There’s an informative post up at Search Engine Journal on the essential criteria of effective page titles (as a reminder, these are the titles that show up on the top bar of your browser window, in your bookmarks and in the results listings in search engines). It’s worth a read, and here are a few key points:
• Don’t make it too long. It will get truncated wherever it shows up, so keep it as short as possible: readers in the comments suggest 60-65 characters.
• Make it unique. Google wants to know that every page is different, and the easiest way to show that is for every page on your site to have a different title. Also note that the unique part should go first as the end gets truncated not only in search results, but in tabbed browser windows.
• Make it catchy. You want people to click through from search results.
• Include keywords, and make sure they match the keywords in the body text.
Most CMSs these days will create titles based on your heds – if so, pay extra attention to your heds and in all cases, definitely consider rewriting the print hed when repurposing as they rarely work for web.
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