Meta titles play an essential role in SEO, as they represent the primary factor that determines how a webpage will appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). As such, many businesses and SEO specialists struggle with deciding whether to place their branding term or their SEO term first in meta titles.
In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each approach, as well as some best practices for meta title optimization and examples to illustrate the concepts.
Pros of Placing Branding Term First
The main advantage of placing your branding term before your SEO term in meta titles is that it helps to establish your brand recognition and authority. By prioritizing your brand name in the meta title, you are essentially telling search engines and users that your brand is the primary source of information or product they are seeking.
For example, let’s say you own a business that sells organic skincare products. If your brand name is «Organic Chic,» you may want to have your meta title read «Organic Chic — Natural Skincare Products» rather than «Natural Skincare Products — Organic Chic.» By placing your brand name first, you are making it clear that your brand is the top choice for organic skincare products.
Another benefit of placing your branding term first is that it can help to reinforce your brand messaging and target audience. If you have a specific brand voice or tone, including your brand name in the meta title can help to convey those qualities to users. Additionally, if you have a loyal following or niche target audience, including your brand name can help to attract those users specifically.
Cons of Placing Branding Term First
One potential drawback of prioritizing your branding term in meta titles is that it can limit your visibility for SEO terms. Since Google tends to place more weight on title tags for ranking purposes, placing your branding term first may mean that your SEO term gets less visibility and traffic.
For example, if you prioritize your brand name in the meta title «Organic Chic — Natural Skincare Products,» you may miss out on users who are searching for «natural skincare products» but have never heard of your brand before. This could limit your reach and make it harder to acquire new customers through SEO.
Best Practices for Meta Title Optimization
Ultimately, the decision on whether to place your branding term before your SEO term in meta titles will depend on your specific goals, target audience, and brand recognition. However, there are some best practices to follow for meta title optimization, regardless of which approach you choose. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it short and sweet: Meta titles should ideally be around 50-60 characters to ensure they are not truncated in SERPs.
- Include your primary keyword: Make sure to include your primary SEO keyword in your meta title to maximize visibility for relevant searches.
- Use descriptive language: Use descriptive words and phrases to convey the main benefit or message of your webpage to users.
- Avoid duplicate titles: Ensure that each page on your website has a unique meta title to avoid cannibalization and confusion in SERPs.
- Conduct A/B testing: Test different variations of your meta title to see which performs better in terms of click-through rate and traffic.
Here are a couple of examples to illustrate the concepts discussed above:
- Wrong: Natural Skincare Products — Organic Chic
- Right: Organic Chic — Natural & Organic Skincare Products
Explanation: In this example, we’ve prioritized the branding term «Organic Chic» while still incorporating the primary SEO terms «natural and organic skincare products.» This meta title helps to establish the brand name and authority, while still targeting the relevant audience.
- Wrong: Organic Chic — Natural Skincare
- Right: Natural Skincare Products for Sensitive Skin | Organic Chic
Explanation: In this example, we’ve prioritized the SEO terms «natural skincare products» while still incorporating the branding term «Organic Chic.» Additionally, we’ve added a descriptive phrase targeting a specific audience («for sensitive skin») to further optimize the meta title for those users.
In conclusion, the decision on whether to place your branding term before your SEO term in meta titles will depend on your specific goals, target audience, and brand recognition. However, by following the best practices for meta title optimization, you can ensure that your meta titles are effective in conveying the primary benefit or message of your webpage, while still maximizing your visibility and traffic for relevant searches. So, it’s okay to put your branding term before your SEO term as long as you consider the pros and cons discussed above and follow the best practices.