Every single page of your website is an opportunity for you to provide some information that will help your visitors buy from you and for search engines to know what you're about.
If you sell widgets, then having the type of widget in your title tag is a great place to start your journey into SEO mastery.
But what about your company name? Should you have that there, too?
To understand why you should or should not have your company name in the title of every page, let's think about where that title will be used, and why.
The importance of the title tag
The content of your page is there to explain something to people.
It could be that it's a page of content about a specific product or service, and so it will hopefully be a fairly comprehensive page that explains, in detail, what it is you do.
At the top of your page, you'll have a headline. This is visible to all of your visitors, and it will be a summary of the content below or a short introduction to it.
Think newspaper headlines and how they work – that's what your headline should be like.
Now, in the background, and only visible in the title bar of your web browser is the “title tag.”
This is likely to be the same as your headline, but it has other uses that are worth exploring.
For example, it's this that will be picked up by Google to be used in the search results:
So it has an important job, then.
If used correctly, this can be used as a way of enticing people to click and view your website so some expertly chosen words here could make the world of difference to your results. It could attract visitors, and these visitors could become customers.
It's important to use them wisely.
Google only displays a limited number of characters when displaying the title, so you'll need to take this into account when writing them.
There’s actually no fixed number for how many characters you can use because some letters are thinner than others.
However, if you keep it to about 55-60 characters, you'll probably be OK.
Any more and Google is likely to truncate them, and that could cause trouble, and it's why this question comes up in the first place.
Let's look at an example title:
Expert small business accounting and payroll
That's 44 characters in a fairly tidy and compact headline that tells people exactly what the company does.
Now, if the company was called “Bridge Financial Services,” it could potentially look like this:
Bridge Financial Services – Expert small business accounting and payroll
We're suddenly closing in on our limit, and there's a potential for it to look like this in the search results:
Bridge Financial Services – Expert small business accounting and…
There's a reason, then, not to have your company name at the front of the title. It takes up a lot of very important space which could (and should) be used for your products or services.
How about if we put it at the end though?
Expert small business accounting and payroll – Bridge Financial Services
If the company name gets truncated, it's not so much of a big deal. We're still getting our point across, and we're telling people who we are, too.
OK, so maybe we've got a solution here? But is that all?
Is brand important?
This is a question only you can answer.
Your company name might be very important, and you might want to get the name out there so people recognise you and will eventually associate your brand with your service.
If that's the case, then there's an argument for having your name at the front of the title.
And that's OK, too.
What do you mean, that's OK?!!
I know. You'll get used to this if you delve deep into SEO.
The fact is, there are no right or wrong answers, so you need to do what works best for you.
With that in mind, I've put together a handy (so I think, anyway) guide to what to put in your title tags per page:
Front page and service pages:
For the main pages of your site, you need to decide what's important to you and your customers.
If you have an extremely strong brand which puts you ahead of the services that you provide, then you should put that at the front of the title tag on all of your pages, and the page title after it.
By “strong,” I mean “Coca Cola” strong. If you're not up there with the big boys, then there's really not much point in doing it – people are more likely to be searching for what you do rather than who you are.
Also, if your pages are well written anyway, people can still find you from your brand name regardless.
So, mostly, you'll want to put your company name at the end of your title for these pages.
Blog posts and articles:
For these pages, you need to consider what it is you're talking about, and what you're trying to convey to the visitor.
In most cases, you don't want to include your company name, for a number of reasons.
a) Your company name in the title might put others off from sharing it, especially competitors.
b) You need to squeeze every bit of power out of those headlines for your articles, so you'll want to use all of those characters and make your title entice people in.
c) Your blog posts and articles should be altruistic and written to help, not to promote.
Of course, things might change in the future…