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SEO Signage

Website Title Meta DataI was recently having a discussion about what causes people to come into a brick-and-mortar store.  We were talking about things like an inviting atmosphere, easy parking, signage, and friendly employees when a lot of similarities popped into my head with SEO.

The analogy between physical store and website is very strong.  A good experience with either is derived from the sum of the “little things.”  You can have a great store or website, but if some of the little details are off you might not be able to get customers in the door.

For me, the biggest “little thing” for a physical location is signage.  If the sign is small and hard to read or doesn’t “sell” the location then I’m not likely to enter.

A website has a direct parallel to signage: The Site Title.

The site title is what ever is between <title> </title> in the head of a webpage.

The site title meta data is used extensively.

  • First thing that appears in a web search result
  • Appears as the name of the browser when the website is opened (most operating systems)
  • Used as a the default bookmark / favorite / shortcut name for the website

Most importantly, it’s one of the most heavily weighed factors in the SEO world.

Both titles and signs at a physical locations need to draw attention and tell a very brief story of “this is what you are going to get if you come inside.”  Often business signs and website titles get too cute and leave out important information.  Not only should the name of the business be in the sign/title but contain some keywords that rank high with potential customers.

If you go passed a business and the sign outside says “Ruth’s” and nothing else, you aren’t likely to pop in for an unplanned visit.

If you go by and see “Ruth’s Bar and Grill” you might walk in for a quick appetizer.

The SEO world works the same way.  If your website title is just “Ruth’s” then you are missing an opportunity to tell search engines “bar” and “grill.”

No keywords in the title makes the website just as invisible to a Google search as a generic sign does to a passing motorist.  Unless the potential customer knows their destination is “Ruth’s,” the foot/web traffic is going to pass right on by.