In regards to ‘on-page SEO’, one of the most important elements are the page title tags – the entries that are displayed as the SERP. Google have recently redesigned the format in which it displays title tags. It used to be the case that tags were limited to between 56-70 characters, which were measured in pixels, but now Google has increased the font size on the result titles.
You can see the difference in the title tags below:
As you can see the main difference is in the headlining title, where the font has changed from 16px to 18px and the underline has been removed. Moz have created a 2014 title tag tool to allow you to create your own previews.
So how does this change the approach you should be applying to your onpage SEO? We have provided some guidelines to consider:
- The new title measures 512 pixels in width, this means that you should reduce the characters of your title from 60-70 to 55-60.
- Place your keywords at the beginning of the title, the closer it is to the start the more effective it will be when read by search engines.
- Include your brand name at the beginning of your homepage title tag. Google likes to see clear branding in it’s results pages
- Title tags must be readable.
- If you are an SME with a fledgling brand identity, it would be best to keep the brand name to the end of the title. Larger, more recognisable brands can generally play off their brand name closer to the beginning.
- Make each of your titles unique.
- Try not to over optimise with extensive use of keywords. Be concise.
- In regards to site link displays on the results page, the best practice is to now simplify the titles of your sub pages. Your ‘About Us’ page should be exactly that ‘About Us’. If you have a quotation tool, label it ‘Quotation’. It should be kept clear and concise.
It may seem like a small, seemingly insignificant redesign of the familiar title tags, but it does require a re-clarification of what goes into your title tags and how this will be read by potential customers.