Adding Keywords to the End of Title Tags in SEO

SenseiSteve

HD Moderator
Staff member
I had an SEO expert with decades of experience recently insist that adding keywords to the end of title tags helped hundreds of her clients rank higher in the search engines. As examples, she recommended title tags that had a character count between 80 and 120. I've read where Google gives title tags a 600-pixel width limit. Anything more than that could be truncated. I did not follow her advice.

Your thoughts ...
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
Some truth to it, but it's not like that any more.

Google, for the most part, no longer uses the title attribute as a ranking factor (similar to the description meta tag). Too easy to game the system ;)

In many cases, Google will actually rewrite the title of the page depending on what they think the user wants to see. I have a video on this from last year when they implemented the "title tag rewrite" feature at Google -

That said, keywords in a Title, while not affecting SEO Ranking, they certainly help in Conversions. If a user sees the keyword they're searching for in the Title link of a search result, they are more likely to click that result.

The rankings are based on the content from the page, so as long as the keyword phrases you're targeting are included as the text in the page, then the page should rank for that (along with other factors like links, etc).

Now, keywords in the Header Tags (H1, H2, H3) they do carry a little more weight, but again, easy to game the system, so it's not a one stop shop to getting a top ranking.

As far as the length of the Title, I usually stick to the 55/60 character limit which is roughly in the 600 pxiel count range. Of course, then we come into the mindset of title and pixel lengths for desktop vs iPad vs mobile. So we satisfy all with about 55 characters.

All of that said, it's still comes down to testing. Descriptions we usually see about 140 characters in the SERP, but some of our pages we purposely put over 300 characters in the description and Google sometimes pulls content from there. Again, Google is much smarter today than in years past. They can, and often do, bypass the description or title provided and pull directly from the content in the page itself.

As far as inserting a keyword in a title or description to get to the top of the list - those days are long gone. And even a keyword in page content is behind us too. It's now all about TOPICS. Keywords will naturally be in the content, and with enough synonyms or relatable topics will generally yield better inclusion in results.
 
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