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The Importance of Titles in Google Mobile Search

The differences between mobile devices and desktops are increasing. More and more people access Google – and the web in general – through their mobile devices. Because of this, it is necessary to take into account the latest information regarding Click Through Rate’s (CTR) for mobile organic searches.

Although the data is still relatively new, we at Predikkta have made some interesting discoveries about mobile CTR and title lengths. And these discoveries could help your business adapt to the mobile age. Our findings are confirmed by UK Behavioral Analytics studies.

TITLES: SHORT VS PROFESSIONAL

There are a wide variety of aspects that Predikkta test – and recently, titles on mobile have been at the center of our investigations. Short titles, rambling titles, professional titles, titles with “personality”… You name it, we have experimented with them.

And, until recently, we had two options that were popular: short succinct titles, and longer – but professional and informative – titles.

However, with new data that Predikkta have acquired from Google – as well as our own studies – we have discovered that people generally in mobile prefer longer, but more professional titles over short ones. Further the final two words are more important in mobile that desktop search.

DESKTOP VS MOBILE

After observing differences, we decided to test whether there was a difference between longer and professional titles and short ones when it came to device.

Below is a desktop result for the search “Ahm” on Google.com.au.

Below is an iPhone 5 result

Below is an iPhone 6 Plus result

So we did what Predikkta does best – examined the data, conducted further experiments, and then analyzed. It should be noted that these results are purely a reflection on organic search terms, and not paid ads – and, to our knowledge, these are the only studies focusing on this aspect of CTR to date, on particular devices.

The results were interesting. When it came to short titles, there was severely limited benefits – no significant deviation in CTR for desktop. When it came to mobile devices, short titles actually generally had a negative impact.

Contrast this with neat, long, and professional titles. On desktops, there is little enough but it is on mobile devices that the difference becomes interesting. With a significant rise of of over 40% on occasions it becomes obvious that something about the longer and more professional titles was impacting on the CTR.

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?

Well, this is the million dollar question. We have, as with most aspects, several theories:

  1. People prefer professional and informative titles that inform them about what’s on the page, without relying heavily on the meta description – especially on mobile devices.
  2. Neat titles are more successful as it “demonstrates” to the customer in the millisecond before they click this is likely a “well-run company” – it likely promotes trustworthiness.
  3. The size of the mobile device can mean that the copy in the title can become more important and influential due to the placement of keywords.
  4. Short and simple titles are often too vague, whereas longer titles give the searcher more information about what they are searching for.
  5. The last words of the Title often move to the center of the page making them more prominent on the second line.

It could also be a combination of several – if not all – of these factors. The impact is more noteworthy when it comes to mobile devices due to the fact that mobile users often don’t have the time to properly examine a meta description. This boosts the importance of having an optimized title to an even greater level than previously.

WHY NOW?

Before April, Predikkta only had vague theories. But now, with access to Google Webmaster’s New Search Analytics, it became much easier to discover trends – trends that have an impact on how the science behind CTR works.

Aside from Google’s timely updated analytics system, we at Predikkta have also engaged in numerous experiments. The data we collect, based on numerous experiments conducted over several weeks, often reveal the same, or very similar, trends to what Google is reporting.

It is the combination of these two data sources that have helped us solidify our theories. Finally this is backed by behavioral analytic studies which also confirm a higher impact on professional titles and script the smaller the print.

CONCLUSION

It is a known fact that of the five predominant factors that contribute to CTR, titles is third to page rank & brand. That said the gap between second and third appears to close on mobile devices. So you need to know where customer is coming and make sure your title is optimized for them.

And with the latest information provided by Predikkta, after examining data from Google and our own experiments, we have come to the conclusion that longer, neater, and more professional-looking titles are the most effective at increasing CTR – especially when it comes to mobile devices.