Let’s put optimization a side for a minute. We all know by now that top search engine rankings will help drive traffic to your site, but it’s no guarantee. In fact, many sites with a higher ranking get less traffic than those with a lower ranking.
Why is that?
Because they haven’t optimized their title and meta description tags for clicks!
Optimization For Search Engines vs Optimization For Clicks
“Hold up!” You say. You optimized your title and meta description when you optimized the page. You made sure the keyword is present and it’s the right length.
I’ll counter that by saying that you may have optimized for rankings, but you didn’t optimize for clicks!
So, now I bet you’re wondering how to do that.
The good news is that you have already done the research. Keyword research. In there are a lot of familiar words that will help you better understand the basic language your visitors use when describing your products.
“But isn’t that what you already did?”
Yes and no. You got part of it, but now you have to figure out which other words that you uncovered will provide enticement to your visitors. In fact, the whole point of keyword optimization is creating content that uses the same language as your visitors. You have that language, so now you need to integrate it–not for rankings, but for clicks.
Use your keywords to write compelling and enticing title and meta description tags that compel searchers to click into your site. Do it well enough and you’ll find that even a lower ranking can generate more traffic, if your descriptions are more compelling than those of the sites above yours.
Optimizing For Clicks In Action
Take for example this search engine results page for the query “myrtle beach hotels.”
The highlighted result is the fourth one down, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it pulls in more clicks than the results above it. Why? Because it’s optimized for clicks. Unlike the second result that just basically lists synonyms for “hotel,” the fourth result gives a value proposition right in the title tag (“Guaranteed Lowest Prices”) while still including keywords “myrtle beach hotels” and “resorts.”
Both descriptions are decent, but I give the fourth result the win on this, too. While the second result says there are plenty of choices, the fourth results get more specific (“from kid-friendly resorts to romantic retreats”), painting a picture in the searcher’s mind. It once again reiterates that they have the guaranteed lowest rates, and it ends with a great call-to-action–“Plan your perfect trip now!” I don’t know about you, but this is a result I want to click!
Optimizing For Clicks is Optimizing for Users
Search rankings are great and all, but if no one clicks on your search results, your site is nothing more than a decoration on the SERPs. But by optimizing with a searcher’s eyes, you can kill two birds with one stone: Getting both rankings and clicks.