January 7, 2015

Your Company’s Chance at a Great First Impression

By Megan G.

Do you know why the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone had its title changed to The Sorcerer’s Stone for American audiences?  Simply put, U.S. kids are more intrigued by excitement of sorcery than the dryness of philosophy.  Don’t be offended.  I’m American, and I think sorcerers are awesome.   I also avoided my Gen Ed Philosophy class in college as long as possible.  The Harry Potter title change was just good marketing. 

People will often disregard a written work by the part that is the easiest to find and digest:  the title.  Alas for pig-headed and lazy humanity!  This sad truth requires authors to craft eye-catching titles that are also relevant to their target audiences, and the titles of websites and webpages should be handled in much the same way. 

In the field of on-page SEO, website titles are called “title tags.”  

A Webpage, not a Webdump.

On-page SEO refers to specific aspects in the layout of a website or webpage that influence overall rankings—title tags, headings, keyword placement, and keyword density.  A website must be a clearly and concisely organized piece of content, and not a jumbled dump of SEO ingredients.  Organization begins with the title tag, which serves as a website’s chief header, i.e.  its title. 

Search Engine Land heralds the title tag as the first, yet most overlooked, step of on-page SEO.  You can find this tag in two places.  First, you can find the title tag at the top of the browser window.  In Google Chrome, it can be found in the tab labels.

Second, they feature in the SERPs.  As seen below, “Official Google Blog,” “Google on the App Store on iTunes – Apple,” and “Google Inc. (GOOG) News – New York Times” are all title tags.

Google has a very simple title tag.  It just says “Google” with no keyword or a mention of its location.  This makes sense, considering how well-known Google is.  No one needs to know what they do, or exactly where their headquarters are.  If you run a small or medium-sized business, however, then the title tags of your website can serve as your company’s first impression to its potential customers. 

Let’s discuss how to make a great one!

Short, Sweet, and to the Point.

In summary, the best title tags: 
  1. Are short
  2. Clearly describe a page’s function.
  3. Include your company’s name and/or services.

SEO experts suggest that title tags remain between 55 and 70 characters.   Any higher and your tag will be cut off with ellipses (…).  Writing this much wastes your time and efforts, so trim the fat!  Leave your tags concise and accurate

For example, if you own a hair salon, your title tag may look like this. 

Dazzling Do’s | Brazilian Blowouts, Keratin Treatments, Nail Service

The tag comes to 68 characters and spaces, lists the company name first, and then gives a list of popular services.  These keywords are some of the most often searched for in regards to hair salon services.  It’s simple and effective, but you can do even more.  Let’s say you own a pet grooming service.  One of your website’s pages may feature pet shampoo products available for purchase. 

Dog Shampoo & Dog Conditioner | 15% Off Sale | The Spruced Pooch

This title tag specifies exactly what items that the doggie salon sells, informs the web-user of a sale, and even lists the company’s name—all in 65 characters and spaces!  I’ve also put the company name last, a choice that is ultimately up to the company owner.  If you run a smaller business, your services and sales will probably have more value than your brand name.  The title tag remains an effective retail space for your brand, but there’s no harm in putting it last if no one yet knows about “The Spruced Pooch.” 

Let’s look at one more example to round this study out.

bahl&bailey.com | Home Page | Tax Preparation, Financial Services …

Do not put your domain name or the phrase “home page” in your title tag.  These are both redundant statements that could be replaced with your company’s name, a valuable service, or your business’ location.  Also, tag’s full character and space count ended up at 75, so Google cut them off.  Cleaned up, their tag should look like this:

Bahl & Bailey Accounting | Expert Tax Preparation & Payroll Service

See?   Brief and direct.  Web-users will know exactly which accounting firm to click on.  In regards to title tags, the best of them will come in small packages.

Did you find this article helpful?  What else would you like to discuss about on-page SEO?  Let the Tek Team know in the comments! 


  1. Thanks for the really useful information, I've added your blog to my feed reader.

    1. Thanks so much for reading Tekshouts. We are glad that you enjoyed the article, and appreciate your feedback.