There are only a handful of true competitive advantages, and fewer still when you move online. Brand, however, is one that you must develop and leverage if you’re going to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

One the applications to ensure you leverage your brand as best you can online is with proper website design and structure. I want to look at the structure of one of the most important elements to help your brand get noticed online in the search results–the title element.

The title element (routinely erroneously called ‘title tags’) is one of the most important pieces in on page SEO to get right. Your main keywords are found in the title element. But what happens when your brand doesn’t reflect your keywords? Which one should you feature first?

I’ll use a client example to explain.

Simone Fortier has her own practice in stretch fascia. When we came on the scene the website and domains were already built. The business itself is built around Simone’s name. For many sole practitioners, artists, businesses, personalities, your brand is your name. Leverage that to the best of your abilities.

For Simone, however, stretch fascia is unrelated. How should we feature the keywords throughout the website, especially the homepage?

Generally this is the rule I employ.

For the homepage the brand should be first. For example,

<title>Simone Fortier - Stretch Fascia Therapy</title>

For ensuing pages, use the primary focus as the main keyword. Follow that with the brand or website name.

<title>Planter Fasciitis | Simone Fortier</title>

You can easily change page names in most CMS. WordPress will enable you to globally change what you append to each post and page. Don’t keyword stuff, rather, make it clear who is producing the content, or offering the service or product.

Repetition of the brand name at the end of title elements is to be assumed. Use the real-estate prior to the brand name as your primary focus for all other pages. You have a lot of room to craft keywords. If in doubt, consult your data in analytics to inform what you should use. Alternatively, do your own research and acquire your own data (your data is the only data you can trust, third party data only gives you broad trends).