Sgt_Kickaxe - 1:17 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
Because of how Google operates you've got to analyze your site in much more detail before you can apply, or not apply, a Brand name to titles. You will also most likely find that it's a good idea on some pages but not on others.
- Informational content
- Navigational content
- Transactional content
Break down your pages into those three groups and then further break them down by actual traffic figures within each type. I would not make any changes to a page that is already receiving solid traffic volume, if it's not broken don't fix it.
I would then figure out which pages are receiving a large amount of search impressions but are receiving relatively few clicks, say 2% CTR or less and I would review each to see if I can improve the title. I may or may not add the brand name to these.
The rest of the pages are not likely ranked in the top 10 for any searched for keyword and may actually be fighting your own higher ranked pages for the same terms, to these I would add the brand name if for no other reason than to dilute their keyword value even more.
I've seen major companies do something similar, they even add the brand name ahead of the rest of the title on pages they don't want outranking their "money pages" so to speak. Search tends to rank these a little lower.
By the time you're evaluating things like this a little more deeply you'll get a good feel of what to do. Trial and error is a great way to learn too so monitor results over time and avoid making too many changes in a row before having enough data to evaluate results with.
Worse case scenario: You get it all wrong and Google takes the initiative to replace your titles anyway. Also, since Google is likely already changing your titles, it's doubly important not to mess with already successful titles since you don't know if the brand or keyword is already being added, let Google do whatever they've been doing.
Tip: filter out image search traffic from your data because image visitors don't care about the title, they usually don't see it in image search results.