importantly, optimization for search engines on desktops, as much as the dominance of mobile devices are getting bigger and bigger, desktop devices are still in the majority.
When targeting Google the optimum character count is 68 characters, you might hear other people saying 70 but you have to take into consideration that capitalization of your characters are wider than lower case characters. So why do I even mention the difference?
Well Google does not cut off your titles based on character count, but pixel count. There is a great article about title pixel width researched by Tony MacCreath. On average the title gets cut of at a width of 512 pixels which equates to 70 characters. If your title gets cut of that will be at around 68 characters or 500 pixels.
The figure 68 is actually not an accurate representation. Characters such as “w” will take up more space. Even capitalization “W” will take up more space.
My personal recommendation would be to Capitalize the first character and not the rest if you’re intending to use the maximum recommended character count of 68.
As of 2013 both major search engines such as Google and Bing have the same pixel width which is 512 pixels.
Titles For Search Engines On Mobile Devices
From my tests using Adobe Edge Inspect I have searched in under different topics and found from these searches that the title length cutoff for both desktops and mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are the same on Google Search and Bing. Which makes things much easier when writing titles for multiple devices.
The Research In Cross Device Titles
As you can see from the images below, the test using a random sentence clearly shows that currently as of writing that there is no difference in title lengths among different devices.
Titles On Social Platforms.
When sharing or posting links on Google+ will the title cutoff be the same as on Google search? Lets investigate the average title length in these posts.
I have done an experimental title length page, and it was an interesting test that I had to do 3 times. Google Plus has a huge title length of up to 316 characters!
- Maximum character count is 316
- Maximum pixel count is 2026
- Maximum character count is 88
- Maximum pixel count is 557
- Maximum character count is 402+
- Maximum pixel count is 2624+
I truly could not bother writing an even longer title for Tumblr so I let it be for them haha 🙂
Keyword Weight In The Visible Range
With keyword weight, I’m talking about the words that you can see in the title on the visible search or social platform. Lets take the search engine as an example. We know that the maximum pixel width is 512 pixels. This means that each pixel has a weight percentage of 0.1953125%. Or taking the average character this means that each character in lower case has an average of 3.8461538461538463% in value.
Ok ok so these are all numbers but regardless to the matter, keywords beyond the spectrum of 512 pixels still count towards keyword weight, but are reduced by an X amount. So keeping keywords within 512 pixels (68 characters) will greatly improve your ranking.
Character To Pixel Width
- a – 9 pixels
- b – 9 pixels
- c – 8 pixels
- d – 9 pixels
- e – 9 pixels
- f – 4 pixels
- g – 9 pixels
- h – 8 pixels
- i – 4 pixels
- j – 3 pixels
- k – 8 pixels
- l – 3 pixels
- m – 13 pixels
- n – 8 pixels
- o – 9 pixels
- p – 9 pixels
- q – 9 pixels
- r – 5 pixels
- s – 8 pixels
- t – 4 pixels
- u – 8 pixels
- v – 7 pixels
- w – 11 pixels
- x – 7 pixels
- y – 7 pixels
- z – 7 pixels
The bottom line, if you’re targeting Social Platforms it is important to write your key words within the 88 characters on Facebook, if you’re using Google+ or Tumblr you will have lots more space!
For Search engines it’s still 68 characters.