Today I’ve been thinking about brand SEO (again) and how branding your site may be good for SEO purposes as well, for ranking important keywords even.
Most of my thinking has come about in the past week, after a webinar given by SEOmoz a week and a half ago. Today I also watched a WhiteBoard Friday on Search Engines and Brand Entities, where Rand Fishkin is talking about the importance of brands and how Google and other search engines might use branding as a ranking factor.
I’m starting to buy this as a theory, as I see a lot of SEO companies doing it.
Should I Use My Brand Name In The Page Title?
Well, should I? I’m honestly asking the question. Here are the good and bad factors I see to adding your brand name to your page title:
1) Use builds your brand name. If you want to become the next “Google it” (or just have people think of you when they want to buy, say, “coffee”), you should start associating your brand name with the product.
2) You can build trust with your brand name. Using it, and associating it with your product or service, might increase your click through rate, and then your conversions as well (of course, many on-page factors weigh into this heavily).
3) If this is a ranking signal, it is a good idea. Obviously, if the search engines are using brands as a signal in ranking websites, we would be wise to heed this advice and include our brand names with our page titles, at least on relevant pages.
1) Less room for keyword-rich page titles. I’m not talking about keyword stuffing here, by the way, but it is currently SEO best practice to put your important keywords for your page into your page title, written into a coherent string of words. Since we’re limited to 70 characters, using your brand name will eliminate some precious characters.
I am really asking the question, so please respond with your thoughts. My thought is that using your brand name in your page title tag could be a good idea on your main site entrance pages, if you have your site structured to drive traffic deeper from a main homepage. If your entire site is built on the “every page is a homepage” mentality, a la new Gawker websites design, you probably either want to use your brand name in your title tags or not at all.
*Update: A good post that mentions this issue was posted on March 2 on SearchEngineLand.com. You can read it here.