"Hello, My Name is PAY ATTENTION!"
Posted on 10/14/2020 at 07:00 AM
How to Grab Attention in Search Results.
Attention is the currency of our world. Why else would people ask you to "Pay Attention"? Warning labels typically start with "Attention!" for a reason. Attention is extremely valuable. Where we focus our attention determines what we do (or, just as importantly, what we don't do) next.
In digital strategy, a few seconds of attention can mean the difference between improved Click-Through Rate (CTR) and your intended audience scrolling right past you and onto your competitor's website. For this reason and many more explored in this article, anyone looking for a digital competitive advantage would do well to pay attention to all of the tips and tricks they can find to garner attention.
In the field of digital marketing there exists a unique and extremely important specialty: Search Marketers. Search Marketers specialize in white hat SEO (good SEO) and are taught from day one that two keys of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are understanding the value of title tags and meta descriptions, but just how valuable are Title Tags in helping influence SEO? According to Google, extremely valuable:
"Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It's often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it's important to use high-quality titles on your web pages." - Google, Webmaster Answers
Why Do Title Tags Matter?
Title Tags are the clickable link that people see in their search results. Titles actually carry quite a bit of weight in terms of SEO. As such, they play a critical role in terms of the search strategy. How they impact SEO boils down to a few specific roles that title tags play:
1. Title tags tell search engines what to expect on the webpage they lead to.
This is where all those hours of keyword research comes in to play. The "real estate" of a title tag is very limited (50-60 characters) so it is important to make sure that the relevant and related search terms are included in a title tag so that the search algorithms know what to recommend.
2. They capture the attention of the intended audience.
People may not read the full meta description, but they always read the title of the pages listed. Title tags are the very first thing that people see when they search for something. The right messaging and language can entice people to click-through to your website to learn more. The right title tag will answer a question, promise an answer, or play on the searcher's curiosity just enough to get them to want to see more.
3. Title tags directly impact one of Google's biggest ranking factors: CTR.
There is no other element of a featured snippet or search results page (SERP) that has a higher impact on CTR than the title tag. If you can't grab a searcher's attention in seconds through the words in your title tag, you've already lost.
Title Tag Best Practices
What is the best way to grab attention with title tags? Your team at Global Reach has spent countless hours researching the best practices for all things SEO, including title tags, so you don't have to! If you're new to crafting creative and strategic title tags, here's a great list of "rules-of-thumb" to get you started. If we can help in any way, feel free to let us know!
Every page should have a unique title tag.
This is to avoid "confusion" on the part of the search engines as to what kind of content can be found on which page of your website.
Use keywords wisely but avoid keyword stuffing.
Using repeated keywords or multiple keyword variants in the same title tag not only has no value, but it can also hurt your ranking overall.
Be descriptive and concise.
Remember, with only 50-60 words, you need to make the most of the space you have!
Be wise with branding.
You should brand your titles but be consistent and concise.
Get creative, answer questions, and tease but deliver on the promise.
Compelling titles convert. Make your titles as noticeable and inspired as possible. Promise an answer to the question they are using Google to find and be sure that the content on that page delivers the answer.
Test and re-test.
Thanks to Google Search Console, you can change the title tag of a page, reindex, and recrawl the URL that you changed the title for and you'll rather quickly be able to see how your changes impacted placement in search! Don't be afraid to change back if the results are underwhelming, but keep in mind it can take anywhere from minutes to hours to see these results.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, there is no sure-fire way to land on page one every time. SEO is a science and as such, is subject to the scientific method. It requires specialized knowledge across many aspects of your digital marketing efforts to be successful. That said, the above best practices are a great starting point to help you get found and start getting that coveted attention on page one of the SERP.
Kahn Academy explains The Scientifc Method as follows...
"At the core of biology and other sciences lies a problem-solving approach called the scientific method. The scientific method has five basic steps, plus one feedback step:
Make an observation.
Ask a question.
Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation.
Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
Test the prediction.
Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.
The scientific method is used in all sciences—including chemistry, physics, geology, and psychology. The scientists in these fields ask different questions and perform different tests. However, they use the same core approach to find answers that are logical and supported by evidence."
Using a similar approach with data-driven decision making, the Science of SEO becomes a bit less mysterious and a bit understandable. It's an ongoing process that requires commitment and dedication but pays back many times over.
You Need a Partner.
Finding the first page of major search engines is easier said than done. But here at Global Reach, we stay on the cutting edge of analyzing search engine algorithms, keyword research, and rich content strategies so you can always stay ahead of the competition.
Let us help you streamline your navigation, add sophistication to your content, and optimize your code in pursuit of page one. Ready to start driving traffic to your website? Let's talk!