Having a perfectly optimized site for SEO is a beautiful thing.
- The search engines have no problem crawling it
- Your site has no baggage like duplicate content or missing title tags
- Your pages are ranking for the right keywords
- And your users are not leaving in frustration because your site renders quickly on a mobile device.
So why aren’t more visitors flocking to your site?
One possible overlooked reason is that you are just not getting the click.
Is your front door scaring visitors away?
There is a reason that realtors like to see a nice front door for the house they are selling. It sets the tone for the rest of the house and leaves a lasting first impression.
A ugly front door? Not a great first impression.
A freshly painted door that has a nice design? The potential buyer starts dreaming of living there even before opening the door.
Each of your site’s web pages has a front door. Called snippets, these are the listings in the search engine results pages.
If you are familiar with SEO, you know that, that in most cases, the snippets are created from the title tag and meta description tag.
You also probably know that it’s important to have your keywords in both of these tags. While the meta description tag doesn’t help you rank, when it comes to your title tag it is the most important element of your HTML for ranking.
Neither the title tag or the meta description actually show up on the page. They live in the “HEAD” section of your html along with other meta information that describe the page and its characteristics.
You can see your title tag in your browser tab just like in the screenshot below.
As a SEO consultant I work everyday with clients to help their sites get more organic traffic by ranking highly in the search engine results pages. I’m often surprised at how often my clients don’t look at their “front doors” for their site.
It’s like dressing up the bathrooms with pretty towels but not doing anything about your dingy front door. If your prospective buyer drives by your house and crosses it off the list due to poor curb appeal, then those pretty towels haven’t helped you make your sale one bit.
Seeing a list of your “front doors”
Both Google and Bing have a handy command you can use with search to get a list of your pages snippets.
Simply add “site:” in front of your domain name and you should see a list of your website’s pages. If you have a larger site you likely won’t get a full list but you’ll see a sample.
The first thing to check is to make sure you have keywords in your snippets.
The second thing is to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal prospect and for each of your important pages ask yourself the question:
“Would I click on this?”
If the answer is “no” or “maybe” then you have some work to do.
And this is where SEO copywriting comes in.
What is SEO copywriting?
I’m sure you’ve heard that two heads are better than one. When we marry together the discipline of SEO and the art of copywriting we get an amazing tool that is truly more than the sum of its parts.
- SEO: the art and science of ranking your website highly in the search engine result pages
- Copywriting: persuasive writing that gets results
The SEO (search engine optimization) part takes care of the ranking. When it comes to copywriting and snippets it’s all about getting the click.
Because if you rank but no one clicks on your snippet, then well what’s the point?
Each snippet should be thought of as mini marketing messages for your website’s page. You need that “front door” to look its best.
Stop stuffing your tags with keywords
In the old days of SEO, we use to stuff our title tags with lots of keywords. Our snippets would look something like this:
Compare the above snippet with the this one:
Note the use of the verb “search” in the second snippet. You are inviting the searcher to take action. Students of copywriting and NLP know that “commands” like these can have powerful results.
You might be thinking whether the first snippet is better for SEO because it has more keywords.
Unlikely, here’s why:
Google has evolved to a point that it is no longer necessary to specify a list of closely related keywords in your title tags. It is possible (and common) to rank for a variant of a keyword that you have used in your tag. The precise keyword is often not needed.
I don’t mean to say that keywords are not important, they still are very important. You still need to give the search engines an idea of what your page covers. But in most cases you don’t need to stuff your title tags full of keywords. You include one, maybe two, of your best keywords and focus on writing an attractive title tag that searchers will want to click on.
Here’s another example that is even worse.
I’m not even sure what I would see if I clicked on this one. The meta description, which should enhance the message in the title tag, seems to be unrelated. Is it a blog or a credit card search engine?
That brings up another point. Your snippets should accurately represent the page so that the searcher feels like their query has been satisfied. Otherwise, you’ll get the click but your visitor will bounce off quickly.
In my course “SEO Copywriting: Rank and Get the Click” I walk through many more snippet examples like this and get into the details on how to improve your snippets so that you indeed get the click.
Here are three quick tips to keep in mind when you write your snippets:
- Add a verb to inspire action
- Specific numbers in your title tags have been proven to attract clicks
- Create curiosity based title tags that compels searchers to click through
By signing up for my course “SEO Copywriting: Rank and Get the Click”, you’’ll learn everything you need to know to rank, and get the click.
In the course, I cover keyword selection and show you all the cool keyword tools you’ll use to select keywords for your tags.
Once the searcher has clicked through, do they stay on the site or do they bounce off quickly? There is a section in the course covering how to write and format your pages so your visitor stays.
“SEO Copywriting: Rank and Get the Click” is normally available for $95 which is a deal in itself, however if you click on the above image, you can grab the course for just $15. See you on the inside!