Page Title SEO: 6 Recommendations From Analyzing 300,000 Webpages

We analyzed over 300,000 webpages and 5.7 million data points to bring you the best practices for optimizing your titles for SEO.

Written by
Daniel Højris Bæk
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April 24, 2024

To make our recently launched “Title Competitive Score” feature as well as AI-based suggestion and optimization, we analyzed more than 300.000 webpages and 5.700.000 data points and compared their titles to rankings in Google.

These are our findings that you can either implement manually or utilize our tool to create better SEO page titles.

The data backs up what is already widely accepted as good SEO practice. And provide some new findings as well.

Why are titles important for SEO?

We covered this topic more in-depth in our post "Why are Title Tag and H1 essential for SEO? Best Practice and Pitfalls", but in summary, these are the short points;

  • Titles are important in SEO because they serve as a brief summary of the page and provide a clear description of what the page is about.
  • They help search engine crawlers understand the context of your page and improve its relevance for certain search queries.
  • Well-optimized titles can improve rankings.
  • And they can increase click-through rates (CTR).
  • The title links displayed in Google are dynamically made of a combination of factors, including the title tag and H1.

How we made the analysis

We analyzed over 300.000 individual web pages and their rankings across 10.000 keywords based on 5.700.000 different data points.

Each keyword was in English and had at least 1000 monthly searches.

The center of attention was the pages page titles.

We made the analysis across single word keywords as well as longer search strings.

All data is from February 2023.

The 6 recommendations

If you just want the six recommendations and do not care why or details around how they are as follows;

  1. Include your target keywords in your title.
  2. Ensure your keyword is at the start of the title.
  3. Place multiple keywords closer together.
  4. Make the title 40-60 characters long.
  5. Make your title unique.
  6. Consider using power words, but do it with caution.

If you want the details, keep on reading.

1. Include your target keywords in your title

This might seem like a no-brainer, but we often see this as something many forget.

I also believe this is a crucial step to go through, as it forces you to review what kind of search queries your content needs to answer.

Instead of just writing about an interesting topic, think of what people are looking for.

What is their actual intent with their search.

After all, you want traffic and readers for your content, right?

One thing that might come as a bit of a surprise to some is that the direct match of the keyword is not required to rank.

The cleanest example I can think of is's ranking for “date app” without none of these keywords in their title.

This highlights that Google a) makes their ranking based on countless ranking factors (back in the day we talked about 200 ranking factors, but today with AI, machine learning, personalization etc it’s impossible to set a number) besides just title and text content. And that b) Google also understands the meaning of the keywords and search phrases (sometimes referred to as NLP algorithms) and does not need to rely on direct matches.

Another fine example of this is the term “New York photography”, where it's clear in the search result that Google understands that sometimes this query might mean “New York photographer” as well.

This does mean not mean you do not need to include the keyword that you target.

If we look at the data we can still see that there are more in higher positions including an exact match, or just include the keywords (if more) somewhere.

2. Ensure your keyword is at the start of the title

It’s a good SEO practice to have your keyword as early as possible in your title.

It can indicate to Google that these are the more important words and help the algorithms understand their importance.

It also helps users when scanning the search result page to match your title with their search query faster, making it more likely they click it. And hereby raising your CTR.

Making a longer title also guarantees that the keywords in the SERPs will not be cut off.

Limiting characters before keywords in the title seems to affect rankings

3. Place multiple keywords closer together

Based on our data, we can see that around 30% of searches on Google is with queries that are 4 words or longer.

When you have a target keyword string of more than one keyword, you should place them as closely as possible in your title.

Placing the keywords at the start of the title makes it easier for the user to identify the title as answering their search query.

It’s hard to say if it also makes it easier for Google to connect the search phrase with your title, but if we look into our data we can see that the top ranking pages tend to have the keywords closer together than lower on the intial search result page.

Keyword String Density in the title

4. Make the title 40-60 characters long

You should aim at making your title around 40-60 characters long.

And although the link does not seem to correlate in any way with the ranking position of your page, there are two main arguments for this recommendation;

A) Making it shorter than 60 characters

Making it less than 60 characters will in most cases ensure that your full title is displayed in the search results and not visible cut-off.

And although we write 60 characters (and use this number in our platform), it would be more correct to focus on the pixel width of the title as different characters have different widths.

So less than 600 pixels on desktop and 654 pixels on mobile devices.

But we believe it’s easier to handle and work with a number of characters in practice.

B) Make it 40 characters or longer

Do not just make a super short title; you can grab more “visual real estate” in the search result page with a longer title.

And then there is always the exception that proves the rule

Some use the strategy of making titles that are long enough to be cut off, as they then tease the users to see what the answer or main point in the title is.

5. Make your title unique

It's crucial to differentiate your page with a unique title compared to your competitors.

When creating your title, consider what makes your content stand out and what differentiates it from other pages.

This can be achieved by using unique language, highlighting a unique angle or benefit, or adding a unique value proposition to your title.

A unique title can help your page stand out in search results and increase the chances of attracting more clicks.

If your title is similar to other pages in the search results, it can be more challenging for users to identify your page as the one that best matches their search query.

Another reason for uniqueness is that Google displays results catering to different search intents in the top 10.

By creating a unique title that accurately reflects the content on your page and addresses a specific search intent, you can increase the likelihood of appearing in the search results for that intent.

This means that even if other pages have similar content, your unique title can help you stand out and better serve users with different search intents.

For example, if you have a page about the benefits of yoga, you could create a unique title that caters to different search intents such as "5 Benefits of Yoga for Beginners," "How Yoga Can Improve Your Flexibility," or "Yoga for Stress Relief: A Beginner's Guide."

By creating unique titles that address specific search intents, you can increase the likelihood of appearing in the search results for those intents, and ultimately attract more traffic to your site.

6. Consider using power words - but do it with caution

We initially worked with a thesis of including power words as something that could improve rankings and thereby the title's SEO score.

A power word is a word that is used to evoke strong emotions and create a sense of urgency or excitement in the reader. Power words are designed to grab the reader's attention and persuade them to take action

Examples of power words are words like great, best, awful, stunning, and remarkable.

And usually, including these in your titles are preached as good SEO practice too, and you will see them used in clear SEO-optimised titles.

Example of power words in use

And although they might help increase the click-through rate of the title (who wouldn’t want to click the title promising to deliver the “ultimate list” instead of just a “list of 10”), there are signs in the data that might affect rankings a bit negatively.

There can be many different reasons for this graph.

One reason might be that some of these pages and titles might have a tendency to be perceived by Google as less serious. And click-bait-ish. 0

So if a title is overly sensational or misleading, it may be viewed as spammy or manipulative, which could negatively impact rankings.

Additionally, if a title is too focused on power words at the expense of accurately reflecting the page's content, it may be viewed as irrelevant to the search query and rank lower as a result.

So you might consider the trade-off between improved CTR and a potential lower ranking.

Try AI-based title scoring

If you want to try it out, sign into platform and create a new document. Or you can watch my colleague Torbjørn demonstrate the feature in practice in this video.

Page Title SEO: 6 Recommendations From Analyzing 300,000 Webpages

This is an article written by:

+20 years of experience from various digital agencies. Passionate about AI (artificial intelligence) and the superpowers it can unlock. I had my first experience with SEO back in 2001, working at a Danish web agency.