7 Best Practices to Entice a Click
Title tags and meta descriptions are the mini organic “ads” that show up on a Search Engine Results Page. If your website has SEO authority and credibility for that keyword, you may appear on page one. There are only ten slots available; the top three get the lion’s share of clicks. These two pieces of metadata influences click-through rate (CTR), not how a search engine indexes your content. Since title tags and meta descriptions exist primarily for humans, knowing a little psychology can help make this teaser copy more enticing. Here are 7 tips to incorporate into your SEO writing:
1. Keyword Focus
The reason your Title Tag and Meta Description showed up on a SERP is because of a specific search phrase. Google knows that a human searcher wants to quickly identify results that best match to answer their question. That’s why they bold the keyword. We recommend using the keyword at the beginning of your title tag followed by your brand name. In the meta description, use the keyword to set an expectation of what your visitor will see if they click on your title tag link. Give them context. The better the match to their search intent, you’ll see higher click-through rates (CTRs), and lower page bounce rates. If you’ve provided enough quality content, you should also see the time on site stat increase as well as the number of pages visited.
2. …But Don’t Keyword Stuff
Mentioning your keyword once in the title tag is sufficient. Then use it again once in the meta description. Any more and it’s a turnoff because it feels manipulative.
3. Character Limits
Google continues to test title tag and meta description lengths. Currently, title tags range from 50-60 characters (depending upon how many pixels used by each letter. For meta description, character lengths range from 150-160 characters. You literally have room for one or two sentences. Make each letter count. Complete sentences aren’t necessary. If you go beyond the character limit, it gets shortened by search engines. There are also some variations to what search engines display. For example, Bing hovers around 150 characters. So, by keeping within the space limit, you control what your potential visitor reads.
4. Relevancy Affects Bounce Rate
Have you ever clicked on a search result only to figure out it has little or nothing to do with what was promised in the meta description? Annoying, right? That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your title tag and meta description matches the content on your web page You’re making a subtle promise to a visitor. If there’s a disconnect between your mini-ad and your content, then you are delivering a poor impression. And, it negatively affects your bounce rate. Search engines pay attention to this metric. It indicates a poor search experience. If it happens often enough, your organic SEO rankings can suffer.
5. Don’t Duplicate From Another Meta Description
Your website may have multiple pages that use the same keyword. Copying the same text over and over in your title tags and meta descriptions is a no-no. Why? It’s considered an error. By duplicating text, you aren’t differentiating between pages. Unique and enticing descriptions are clicked more often. In Search Console, Google tells you if you have missing or duplicate title tags and meta descriptions. Find and fix them.
6. No Cheesy Offers
Limited time offer. Call Now. Click Now. Yuck! Online searchers are smarter than these tactics. Again, summarize the page content from the reader’s point of view.
7. Don’t Copy/Paste from the Page’s Text
It may be tempting to copy/paste a sentence from the webpage’s actual text. You’re wasting a prime opportunity. By it’s very nature, ad copy is meant to entice. Your title tag and meta description is your chance to tempt a searcher. You’re demonstrating to a human that your webpage is the answer to their search query.
What gets you to click on a meta description? What would you add to this list?
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