Ads 468x60px


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SEO for Blog titles, Website titles, and Post titles

Something of huge importance to keep foremost in your mind when making new titles is that Google will only allow a maximum of 70 characters to display in or count towards Search results. These 70 characters are a combined count of both your website/blog title and then your post title put together. Any remaining characters that exceed 70 will be ignored. Learning to make effective titles is a huge factor for Search Engine Optimization because you must take these 70 characters, less however many your site title uses; and still be able to get a concise title that explains your content and has good keyword usage with the remaining space. Google search is not like Twitter, and these keywords cannot be abbreviated or skimped on with any good results. By default, your website or blog title will come first in the character count before your post titles, unless you force it to do otherwise by adding code. This is a key reason why I always try to keep the titles of blogs and websites as short as possible while still trying to be to the point and relevant to the topic.

Is the title of your website or blog already too long to allow adequate space for post titles and keywords in the 70 character search limit? No worries, that problem can easily be fixed without changing your established title or domain; because a website or blog title can sometimes be much less important than the post titles are. Website and blog titles are very similar to brand names, and do not actually require any relevance whatsoever if your product or service is good enough and brings a large enough demand.

I will use two examples to illustrate this. For an in-world example, let’s consider Nike athletic shoes. Neither the word Nike itself nor the swish logo has anything at all to do with shoes on their own merits. If you spoke that word or showed the logo to someone who was totally unfamiliar with their products, they would have no meaning associated with them which would make that person think of shoes. A similar example of an online service would be Twitter. If it were not familiar to me as a Social Network, the only images that word would put into my mind are birds or laughing teenaged girls. While it is very helpful for SEO to have a title or name for your blog or website, product, or service that does associate; that is certainly not always the biggest factor. Nike would sell no shoes regardless of name brand, price, or logo they used; if they were putting out poorly made products.

Websites and blogs are much the same, and the product of focus on them is your content and search engine results. As far as SEO goes you are better off to spend more focus on other factors than worrying about your website or blog title if you have to choose what gets cut. Your content should always be original and not duplicated anywhere else on the internet. The text topic and keywords must match the keywords in the post title, and ideally in your Meta tags. Post titles will be more important long term because unless you become as large as Nike is, people are going to be more likely to Google the keywords in those titles than the “brand” name of your site. Post titles also tend to show more variety in keyword phrases and possibly niches with less competition than the title of the site usually does, and may pick up broader traffic due to that even if the site title does contain keywords.

What happens if my website or blog title is too long?

Let’s suppose I had not already known this when I created this blog, and I named it ‘” instead of “”. This would cause the site title in search engines to be “Internet traffic and marketing pros”. Someone with only a basic concept but little solid experience with how SEO and search engines work may think this title would be great because it contains a lot of keywords associated with what the site is about. What I would actually have accomplished is using up 35+2 (1 for the : and 1 space) of my 70 available characters without anything about the post titles being included in search. This only leaves 33 characters or less to create a good post title that includes keywords. Some examples of my search results with that blog title and current post titles would be: “Internet traffic and marketing pros: SEO for Blog titles, Website titl” and “Internet traffic and marketing pros: Blogger Jump Breaks increase traf”.

If I were in this boat, I would be much better off adding code to make my post titles come before my website or blog title, and getting the following results in search: “SEO for Blog titles, Website titles, and post titles: Internet traffic” and “Blogger Jump Breaks increase traffic and PageRank: Internet traffic an”. Doing it that way gives more meaning to the viewer reading the search results because it is not cutting off the post titles which let them know what the content is about. By the same token, search engines will rank the results higher because the part that is being cut off is the one that is repetitive and not informative. The longer your site title is, the bigger of a problem this will be for SEO if it comes first. You could be penalized for irrelevant title results in search engines, and some results may not be indexed or displayed at all due to being deemed duplicate titles or results that are too similar.

Some people will say that you should always add this code, or that it is critical if your website title or blog title is not recognizable by topic or keywords. I personally do not think it is necessary if your main title is short enough that it never cuts off the post titles. Traffixnet uses 10+2 characters, and I simply keep this in mind when making my post titles, and make them fit in 58 or less. Traffixnet as a blog title does give somewhat of an idea of what my topics are in very few characters if you look at it visually and think about it, but the fact that it is TraffiX instead of TraffiC and it has the –net adjoined to it means that it is not a keyword or term Spiders or web crawlers will associate with internet traffic. People are also not likely to directly Google Traffixnet unless they have already heard of me or this blog. Most of the website and blog titles I have used tend to fall into this category, but I have never had any issue with drawing traffic or getting good search results. As long as your post titles are showing and you have good quality content and are using SEO and keywords appropriately, then flipping the order Google posts the titles is optional. I choose not to do so because my post titles always show in full, and I am trying to “brand” my blog title and make it a familiar and trusted resource.

Keep in mind that it can take a while after making these changes for it to take effect on the search engines. Google typically updates and re-indexes monthly, so you may have to be patient for a while before you start to see any results. As always, it is a good idea to backup and save your template before making any major changes. This will make it much easier to revert to the previous system if for whatever reason you are not happy with the results.



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.