Boost your search results fast and cheap (Part 2)
By Katherine Andes
In Part 1, I discussed the importance of writing the meta tags for key pages of your web site. Most large and small companies neglect this important task.
Recently, I had a prospective national client call me about some web content writing work. As a matter of course, I always check a company’s meta tags first to see if they have that basic task done.
In this case, the tags simply weren’t written at all. I pointed this out to the prospect, and he replied, “Why didn’t the SEO guy I spent a ton of money with last year tell me that?”
I have a few theories about that, but that’s for another column …
The beauty of writing your meta tags — and writing them well — is that you can pretty much control what shows up about your company on a search engine page.
It’s not a guarantee because Google and other search engines reserve the right to pull up whatever they think is most relevant to the search query. But, in most instances, they’ll use what you write in your tags.
When you get search results from a web query, you see “snippets” about various website pages. The title snippet is in blue. Below the title is the description snippet in black. You’ve seen these a zillion times.
For example, I just did a search query on “sleeper beds.” None of the results on the first page showed a company with their tags well written! That means a sleeper bed company out there has a great opportunity to rank well in natural search results with some well-written tags.
I don’t want to embarrass any existing company, so I will make up a typical poorly written title tag:
Acme’s Sleeper Beds Home Page
Now why would you want something like that as a headline for your business? Why not put something like:
Sleeper Beds You Can Really Sleep On!
Wouldn’t that be more likely to get a prospect to click on your site?
Actually, in the above title, we have more room left so I would probably add another search query element, so it might read:
Sleeper Beds You Can Really Sleep On! | 1000s Sofa Sleepers
The second version adds the important “sofa” search term, a plural version of the word sleeper, and also adds a selling point — that a huge selection is available, and it will fit within the guidelines so that it’s not cut off.
The description tag should also be written to do three things: include the page’s important search keywords, include the selling keywords, and entice the user to click through to the page.
Remember, if the tags for your web pages aren’t written, a search engine algorithm will do it for you.
Easy Web Tip #25: If you are not getting the results and rankings from natural search queries, check with an online SEO copywriter to see if your meta tags are well written.
Katherine Andes is a consultant who specializes in web content development, including search engine optimization, and landing pages — especially in the home improvement market. You can phone her at 559.589.0379 or email at email@example.com.