Plain Language Page Titles: More Important than Ever

Mar 28, 2014

Government Web pages are found mainly through search engines. Google recently redesigned its search results page and there are quite a few small, but impactful, changes in this latest redesign. Specifically, it affects how page titles are displayed.

screen grab of DigitalGov Search in Google results page

Many experts now recommend even shorter page titles. Below are a couple of articles (plus tools) to see how the change may affect your page titles:

Page Title & Meta Description By Pixel Width In SERP Snippet

New Title Tag Guidelines & Preview Tool

In addition to the suggestions offered in our previous article on Achieving Good SEO, here are a few specific tips for page titles:

  1. Place page titles in a <title> tag within the <head>.
  2. There’s no magic number, but around 55 characters or less is good.
  3. There’s no set syntax, but “Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name” is good.

Below are a few articles on optimizing title tags for search engines:

If you’re interested in learning more about search, register for our Search Is the New Big Data (in-person training) on April 10.