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What You Should NOT Do When Writing a Title Tag

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What You Should NOT Do When Writing a Title Tag

Editor’s note: “Ask an SEO” is a weekly column by technical SEO expert Jenny Halasz. Come up with your hardest SEO question and fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!


Welcome to another edition of Ask an SEO! Today’s question comes from Rick L. in New York:

We took over a site, and after running the site through Screaming Frog, we noticed the previous [SEO] company was putting their company name way in the back of the title tag of every page. It was never seen on the SERP. As we took a look at more of their clients and it seems they were doing it to every client they had. What’s up with that? Does that really work?

Well there’s no nice way to say it… that’s just stupid. On so many levels.

Fundamentally, it seems that this company had no idea what a title tag is actually used for.

According to W3 Schools, the title tag (technically, the HTML title element):

  • Is required in all HTML documents and it defines the title of the document.
  • Defines a title in the browser toolbar.
  • Provides a title for the page when it is added to favorites.
  • Displays a title for the page in search-engine results.

SEO professionals generally agree that title tags work best when they are:

  • Descriptive of the content on the page.
  • Relevant to the topic at hand.
  • Short enough to be readable in search results.

This company adding their name to a clients’ websites in this way illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of the tag.

Their company name has no relevance whatsoever to their clients’ name. There’s no way Google will ever find their client’s site relevant for the agency’s name.

Further, it dissolves the value of their own brand name to have it on so many different pages and sites that are ultimately irrelevant.

Google will not think every page on every client site they’ve ever touched is equally relevant to their brand name.

If anything, that stunt hurts their own rankings and the rankings for their clients. More likely Google recognizes how incredibly stupid this is and just ignores it.

And finally, by doing this the SEO company has made it incredibly easy for any competitor to instantly find a list of their clients.

With such a fundamental error that shows how inept they are at SEO, any competitor could easily pick off their client list one by one.

Have a question about SEO for Jenny? Fill out this form or use #AskAnSEO on social media.

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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita

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Jenny Halasz

President at JLH Marketing

Jenny Halasz is President and Founder of JLH Marketing, a marketing consultation firm focused on highly technical implementations, specific projects, ... [Read full bio]

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