I’m currently reading an excellent book by David Viney titled “Get to the Top on Google.” Now don’t let the title fool you, much of the emphasis on Google is for promotional purposes. However, David does state that since Google drives much of the web’s traffic, why not.
As I’m reading along on a chapter devoted to on-page optimization, I get to the subject of optimizing the page <title> tag. For those of you not aware. content placed within the HTML <title> tag provides information to the search engines that aid in ranking your pages properly.
So I’m reading along, and David states that Page <title> writing is as difficult as effective pay-per-click ad copywriting. Agreed. He states that you need to find balance when writing <title> tags. Agreed. He then suggests, and I’ll quote from the book,
“The title tag should ideally begin with the name of the business or site and , where possible, should be written in the form of a ‘breadcrumb trail’ that leads users down through the levels of your site.”
Agre … Woa, wait a moment.
I agree that, on a site’s home page, that it makes sense to place the site or company first, followed by supportive keywords. However, once you move down to sectional and product pages, I disagree. In fact, I dabble with the thought that in some cases, you can entirely leave off the company name, in favor of promoting more important keywords that support the page’s product, topic or subject matter.
Here’s some examples of the differences I see between David’s & my viewpoint.
Company/Site Name > Top level keyphrase (2 words) > Next Level keyphrase (2 words) > Current Page keyphrase (2 words)
Chambers > Business Printing > Order Luxury Business Cards Online
Now I think this does work for home pages. However, for a product page, placing the company name first, since as far as I know, the search engines (Google) places more value in the first few words that appear in the <title> tag, dilutes the keyword advantage in the page <title>.
I believe a more effective syntax is as follows:
Primary Keyword Phrase – Supporting Keyword Phrase(s) – Company Name (optional on product pages)
Blue Widgets – High Quality Widgets – My Widget Company
Great book, David. However, I disagree with your suggested syntax for page <title> tags and ask you or any other supporting SEO’s to explain the reasoning.