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Why I’m Changing My Tune on Company Names in Title Tags

using company name in title tags

I’ve always shied away from using company names in the title tags of web pages. I always figured that the title tag was just too valuable of a piece of real estate. With only 50-55 characters, you need that space to rank for keywords and entice the click to the site. That’s no small feat.

Besides, the website will almost always rank very well for any search for the company name anyway, there is no reason to use it.

But I’ve started to change my thinking about this a bit. While the need to use keywords and entice the click to the site hasn’t changed, what has changed is the value in branding.

In the past, I would have told you that unless you’re already a recognized brand, adding your company name in your title tags is a waste of space. If you did a search for soda nutritional information, which of the following results would you be more likely to click?

  • Nutritional information for 12oz can of soda
  • Pepsi | Nutritional information for Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi
  • Coke | Nutritional information for all Cocacola products

Each has their own merit, but if you have a preference to the soda you drink, you’re probably more likely to click on the Coke or Pepsi links. Either of those will likely produce more accurate information than the generic link above it.

But outside of recognized name brands, most searchers don’t care all that much about the company. They just care about the product.

Say you’re searching for window curtains, which of the following results would you be more likely to click?

  • Vintage Window Curtains and Coverings | Pine Hill Collections
  • Modern Window Curtains and Coverings | The Window Place
  • Energy Saving Window Curtains and Coverings | Clear View Windows

You likely care less about the name of the business and more about whether you’re looking for vintage, modern or energy saving window curtains.

Branding Isn’t Just for Brands Anymore

So while I’m showing you that branding doesn’t matter on an individual search basis, where it does matter is when you do multiple searches. Let’s follow up on our example above. The next search you do is for window treatments. Here are your results:

  • Window Treatments for Home or Business | WindowHeaven.com
  • Lace Window Treatments, Custom Length | Pine Hill Collections
  • Window Treatments and Rods | Hang It Up

And that search is followed by another search for tier curtains:

  • Tier Curtains for All Window Sizes | And Curtain
  • Custom Tier Curtains for Your Home | Curtains of America
  • Patterned and Decorative Tier Curtains | Pine Hill Collections

Again, you may be looking at each of those clickable links individually, but by the time you get to that third search and you see Pine Hill Collections yet again, there is a much higher chance you’re going to click that link.

It may not be a conscious decision, but it’ll be a decision made by your brain due to the branding impact made from seeing that business name time and time again. And honestly, it doesn’t matter if your site shows up  #1 or #10 or even number #50. Once the searcher has seen your brand name multiple times, the more likely they are to reward it with a click.

Does that mean that you need to immediately disregard my advice for the past 10 years and put your business name in all your title tags? No. But it should give you pause to reassess each title tag and determine whether or not branding will help.

Let me re-iterate. Your company name won’t help you achieve better rankings on non-brand searches. But it may entice the click. If there is more important or valuable information that should be in the title tag, by all means use your limited space for that. But if you have room, why not do a little branding on the side!

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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