Managing Director at F+W Media International
29 December 2008 12:35pm
We've been having a discussion in the team here about the use of different characters in page titles. Specifically, w're trying to agree on best practice around the use of hyphens or pipes to separate copy.
I see this new site uses a pipe:Econsultancy | New Post in the Best Practice forum
But could have used a hyphen:Econsultancy - New Post in the Best Practice forum
Is the pipe best practice in this case?
CEO at Econsultancy
30 December 2008 18:34pm
I'm not sure what is considered best practice to be honest. We used pipes on the old site and also on this new version. We're reviewing what/how much information we include in the page title and in what order.
For example, we currently just have: Econsultancy | [Thread Title] for forum threads.
However, we could have: Econsultancy | Forums | [Thread Title]
Or, indeed: [Thread Title] | Forums | Econsultancy
I think the length, structuring and ordering is probably more important than whether you use pipes or hyphens.
Ecommerce Manager Europe at Wolverine Worldwide
05 January 2009 09:01am
I have to agree that I do not think there is any hard evidence for the use of a pipe, comma, or hyphen in the title tag but I think the order and content of the tag have far more significant weight.
Personally I would reverse concatinte the title string (unlike this site) so it would be SEO Title Characters | Econsultancy, the reason for this is the thread is more relevant to a search for SEO Title Characters as your primary keywords for the page are the first in the title. At this point Econsultancy is irrelevant as that is not what incidental visitors would be looking for.
So the deliminator is personal preferance on asthetic and usability.
05 January 2009 11:02am
05 January 2009 11:24am
Give it a go, makes a huge difference as more relevant to a search.
I agree with the brand point but at the end of the day all brands exist to make a profit, as we have to buy all online footfall I would favour getting the customer to the site and then selling that brand once you have the visitor. If people want the brand then they will search the brand name and unless you have really done something wrong you should be #1. But if someone wants a product / service get them to your site then sell your brand to them through design, usability, customer service, shippping times etc...
In the case of the above brand surely if they were #1 for a search "amazing widget" then it would not matter if the brand name was first in the string as just by being #1 that would re-affirm brand position / penetration / awareness / trust. Where as to loose out by not being #1 means you have no brand penetration anyway.
So I guess it depends on your focus, sales or brand (or is that chicken and egg??).
05 January 2009 11:28am
Depends how people actually *read* search results I guess, and I'm sure that depends on the individual and their web experience.
05 January 2009 11:49am
No argument from me there!
Not sure about the second part though, if you really wanted to shop from a trusted retailer would you be searching anyway or direct to the brand / trust? For example I always buy all my DVD's from one etailer and only search if they do not have it in stock. I feel that this is indicative to the time web searchers have to search and also where click blindness comes into it. I think that the majority of people search and click without even bothering to read the results (I have prooved that aswell) as they assume that the search results are correct so making it even more inportant to be #1 for any given search term.
Give it a go, create an ad text for lets say kitchens and do keywords bathrooms, you will get numerous hits for people looking for bathrooms despite your ad clearly saying kitchens.
Click blind, be aware!
(new term perhaps CBC Click Blind Clicks, clicks from visitors who are too busy to read the results properly and will blindly click on the assumption that search engines work and the result 'Must' be right. Probably because the click is free and of the result is not right click back and on to the next link until such a time it is right...)
Founder at SearchData
06 January 2009 14:05pm
We generally use | as we feel it looks cleaner, and therefore easier to read in the organic listings which should help with click throughs. We've not tested that parameter yet though . . . Main target keyword/phrase as close to the front as humanly possible.
Website Developer at John Carney
08 January 2009 09:09am
I would normally use the format article title | brand name on the basis that users have a bigger chance of missing your relevent seo article title if your brand/site name is displayed first.On the other hand I do put the brand/site name first on the homepage for users searching on the name itself.
08 January 2009 09:11am
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