It’s no secret that most clicks for any website come from organic search listings. But Search Engine Land recently showed how most B2B businesses do a poor job of optimizing their websites to encourage the click-through. I found it rather enlightening.
So the question is, how do you optimize your website to encourage the click-through?
First, you must understand that on-page SEO elements like keywords and anchor text are very important. You must have a highly optimized web page, but no one will see the web page until they click on the listing in the SERP? How do you encourage that click-through?
A web page not optimized for the right keywords is not going to rank high enough for it to matter so it’s important that you do your research and find out what the right keywords are (we’ll leave that for another post). Assuming you’ve done that, you write a knock out page that will surely close the sale – if you could just get the visitors to the website. Let’s further assume that your on-page and off-page SEO move your website to one of the top 3 listings in the SERP. What now?
There are two meta tags you should concern yourself with and you’ve got to put some thought into them. I mean, you really should put some thought into them.
Your title tag and your description tag will be seen on the SERP when a searcher finds your website. Let’s use “chaise lounge” as an example. I searched for this key phrase and got my list of over 1 million results. Will any of them have what I want?
The top organic listing is for www.chaiselounge.com. Here’s a screenshot:
I want you to notice two listings: The top listing and the bottom listing. We’ll compare the two.
The title tag of your web page will appear as big blue underlined text, which is a link to your web page. In this case, the two web pages we’re comparing are:
- Chaise Lounge Outdoor
- Chaise Lounge: Shop Chaise Lounges at ChaiseLounges.com
Of these two title tags, the second one is much more descriptive. It tells me exactly what I want to know. If I’m in the market for a chaise lounge then I can find one at ChaiseLounges.com. the first title tag really doesn’t tell me anything. Which brings me to my first point: Make sure your title tag is descriptive and tells the searcher exactly what to expect if they click on your link.
Now let’s look at the description tags. Those appear just below the title link. Here’s what we see:
Outdoor chaise lounge furniture from ChaiseLounge.com. Outdoor chaise lounge chairs for pool and patio including cushions. Discount on quantity sales.
ChaiseLounges.com is the premier online retailer of chaise lounges. We offer the a large selection of chaise lounges which you can browse 24/7.
In this case, the first one is much more descriptive. I know by reading it that I can find outdoor chaise lounge furniture by clicking on that link. I also know that if I want more than one chaise lounge then I may get a discount by shopping at that retailer. By contrast, the second description tag doesn’t really tell me much. It is vague with such phrasing as “premier online retailer of chaise lounges.” They both use the keyword, which is good, but the first tag is much better written. ChaiseLounges.com makes the mistake of writing marketing copy that doesn’t resonate with me, a searcher of information. Then, they follow that up with a typo – a big no, no in your description tag. You don’t want searchers finding typos on Google before they ever reach your website! And who wants to “browse?” I’m in the market; I want to BUY.
Second lesson: Make sure your description tag is descriptive, uses the important keyword, is focused, and tells the searcher exactly what she will find on your website. Don’t just write vague, marketing slogans. That won’t get you anywhere.