Need some advice on title length for SEO

11 replies
  • SEO
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Most of my writing deals with dog friendly places such as parks and restaurants. I have a few questions about titles I'd like to get some advice on before I go changing a bunch of mine.

I currently use Yoast SEO for Wordpress, as well as capitalize my title dot com. I get as many green lights in Yoast as I can, but my titles are often too long according to the plugin. Recently I've been checking my titles at capitalize my title dot com, which will give me an SEO score. However, anything outside the range of 5-7 words automatically produces a lower score.

Is it absolutely imperative that a title be in that range? I have two issues with this: 5-7 words drastically reduces creativity, and using the name of a place can automatically result in a lower score.

Example - there is a park near me called Medina River Natural Area. If I want to write about my experience at this place I will probably have to use its name in my title, or else leave it out and attempt to create a "more clickable" title which may not bring the reader to a topic they actually want to know about (this happens to me quite a bit when I click on some titles and I can't stand it). A third option would be to use the name and add to it to make it more appealing. This is what I usually do, but then I get the lower score, and long title warning and all that.

Can I actually tell if I'm being penalized or left out of searches because of the title? What is your best advice on title length?
#advice #length #seo #title
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Yes, you can. You are not left out. Long titles, however, show truncated in the search results. As you can see below - an actual result on a search I did just for you:
    8 National Parks Where You Can Have an Unforgettable ...

    So, stop worrying about penalties and being left out and start worrying about putting what is most important in the first 70 characters




    Originally Posted by Dave Earley View Post

    Most of my writing deals with dog friendly places such as parks and restaurants. I have a few questions about titles I'd like to get some advice on before I go changing a bunch of mine.

    I currently use Yoast SEO for Wordpress, as well as capitalize my title dot com. I get as many green lights in Yoast as I can, but my titles are often too long according to the plugin. Recently I've been checking my titles at capitalize my title dot com, which will give me an SEO score. However, anything outside the range of 5-7 words automatically produces a lower score.

    Is it absolutely imperative that a title be in that range? I have two issues with this: 5-7 words drastically reduces creativity, and using the name of a place can automatically result in a lower score.

    Example - there is a park near me called Medina River Natural Area. If I want to write about my experience at this place I will probably have to use its name in my title, or else leave it out and attempt to create a "more clickable" title which may not bring the reader to a topic they actually want to know about (this happens to me quite a bit when I click on some titles and I can't stand it). A third option would be to use the name and add to it to make it more appealing. This is what I usually do, but then I get the lower score, and long title warning and all that.

    Can I actually tell if I'm being penalized or left out of searches because of the title? What is your best advice on title length?
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by Dave Earley View Post

    Most of my writing deals with dog friendly places such as parks and restaurants. I have a few questions about titles I'd like to get some advice on before I go changing a bunch of mine.

    I currently use Yoast SEO for Wordpress, as well as capitalize my title dot com. I get as many green lights in Yoast as I can, but my titles are often too long according to the plugin. Recently I've been checking my titles at capitalize my title dot com, which will give me an SEO score. However, anything outside the range of 5-7 words automatically produces a lower score.

    Is it absolutely imperative that a title be in that range? I have two issues with this: 5-7 words drastically reduces creativity, and using the name of a place can automatically result in a lower score.

    Example - there is a park near me called Medina River Natural Area. If I want to write about my experience at this place I will probably have to use its name in my title, or else leave it out and attempt to create a "more clickable" title which may not bring the reader to a topic they actually want to know about (this happens to me quite a bit when I click on some titles and I can't stand it). A third option would be to use the name and add to it to make it more appealing. This is what I usually do, but then I get the lower score, and long title warning and all that.

    Can I actually tell if I'm being penalized or left out of searches because of the title? What is your best advice on title length?

    Google doesn't penalize anyone for title length, and most of Yoast's recommendations are utter garbage. The whole plugin is trash.

    Google doesn't limit the title on number of characters. They use a pixel limit, so it matters which characters you are using. For example, a 'w' is wider and going to use more pixels than a "i'.
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    First of all dump Yoast then we shall talk!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    Quit using the Yoast plugin and whatever that other site is to "score" your title length.

    There are only 2 scores you care about with your title:
    1. How high you can rank it for your keywords
    2. How many people click on it
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    I would never worry about a Yoast score. I would try to make the titles short enough so that they can be fit without being truncated. As MikeFriedman said, Google does not have a word limit or a character limit - they have a pixel limit. Use one of the following free tools to make sure you are within that pixel limit:

    Title & Description Pixel Checker

    Title Tag Preview Tool
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Earley
    Wow, why all the hate towards the Yoast plugin? Aside from the fact that it makes me slightly OCD about getting all green lights, what is wrong with it? What is a better alternative?

    Dave, I checked those two resources you posted, but I don't see how they are any better than the Yoast plugin. The plugin already tells me if the title and description are too long without exiting the site.

    So I'm noticing the general consensus is that the appeal of the title is more important than the length, but the length should not be long enough to be cut if possible.

    One more question - is it important that the title and slug match, or is that not important? Example - Sometimes I will change a title later after a post has already been shared on social media. The title and slug will no longer match. If I change the slug to match the title, the shared links will be broken and I will need to re-share them or edit them.
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    If your page content demands your title to be of 10 words long (its hypothetical) then you should make it of 10 words. There is no plugin or any green light of them could tell you what to do!! Always remember in order to satisfy those plugins like Yoast you also may be over-optimizing your page. In that case Google will just ignore everything and put whatever they feels fit for them. If you are looking for an alternative then go for 'All in one SEO Pack'.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Wills
    Optimal title length
    Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, our research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly. There's no exact character limit because characters can vary in width and Google's display titles max out (currently) at 600 pixels.
    https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag
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  • Profile picture of the author Hurned1980
    HI,

    Maximum character Length 60-65/512 px.

    I'm going to send to 2 links that you could measure your title characters and title pixel.

    Always keep your title length 60-65 characters with space. and keep your title pixel 512.

    Page Title Pixel Meter - SEO Tool - Webshoptimizer - you can measure your tile by pixel.

    Cut & Paste Character count - you can measure your title by character.

    check the screenshots as attached.


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  • Profile picture of the author KylieSweet
    Usually in wordpress i totally ignore Yoast recommendations and i will apply my own strategy of call to action title and description to increase ctr in search.
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  • Profile picture of the author erishi
    Use a maximum of 60 words with primary keywords. For more SEO updated follow our blog eRishi.
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  • Profile picture of the author outreachpanda
    Don't rely on Yoast SEO. Try to limit your title within 60 characters. All you need is to add trigger words and make your title more clickable than others.
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