I was on Steam today and noticed this:

Browser tab, showing: "Welcome to Steam"

Why do websites do this?

I know that Steam isn't the only one and I can't imagine it helps increase sales or has any effect on the user.

  • 1
    What would you suggest would be a better alternative? It's their homepage (hence the 'welcome to' part) and it has their name there too so the user knows what site they're on. – JonW May 18 '14 at 8:49
  • 7
    @JonW One of the popular uses of the title is bookmarking and search results. I'd actually argue that the "Welcome to" is largely useless bit of information when you scan many bookmark/search results in a list. Users will seek for "Steam", they don't really care about the "Welcome to". And although the "Welcome" phrasing is friendly, I doubt anyone looks at the title when they enter a site - the welcome should really be on the page itself. – Izhaki May 18 '14 at 12:36
  • Steam in particular is a community, where you have friends and favorites and player-specific customizations. The "Welcome" mention is in line with sense of community they are promoting. You probably won't find a similar mention on the Reuters website, or the website of the US government. – Mishax May 19 '14 at 13:17
  • which is better User Experience Stack Exchange or Welcome to User Experience Stack Exchange? – Jo E. May 19 '14 at 13:45
  • @Deadpool I would personally say the first because Welcome to hides the rest of the title in the tab. I use chrome so only the first 30(?) characters are shown. – Jon May 19 '14 at 14:05

Several reasons spring to mind...

  1. Habit ofnot knowing what else to describe the content that exists on the page.
  2. Bad or nonexistant SEO practices which would have the content described within the title and description properly.
  3. Acting like a doormat, it is after all the first time a user comes to the front door of the site, that being said it shouldn't rule out #2.

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