Search engine optimization work continues even after the search engines have indexed your site. And, even when it ranks well on top of the SERPs. To sit back and relax will be your biggest mistake.
After getting found, your next step is to work on getting noticed. You have to get clicks. And, you have to be able to standout from the rest to get the most clicks than your competitors get from the same organic keyword search results page.
I posted about how search engines compete, and this time I’m showing you how you can compete well with a better understanding of honest to goodness SEO. I’ll do this by explaining further a subject matter from my Best SEO Practices list.
And, on we go. Here comes one of the tricky concepts that will almost always get in your way when doing SEO. You have to look at competition in search engine optimization very differently. When you think of competitors, you may be thinking that they are the following:
- The total number of pages in the search results for any query related to your website content – If you go to Google and perform a query that is related to your web page content and above the results you see the message: “About 4,120,000 results…”. Please do not take that number as the total number of competitors you have to deal with.
- All sites in the search results that appear to offer the same things you offer online – Sifting through as many search results pages as you can and pinpointing each and every company or blog out there that happens to offer and provide the same things as you do. Please, you don’t have to worry that much to gain search engine success.
To be more precise with your efforts, the only competitors you must concentrate on are those in top 10 that offer the same things you offer online.
ou can beat this smaller group of competitors in rankings by knowing how to get noticed better. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t even in the top 20 search results yet. If you focus on the right things, it will only be a matter of time until you make it to the top 10 search results and above the competition.
Keep in mind also that the higher you are ranked in the SERPs the higher number of clicks you get. However, a search engine like Google will put you on top if it sees that you deserve to be on top.
Search engines love it when more people click and stick to your website because it means more people like what you do online. Therefore, you can beat your competitor(s) if you do a better job at getting noticed the most by real people searching for real solutions.
So, let’s get working to get more organic clicks shall we?
The right things to focus on
Your title tag, also called the page title, is the first place where you have the opportunity to put your best foot forward in front of the people whom you want to click to your website coming from the organic search results.
Page titles for blogs
If you are wondering how you can optimize your blog post page title to attract clicks when it gets found in organic search results, the answer is very simple. The title you give your post becomes the post page’s title when the post gets published. Therefore, to make sure you are putting your best foot forward by the time your post gets indexed in the SERPs, create the best post title you can come up with.
If you think you can work better towards getting organic clicks by using a plugin that allows you to enter a title which is different than your post’s headline, then do it!
Page titles for static pages
Think about what your web page is all about:
- Ask yourself what is exactly being offered on that web page.
- Make sure the keyword you are putting in the title is also found on the body of the page itself.
- Determine what it is you offer on your web page which cannot be found anywhere else.
Page titles for product pages
When writing a title for any product page, your natural instinct will tell you to include the name of the product itself. More often than not, you don’t even come to think about SEO keywords when it comes to product page titles. In most cases, the name of the product is already your best keyword.
However, statistics show that 61% of Internet users research for products that they are “thinking to buy”. This gives a lot of room for these people to use broader keywords that describe the product they would like to buy. So, make sure to use the broader sense keyword in addition to the name of the product you want to get found by this large group of online shoppers.
Title Tags in general
There are many great resources on the Internet about writing great post titles and they are easy to find on websites that teach you how to do basic and advanced SEO. However, following all the experts and still fail on writing titles that make you standout enough to get noticed would be a waste of your time.
So, make sure your titles will standout.
Also, pay close attention to the length of the post title you are creating. Train yourself on writing titles that are neither too short nor too long. A title that is too short does not give you, or the search engines, or your audience enough space to make sense of what your web page is really about. And, with a page title that is too long, your message will get cut off in the search results snippet.
On the Internet, page titles are treated quite differently. You want a page title that is long enough and stands out while it still fulfills the following objectives:
Maximizes the available 66 characters of space to include at least one keyword. A keyword that matches a word from the search query will appear in bold text to show proof that the search result has the information being searched for. Use up to 66 characters of title length as a great way to make more sense than your competitor by presenting your keyword in a contextual manner. This will guide you better whether to use the exact match of your target keyword or a variation of it.
Conveys an easy to understand message about the web page so that people will know what to expect on the page which encourages them to click through. Your title should be good enough for people to click through to your website even without reading the description from the search result snippet. If you offer free shipping and your competitor doesn’t, for example, say it in your page title!
Includes the name of your company, blog, or brand. Search engines index and rank web pages, not websites. Make it a habit of including your brand, company name, or blog name in each of your individual page titles. Different groups of your audience will find a web page from your site within the SERPs. You are bound to miss some opportunities if one or more groups can’t instantly tell at a glance as to which blog they are headed for if they ever want to click.
If you failed to get the search engine user to click through after he or she has seen your title tag, don’t worry, you still have a chance that you’ll get that click with your meta description.
Meta Descriptions for blogs
Blogging platforms, typically, will take the first few sentences of your post and put them into the meta description of that post page. Use a plugin if:
- You don’t like the idea of having no meta description tag at all to let search engines decide which part of the web page should appear in the search results snippet as your meta description.
- You are not happy with merely letting the blogging platform’s system to simply take the same first few sentences it finds in your post.
- You feel uncomfortable writing a few sentences as your post introduction just to feed the meta description tag such a compelling enough meta description for the SERPs.
Meta Descriptions for static web pages
You should spend the time writing your own meta description if you don’t like the idea of having no meta description tag at all and let search engines decide which part of your content appear in the search results snippet as your meta description.
The method in making sure you write for yourself a meta description that will standout from the rest of the SERP crowd is practically the same as when writing your page title for static pages. I would like to repeat it, with a slight modification, to make sure you understand what that method is.
Think about what your web page is all about:
- Ask yourself what is exactly being offered on that web page.
- Make sure the keyword you are putting in the meta description is also found on the body of the page itself.
- Determine what it is you offer on your web page which isn’t available anywhere else.
Meta Descriptions for product pages
I personally find that it’s more fun writing a meta description for a product page. This type of web page gives you a more specific set of information to include into your meta description. For example, you can be more flexible by including a keyword in the product specifications, add a call to action while repeating the keyword or its variation for the last time, check for meta description SEO length, and you’re done.
Meta Descriptions in general
Although you can put more information into your meta description tag, you still have make it standout from your competitors’ descriptions.
You’ll want a meta description that is long enough and stands out while it still fulfills the following objectives:
Maximizes the available 156 characters of space to mention your keyword only twice. Each keyword that matches a word from the search query will appear in bold text to show proof that the search result has the information being searched for. Use up to 156 characters of meta description length as a great way to make a lot of sense than your competitor by presenting your keyword in a contextual manner. This will guide you better whether to use the exact match of your target keyword or a variation of it.
Conveys an easy to understand message about what it is you offer on the page so that people will know what to expect which encourages them to click through. With meta descriptions, search engines give you a lot more room to put your message into full sentences. For instance, assuming that after you’ve mentioned your free shipping promo in your title and you still didn’t get the click, make sure you say it again in the meta description along with details on how to avail such promo.
Includes the name of your company, blog, or brand. Search engines index and rank web pages, not websites. You’ve included it in your title but assuming the search engine user did not notice it, then you must also include it in your meta description. Make it a habit of including your brand, or company name, in each of your individual page meta description tags. Different groups of your audience will find a web page from your site within the SERPs. You are bound to miss some opportunities if one or more groups have missed this important information which you can use to standout.
Includes a call to action (CTA) statement. The meta description length of 156 characters will, most often than not, give you enough leftover space to have a call to action as your description’s closing statement. Your potential customer did not click after scanning your page title with his or her eyes. Chances are, for you to get your potential buyer to click through to your site, you have to literally tell him or her to go and visit your web site. Here are 50 Powerful Call to Action Phrases that will surely help you get started using the power of calls to action to your advantage in getting more clicks than your competitors can.
Finally, watch the video where, among all the SEO meta tags, Matt Cutts says you should be spending time in creating your own meta description.
There you have it!
Today, you’ve learned the following:
- You need to standout from your real competitors in organic search results.
- Getting indexed and ranked in the SERPs is one thing, getting noticed is another.
- You can standout from the SERP crowd by having a title tag and meta description that work in tandem to attract more clicks to your website.
- You saw how to approach page title and meta description writing on different web page types such as blog post pages, static pages, and product pages.
- You’ve seen two people who are considered as authorities in the field of SEO talk about the title tag (Aaron) and the meta description tag (Matt).