Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 10 years and 100 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.
Editors note: My friend Calum Coburn had a nice article about company branding within search results that he offered to share, and seemed quite worthwhile. I hope you enjoy it as well.
An important and often overlooked aspect of the Title Element (overlooked by the big guns of Brett and Todd both) Branding is that of branding your pages and site. Imagine that you’re the prospect, scanning for the most authoritative article or information relating to your kw phrase in the SERP’s (“speaker” being the kw example used below).
What if the top 5 sites use similar Titles? You’ve not got the time to read each description (meta tag description). So how do you choose? You look for authority status.
There are 2 main ways in which we can flex our authority muscles.
Lets first consider the impact of the URL before moving onto the almighty Title Element.
- Choice of domain name and rest of the path/URL. Consider the following speaker articles search example:
Lets consider each in turn:
2.1. The first domain and URL tell us nothing about what to expect.
2.2. Whilst the “/articles/Ã¢â‚¬Â directory is on topic for our search, the domain name is that of a
person’s name (John Smith), and so doesn’t win on the authority stakes. The focus here appears to be UK from the extension “.co.ukÃ¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬“ so if I’m searching for global or foreign centric knowledge this UK focus may be inappropriate.
2.3. “trainingÃ¢â‚¬Â suggests a focus on selling services rather than the development and sharing of Speaker knowledge. Additionally, there’s a “.co.ukÃ¢â‚¬Â UK centric focus.
2.4. “speakerinstituteÃ¢â‚¬Â appears to be focussed on developing speaker knowledge and application. It could mean a lot of things, I do know that they have put their stake firmly in the “speakerÃ¢â‚¬Â ground and are an “instituteÃ¢â‚¬Â in the field of speakers and speaking. Also, they are a .com Ã¢â‚¬“ so they are more likely to be a global company, and so may cover my local needs.
The second route to branding in the SERP’s is that of placing your (well chosen!) company name in your Title Element Ã¢â‚¬“ every title element. Using our example above, the number 4 choice would look like this: “Speaker Articles | Speaker InstituteÃ¢â‚¬Â. First off as the prospect you’re more likely to notice this Title Element than you would the URL. Second, if you’ve performed a number of related searches as you slide down from short tail towards your more refined long tail search, you will likely have started to notice the “ | Speaker InstituteÃ¢â‚¬Â popping up more and more, soÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Question: Why do advertisers screen their ad regularly or not at all?
Answer: The first 2 or 3 ocurrences are noticed by your conscious mind, after that you stop noticing the advert. That’s the dangerous part for us consumers, we need to watch out at this point. See, the advertiser wants your guard to be down, they know you’re not going to run into your closest supermarket feverishly looking for their product as a result of their funny/different/impactful ad. No, you’re going to be walking down the supermarket aisle as per usual, and either you notice their product out of the corner of your eye or you are looking for their category of product and now automatically are open to associating their brand with this category. The point is they are looking to win your trust and create an association. This is an unconscious process for the overwhelming majority of consumer products. Your not in direct conscious control of most of your unconscious processes, the decision was made a long time before, and often not by your conscious mind. So look out! So how can we make this stand to our advantage?
The parallels to search I hope will be obvious to you. See enough of your “ | Company NameÃ¢â‚¬Â flashing up in front of your prospects eyes in the SERPs, and all of a sudden, as if by magic, you’re a trusted brand name worthy of a click in the prospects crucial long tail search phrase.
Notice too that if your kw phrase and domain name match (in our example “Speaker InstituteÃ¢â‚¬Â and “institutespeaker.comÃ¢â‚¬Â, that’s a double punch into your prospects unconscious minds. (But I’m sure you noticed that consciously alreadyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦)
Now if you’re keeping your Title Element down to 3 to 8 kws, then does this take a bite of 2 or so words out of your Title length budget? You betcha! So for a company name of 2 words, this reduces your kw SEO budget down to 8-2=6 kws. Personally I’d say this forces good Title Crafting discipline.
If you have an article that you’d like to contribute (that hasn’t been published all over)…submissions are always welcome.