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Apologies if this is a dupe. I tried searching, but didn't find anything specifically addressing this concern.

When creating a large(ish) site, page titles usually reference both the site name and the current page name. However, it seems there are two main conventions:

Bob's Awesome Site - Contact Page

and

Contact Page - Bob's Awesome Site

I've looked around, and pages usually use one of the two variants above. Is there any reason to use one over the other? SEO/readability/usability/etc?

I've thought about it, and have only come up with:

  • Page first - Differentiates the tab when the browser is crowded with lots of tabs
  • Site first - Immediately see the "parent" site, so to speak; more cohesive experience
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possible duplicate of Does the order of keywords matter in a page title? –  paulmorriss Jul 3 '12 at 10:26
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4 Answers

Definitely Page first, Site second. People usually don't care about the site they're on, they just care about the content.

If you are browsing with lots of tabs open, how would you distinguish between tons of "Bob's Aw..."?

Lots of examples of page first: Reddit, Amazon, Google

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I always go for Page Name first:

  • Almost every website these days have individual icon (favicon.ico or similar) -- this alone enough to identify which site it is (unless you opened few sites which share some generic icon or no icon at all).
  • What is more important (from user point of view) -- site name or which page he/she is on?
  • When you have few tabs of the same site opened you really would like to know in advance on which tab you need to click (just take this site as an example -- open few questions and see how its done and compare how it would look like when al of them start with the same text).

The above I would apply to almost all sites that I use on regular basis. But if site is small or where it is quite unlikely that user will open few pages at a time (for example: "business card" type of website) then it is not that important what goes first: title or site name.

Special case is the home page -- I would say do it the way suits better for you. Sites where I was working on (mostly e-commerce) -- most of them have Company name first following by some slogan (e.g. "AwesomeSoft - UK supplier of Adobe, Microsoft ....".)

I'm not sure which one is more beneficial for SEO (if it makes any difference at all), but I would guess Page Name first still be preferred.

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+1 for usability –  Tom Wright Jul 12 '11 at 13:40
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Maybe page maybe site, it depends on the purpose of the site.

If it's a small business site where the pages are named "Products, Services, Help, Support, About us" or similar generic, every site has the same page names, and so these words are less important than the business brand name. So you would put the site name first.

However, if each page has a special unique name that would be searched for, then put that first and your site name last. You may even want to leave off the site name completely if the page title is very significant or so long that the title would display truncated.

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+1 totally agree on this one from a SEO point of view, as long as it's a small (about 5 pages) traditional site. –  Marco Demaio Jul 17 '11 at 15:22
    
Good point about small sites where the site name is more important. –  Mk12 Sep 2 '12 at 0:29
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I would say page name first, if you have a page full of results on a search you are naturally going to go for the title that interests you, so if you see something relevent in the title you'll be drawn to it naturally rather than if it is website name first then page title

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