One of the SEO conventions that I was taught way back when was that if you wrote a title for your page that was more than 65 characters, it would probably be truncated (cut off) in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
All of the tools you use will tell you the same thing, with some varying the length to 70 characters. WordPress SEO by Yoast, gives you 70 characters, but guess what? SEO Mofo has proven that rule of thumb to be wr… wro…. wrong!
In his article: In thi till trill little litter fill! | Is it illicitly lil’ lilli! | If I fill ill jill I’ll frill thrill!, Mr. Mofo explains that it’s not so much the character count that matters, but it’s the pixel width that does.
Yep… That’s it. Pixel width.
So, if you can write your page titles as above with lots of skinny characters, you can actually use more than the allotted 70 characters we’ve all heard about and the full titles will show up in the SERPs.
I can’t imagine going with titles that have lots of l’s and i’s in them, but hey…
If you write a title that you think is great, check the character count, and find out that it’s longer than you’d hoped, look for some skinnier synonyms to replace a word or two. Or, use colons or other punctuation when possible.
Or, you can go to Mioplanet.com and download their free pixel ruler. I use it all the time. For example, this title is 30 characters and 180 pixels wide as it would appear in Google’s SERP. Mr. Mofo’s title is 107 characters long and is 486 pixels wide as it appears in Google’s SERP.
Use the plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast, which gives you the image of your title as it would appear in the SERPs, and instead of worrying about character count, worry more about pixel width. Keep your title under 486 pixels, and you should be good to go!
How cool is that? Want complete titles in the SERPs? It’s all in the pixels. Thanks, you SEO Mofo, you.