Short Page Titles | Canonical Pages
In this guide we describe what this page title is, what the check is, how it works, and we provide context as to why this SEO check is performed. The short page title check is performed exclusively on canonical pages (pages with a self-referential canonical tag) within this part of reporting.
Short Page Title Pages
Any page title correctly implemented on a canonical page that is less than 30 characters including spaces and punctuation, is defined as too short.
Every canonical page should contain a unique and optimised page title within in the <head> section of the source code and it should contain between 30 & 70 characters.
What is a Page Title?
A page title is a tag containing text that exists in the source code of a page and is only visible or used in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Page titles are one of the most powerful on-page direct ranking factors in SEO. The page should contain the page’s target keywords to drive relevance between the page and the keywords you want it to rank for.
The page title can directly influence the organic visibility of each page for the keywords you want to get traffic for. As such this SEO component should be made a priority where issues are detected.
The page title including the HTML tags (of our homepage) sits in the <head> section of the source code and looks like this:
<title>Web Crawler | SEO Tools | Raptor - Digital Marketing Tools</title>
What is a Canonical Page?
A canonical page is a webpage that has a self-referential canonical tag present on it. A canonical tag advises Google as to the preferred / original version of content. If a page / piece of content is accessible from multiple URLs or is short across multiple pages, a canonical tag helps to define the ‘canonical’ version.
A canonical tag contains a URL and if that URL matches the URL of the page being accessed, it is defined as a canonical page. Canonical pages are typically the ‘SEO’ pages of a site as they are most likely to appear in the search results. The canonical tag of our homepage looks like this in HTML:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://raptor-dmt.com/">
What is a Short Page Title?
A short page title is where a canonical page has a page title correctly implemented within the HTML, but the content of the tag is less than 100 characters in length.
Short page titles are considered informational, rather than a serious or minor error. Typically, page titles that use fewer characters than this are not as effective as they could be. Because the page title strongly affects organic keyword rankings, it is important to utilise the available space.
Short page titles should be re-written or expanded to be closer to the 70-character limit, to take full advantage of the space available and encourage clicks.
Learn more about page titles and how to optimise them to help improve the organic visibility of any website.
What Do We Check & How?
Raptor’s SEO auditing software crawls a site and extracts the contents of all the page title tags present. If the tag contains less than 100 characters of text (including, numbers, spaces, punctuation, and special characters) we define the page to have a ‘short page title’.
A page will need to be canonical and the page title tag will need to be correctly implemented in the source code for it to show in the ‘canonical pages’ section of the SEO Errors tab.
We present the data for this in the reporting tabs and SEO audit charts within our suite of SEO tools. The raw data is also available to download from the export tab within reporting, where you can get both CSV and XLXS files for any project or site.
Because these checks are performed exclusively on canonical pages, if a short page title is found on a non-canonical page it would not be flagged as an error here. You will be able to see all short page title pages under the ‘page title’ category in the SEO Errors report.
What Should You Do with This Data?
You can use our software to identify short page titles across your site and you can use that data to:
- Re-write or expand the page titles of affected pages
- Improve the organic visibility of the affected pages
- Provide the list of short page title pages to a client
- Track & analyse SEO issues on a website