Search Engine Optimisation is the buzzword 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 focused 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… Take a look at the graphic below (and yes, it’s a shameless plug). 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, it’s this bit of text that the SEOs like to play with and it 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 SEOs 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. 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! Take a look at this sample advert. 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. These few pointers can easily be applied to the meta description of any website. Use the list below to make sure you’ve pimped out your Google listing as much as possible. 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 are 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 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! Related articles Guy Levine’s pay per click bootcamp Guy Levine on Google, porn and engagement rings Survival of the Fastest: Guy Levine on internet marketing
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