Search Engine Optimisation is the buzz word of the moment. Most business owners will agree that there are people calling all day long ‘peddling’ their services. However, most of these SEO companies are focussed on one aspect, how to get higher up Google and the search engines, but give little thought on how to make people click on the result they see.
It’s the equivalent of opening a shop on Oxford Street but not thinking about the shop window.
So what can you do?
First some explanations...
From the graphic above, Figure 1 is the ‘title tag’. This is a very important element for search engine optimisation and you will probably have to sacrifice the editorial quality for some good rankings. However, just a reminder that this bit of text that the SEO’s like to play with will be the first line of the actual search result.
Figure 2 is the ‘meta description’ tag which Google does not pay as much attention to for optimisation purposes. This is what SEO’s often leave blank or basic, but apart from position, it can really change how many people actually click on your website in the list. This is your chance to stand out.
An often overlooked point is the similarity between the pay per click adverts on the right and the descriptions in the natural listings. See an example advert
Because of the way Pay Per Click works and the fact that you pay for every person who clicks on one of your adverts, much more time is spent writing them, and testing them and probably re-writing some more!
In the example above, there are some key elements
- A qualifying statement (Mercedes-Benz Business.) This confirms if you are looking at the right advert.
- Benefits – (low-risk, low cost)
- Call to action – (request a custom quote now)
- Future promise (custom quote) This helps say what’s coming next/what to expect from the site.
Taking these few pointers, they can easily be applied to the meta description of any website.
- Let people know they are reading the right result
- What benefits do you offer
- Back up with features
- Give a call to action
- Include a few keywords as they bold in the description
This way, you will have a well crafted listing which will attract more clicks.
There are a few further thoughts.
- Just like pay per click adverts, there is limited characters. We normally like to stick to 160
- If you use a few keywords in the description, they will bold on the results page which also attracts more attention
Search engines live by their own rules. Sometimes you can write a description but if Google for instance thinks it can find better text on your site, it will use this instead. However, we have not seen many examples of this when time has been given to writing a good description. The time it seems to happen most often is when you have a page optimised for many keywords so Google ends up choosing the right description to match the keyword searched for.
So there we have it, some strategic thought about how to make more people click on the good search engine rankings we all desire. In competitive market niches, it can make all the difference!