Beyond SEO – The Title and Description

Ranking on the first page for a targeted search phrase is wonderful, but that alone does not constitute a reason to celebrate. You still need to make sure your site is competitive in the search results. Too many times I have heard webmasters brag about a page one ranking in google, but what would impress me is to hear about the amazing amount of traffic their site receives because their site is so relevant to the searcher’s needs. Lessons from the marketing and advertising industry tell you that your site listing has to be more appealing than the competition, otherwise searchers will not waste the time to click on the listing for your site and choose a competitor. If your site is not receiving the click, then your CTR (click through rate) will suffer and will probably start to lose rankings too. However, there is no need to fear. You can increase your CTR if you spend a little bit of time and tailor your site description and title to attract the searcher.

Take a second and think about the searcher’s point of view. What would interest someone enough to click on your site? Is it your amazing product, your award winning service, excellent features or your cutting-edge information? No matter what your site offers, it is the attractive title and description that entices the searcher to click on your site. This is where selective SEO features (such as title tag and site description) come in handy to promote your site offers to searchers.

The Basics of SEO
If you are reading this post, you probably have already read a zillion articles about the fundamentals of SEO/ Search Engine Optimization. Basic SEO components are completely vital to success but primarily focus on the site ranking and not the CTR. Friendly URLs, Keyword density, sitemaps, bolded keywords and incoming links are great elements to ensure your site ranks for the targeted keywords – yet you must enhance your strategy just a bit more to make sure you are competitive in the page of search results. The title tag and site description play a significant role in SEO (especially the title tag), however you cannot forget to think about what happens after you start to get high rankings for targeted keyword phrases.

My Site Ranks in Google – Now What?

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Above is an example listing for the keyword phrase “Omega Wire Gate Carabiner” in Google. As you can see from the graphic, the link (or title) provides an brief overview of the content for the page and maybe the site. The description provides more detail about what to expect if one were to click on the link. In the listing, the link is usually the page title in the code and the description is usually pulled from the description meta tag from the page code. When reviewing the page code, the words between the <title> and </title> is your page title and the words within the following tag is your description: <meta name=”description” content=”Description Here”>.

serps-wiregate-carabiner3-copyAbove is a sample of several listings for the keyword phrase “Omega Wire Gate Carabiner” in Google. Comparing the listings, think about which listing looks the most appealing? All three listings offer the product that I am looking for, Omega Wire Gate Carabiner, but Altrec.com stands out a bit more because it lists features such as free shipping and 100% satisfaction while the other listings only provide information about the product. In this particular case, I know the product that I am looking for, I am just looking for the best deal. When it comes to decision time, I am going to click on the listing for Altrec.com because of the additional features. The site listing simply looks more appealing to me. With the short attention span of web users, if you do not grab the searcher’s attention immediately, you could possibly lose a visit or a conversion.

But I Cannot Create Appealing Copy
No worries. If copywriting is not your strength, then consider hiring a professional. There are many providers to choose from. I have used Watts Writing Studio – Professional Writing Services for many of my projects with great results. However, you should shop around and do your research to find the copywriting or branding company that best fits your needs.

Getting to Know Your Visitors
You must know what your converting visitors like. Testing is the best way to get to know your visitors and what persuades them to click. Using PPC (pay per click) advertising can provide simple testing environments for webmasters to test sales copy. The big three search engine ad platforms (Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft Bing/Live) all provide opportunities for all advertisers to test different ad copy.

Advertisers can test call-to-action phrases like “find out more” and “act today” and see what the viewers prefer. To investigate even further, advertisers can determine what words not only bring traffic but the words that help initiate conversions.

Content is King
Success comes down to the site that has the best content, appeal and reach (assuming there is demand) will prevail. Enhancing your page title and description for ranking pages, will increase your click through rate and ultimately your overall success.

Once you have the click, then your next challenge is to focus post click optimization. I will cover this topic in a later post.

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