Although important, high rankings are not the only goal for SEO companies and professionals when engaging in a search campaign. Business owners tend to want to focus solely on search engine rankings, but it is important to keep the overall goal in mind. After all, your main goal should be to attract potential customers to your website. Some SEO professionals believe that search engine rankings are slowly becoming less significant, because local and personalized search roles have increased. Therefore, you should prepare your business for both circumstances. Click through rates could make a world of difference when it comes to you verses your competition. Fortunately, there are several methods you should consider to make the most out of your search engine ranking.
- Title Tags
The first tip I have for you may seem obvious, but paying closer attention to your title tags can greatly improve your click through rates. Think about how important title tags are; this is the very first thing Google users see relating to your business. Take advantage of this opportunity to make an admirable first impression.Preferably your title tags will include a target keyword, along with supporting keywords and any branding you may want to add. For instance, lets pretend you run a website that provides retail store reviews. Your title tag should include keywords with the most traffic in order to attract potential viewers. Here is a perfect example:
Las Vegas Shopping Reviews – Find the Best Shops in Las Vegas | MySite.com
Its easy to see how much more enticing the title tag above is in comparison to something like:
Susie’s Shopping Review Website
Here are a few guidelines to follow when writing title tags:
- The title tags for each page should be unique
- 70 characters is the limit
- Keep search engines and human viewers in mind when writing them. You want your title tags to be useful by both parties.
- Choose keywords that are appropriate for a specific page of your site
2. Meta Description
The next step you should take when trying to improve your click through rates is to make sure all your pages have a captivating meta description tag that is unique.
Google usually uses the Meta description for the text shown below the title on their search results page. The Meta description is the perfect chance for you to write something about your company’s page with no restrictions. I always like to include a call to action in the Meta descriptions I write. Here is an example:
Please note that there are some instances when Google will not use a site’s Meta description to generate the text shown below the title on their search results page. To minimize the chances of this happening to you, here are a few guidelines.
Just like title tags, Meta descriptions need to be appropriate, compelling, and most importantly unique. If you have 100’s of website pages with the same Meta description, Google might attempt to generate their own description for you. This gives you no control over what users will see.
Make sure your Meta description is long enough for Google to use. 160 characters is the maximum for a Meta description, but get as close to that number as possible.
By following the previously mentioned guidelines for Meta descriptions, you should have no problem with Google using the descriptions you wrote. However, there is one more thing I can suggest to you. Consider adding this tag to the header of all pages:
This tag tells search engines to avoid using information from the Open Directory Project or the Yahoo Directory when generating description text about your website.
If you don’t want to have any snippets showing in the search engine page results you can use this tag:
3. Structured Mark-Up
When attempting to improve organic search click through rates, rich snippets are extremely important. If you are familiar with rich snippets and structured mark-ups, then it is easy to imagine how much of a difference these can make when standing out against competitors.
Example of rich snippet: Reviews showing on search engines.
Structured mark-up gives you the opportunity to show extra information to search engines, which helps them to understand the connection between the data sets on your webpages. Search engines use this extra information to gives users an easier to understand search result. Check out this example:
Right now, Google supports a diverse list of structured data like: Microformats, Microdata, and RDFa. It doesn’t matter too much which one you choose to use, it’s all about preference. To better understand your choices I suggest reading Google’s guide on rich snippets.
If you offer reviews, personal profiles, directory listings, products, recipes, videos, or event listings on your site then you should start taking advantage of structured mark-up immediately. See example above.
When using structured mark-up make sure the data you are offering search engines is the same as the data you are showing to viewers.
To check if you have implemented the structured mark up correctly, check it with this tool from Google: Structured Data Testing Tool
4.Breadcrumb Navigation & Keywords in URL
A breadcrumb style navigation structure is used for many reasons. This style of navigation will make your website extremely easy to use, but also will add several SEO benefits. Did you know there is a way to combine your breadcrumb navigation structure with structured mark-up? This will almost certainly increase your organic search click through rates.
Google now allows you to mark up your breadcrumb navigation links, which will change the appearance of your URLs in search engine results. Here is a comparison of the two:
In the green URL text here, you can see how Google was able to organize breadcrumb navigation and give an easier to read URL structure to their users. This difference may seem insignificant, but it may mean the difference of a user clicking on your site verses your competition site. Don’t worry too much if you can’t mark-up your website’s navigation as shown above. If you include appropriate keywords in your URL structure, Google will automatically bold certain parts of your URL making it an easy read:
What are Sitelinks? The term Sitelinks is used to describe the links that appear underneath certain websites in Google’s search results page. Unfortunately, sitelinks are entirely an algorithmic matter. There is no magic code that will enable Google to display sitelinks for your site, but there are methods you can choose to take advantage of that will increase the odds of getting sitelinks.
All content on your website should live in a suitable theme based silo. Also, make sure you are constantly using keyword rich anchor text when linking back to the landing pages on your site. Breadcrumb navigation can come in handy during this stage of improving your click through rates.
The suggestions and guidelines I have mentioned are easy to implement techniques that will improve your click through rates from search engine results. Remember, your overall goal should be to show potential customers clean, helpful information that stands out against your competition.
If you have any questions about the tips above connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damienwatts/, and I will be happy to answer them.
Damien Watts, CEO of +NRGY Marketing
17 February 2017
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