Tag Archive | "Title"

7 SEO Title Tag Hacks for Increased Rankings + Traffic – Best of Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

We’re bringing back an oldie but a goodie this Friday! In today’s highly popular throwback, Cyrus Shepard calls out seven super-easy and timeless hacks to keep your title tags clickable in the SERPs. Check them out and share your own with us in the comments below!

Title tag hacks for increased rankings and traffics

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m very excited to be here today. My name is Cyrus. I’m a Moz associate. Today I want to talk you about title tags, specifically title tag hacks to increase your traffic and rankings.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Are title tags even still important today in SEO?” You bet they are. We’ve done a lot of correlation studies in the past. Those correlation studies have shown different things sort of decreasing in the past years. But we’ve also seen a lot of experiments recently where people have changed their title tag and seen a significant, measurable increase in their rankings.

Now, the other aspect of title tags that people sometimes forget about is the click-through rate that you get, which can measurably increase your traffic if you get the title tag right. Now, what’s neat about increasing your traffic through click-through rate is we’ve seen a lot of experiments, Rand has experimented a lot, that if you can increase this, you can measurably increase this.

Traffic through increased clicks can seem to increase your rankings under certain circumstances. So you get the dual benefit. So that’s what I want to talk to you about today — increasing those rankings, increasing that traffic by changing the first thing that your visitor is going to see in the SERPs.

So the important thing to remember is that these are things to experiment with. Not all of these hacks are going to work for you. SEO is founded in best practices, but true success is founded when you experiment and try different things. So try some of these out and these will give you an idea of where to get started in some of your title tag experiments.

1. Numbers

Numbers kind of pop out at you. These are examples: “5 Signs of a Zombie Apocalypse” or “How Mutants Can Save 22% on Car Insurance.”

  • Cognitive Bias – Standout specific – When you see these in SERPs, they tend to get a slightly higher click-through rate sometimes. This works because of a cognitive bias. Our brains are trained to find things that stand out and are specific. When you’re scanning search results, that’s a lot of information. So your brain is going to try to find some things that it can grasp on to, and numbers are the ultimate things that are both specific and they stand out. So sometimes, in certain circumstances, you can get a higher click-through rate by using numbers in your title tags.

2. Dates

Rand did an excellent Whiteboard Friday a few weeks ago, we’ll link to it below. These are things like “Best Actress Oscar Nominee 2017″ or even more specific, you can get the month in there, “Top NFL Fantasy Draft Picks September 2017.”

Now, Rand talks about this a lot. He talks about ways of finding dates in your keyword research. The key in that research is when you’re using tools like Keyword Explorer or Google AdWords or SEMrush, you have to look for previous years. So if I was searching for this year’s, we don’t have enough data yet for 2017, so I would look for “Best Actress Oscar Nominee 2016.”

  • Leverage your CMS – If you use WordPress, if you use Yoast plugin, you can actually have your title tags update automatically year-to-year or even month-to-month leveraging that. It’s not right for all circumstances, but for certain keyword queries it works pretty well.

3. Length

This is one of the most controversial, something that causes the most angst in SEO is when we’re doing audits or looking at title tags. Inevitably, when you’re doing an SEO audit, you find two things. You find title tags that are way too short, “Pantsuit,” or title tags that are way, way, way too long because they just want to stuff every keyword in there, “Tahiti ASL Red Pantsuit with Line Color, Midrise Belt, Hook-eye Zipper, Herringbone Knit at Macy’s.”

Now, these two, they’re great title tags, but there are two problems with this. This is way too broad. “Pantsuit” could be anything. This title tag is way too diluted. It’s hard to really know what that is about. You’re trying to scan it. You’re trying to read it. Search engines are going to look at it the same way. Is this about a pantsuit? Is it about herringbone knit? It’s kind of hard.

  • Etsy study – So Etsy recently did a study where Etsy measured hundreds of thousands of URLs and they shortened their title tags, because, more often than not, the longer title tag is a problem. Shorter title tags, not so much. You see longer title tags in the wild more often. When they shortened the title tags, they saw a measurable increase in rankings.
  • 50–60 Characters – This is one of those things where best practices usually is the best way to go because the optimal length is usually 50 to 60 characters.
  • Use top keywords – When you’re deciding what keywords to put it when you’re shortening this, that’s where you want to use your keyword research and find the keywords that your visitors are actually using.

So if I go into my Analytics or Google Search Console, I can see that people are actually searching for “pantsuit,” “Macy’s,” and maybe something like that. I can come up with a title tag that fits within those parameters, “Tahiti ASL Red Pantsuit,” “pantsuits” the category, “Macy’s.” That’s going to be your winning title tag and you’ll probably see an increase in rankings.

4. Synonyms and variants

Now, you’ll notice in this last title tag, the category was a plural of pantsuit. That can actually help in some circumstances. But it’s important to realize that how you think your searchers are searching may not be how they’re actually searching.

Let’s say you do your keyword research and your top keywords are “cheap taxis.” You want to optimize for cheap taxis. Well, people may be looking for that in different ways. They may be looking for “affordable cabs” or “low cost” or “cheap Ubers,” things like that.

So you want to use those variants, find out what the synonyms and variants are and incorporate those into your title tag. So my title tag might be “Fast Affordable Cabs, Quick Taxi, Your Cheap Ride.” That’s optimized for like three different things within that 50 to 60 word limit, and it’s going to hit all those variants and you can actually rank a little higher for using that.

  • Use SERPs/keyword tools – The way you find these synonyms and variants, you can certainly look in the SERPs. Type your keyword into the SERPs, into Google and see what they highlight bold in the search results. That will often give you the variants that people are looking for, that people also ask at the bottom of the page. Your favorite keyword tool, such as Keyword Explorer or SEMrush or whatever you choose and also your Analytics. Google Search Console is a great source of information for these synonyms and variants.

5. Call to action

Now, you won’t often find the call-to-action words in your keyword research, but they really help people click. These are action verbs.

  • Action wordsbuy, find download, search, listen, watch, learn, and access. When you use these, they give a little bit more excitement because they indicate that the user will be able to do something beyond the keyword. So they’re not necessarily typing it in the search box. When they see it in results, it can create, “Oh wow, I get to download something.” It provides a little something extra, and you can increase your click-through rates that way.

6. Top referring keywords

This is a little overlooked, and it’s sort of an advanced concept. Oftentimes we optimize our page for one set of keywords, but the traffic that comes to it is another set of keywords. But what’s very powerful is when people type their words into the search box and they see those exact same words in the title tags, that’s going to increase your click-through rate.

For an example, I went into the analytics here at Moz and I looked at Followerwonk. I found the top referring keywords in Google Search Console are “Twitter search,” “search Twitter bios,” and “Twitter analytics.” Those are how people or what people are looking for right before they click on the Followerwonk listing in Google.

So using that information, I might write a title tag like “Search Twitter Bios with Followerwonk, the Twitter Analytics Tool.” That’s a pretty good title tag. I’m kind of proud of that. But you can see it hits all my major keywords that people are using. So when I type in “Twitter analytics” into the search box and I see “The Twitter Analytics Tool,” I’m more likely to click on that.

So I’ve written about this before, but it’s very important to optimize your page, not only for the traffic you’re trying to get, but the traffic you’re actually receiving. When you can marry those two, you can be stronger in all aspects.

7. Questions

Questions are great tools to use in your title tags. These are things like, “Where Do Butterflies Migrate?” Maybe your keyword is just “butterflies migrate.” But by asking a question, you create a curiosity gap, and you give people an incentive to click. Or “What is PageRank?” That’s something we do here at Moz. So you get the curiosity gap.

But oftentimes, by asking a question, you get the bonus of winning a featured snippet. Britney Muller wrote an awesome, awesome post about this a while back about questions people also ask, how to find those in your keyword research and claim those featured snippets and claim “people also ask” boxes. It’s a great, great way to increase your traffic.

So these are seven tips. Let us know your tips for title tags in the comments below. If you like this video, I’d appreciate a thumbs up. Share it with your friends on social media. I’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Announcing 5 NEW Feature Upgrades to Moz Pro’s Site Crawl, Including Pixel-Length Title Data

Posted by Dr-Pete

While Moz is hard at work on some major new product features (we’re hoping for two more big launches in 2017), we’re also working hard to iterate on recent advances. I’m happy to announce that, based on your thoughtful feedback, and our own ever-growing wish lists, we’ve recently launched five upgrades to Site Crawl.

1. Mark Issues as Fixed

It’s fine to ignore issues that don’t matter to your site or business, but many of you asked for a way to audit fixes or just let us know that you’ve made a fix prior to our next data update. So, from any issues page, you can now select items and “Mark as fixed” (screens below edited for content).

Fixed items will immediately be highlighted and, like Ignored issues, can be easily restored…

Unlike the “Ignore” feature, we’ll also monitor these issues for you and warn you if they reappear. In a perfect world, you’d fix an issue once and be done, but we all know that real web development just doesn’t work out that way.

2. View/Ignore/Fix More Issues

When we launched the “Ignore” feature, many of you were very happy (it was, frankly, long overdue), until you realized you could only ignore issues in chunks of 25 at a time. We have heard you loud and clear (seriously, Carl, stop calling) and have taken two steps. First, you can now view, ignore, and fix issues 100 at a time. This is the default – no action or extra clicks required.

3. Ignore Issues by Type

Second, you can now ignore entire issue types. Let’s say, for example, that Moz.com intentionally has 33,000 Meta Noindex tags (for example). We really don’t need to be reminded of that every week. So, once we make sure none of those are unintentional, we can go to the top of the issue page and click “Ignore Issue Type”:

Look for this in the upper-right of any individual issue page. Just like individual issues, you can easily track all of your ignored issues and start paying attention to them again at any time. We just want to help you clear out the noise so that you can focus on what really matters to you.

4. Pixel-length Title Data

For years now, we’ve known that Google cut display titles by pixel length. We’ve provided research on this subject and have built our popular title tag checker around pixel length, but providing this data at product scale proved to be challenging. I’m happy to say that we’ve finally overcome those challenges, and “Pixel Length” has replaced Character Length in our title tag diagnostics.

Google currently uses a 600-pixel container, but you may notice that you receive warnings below that length. Due to making space to add the “…” and other considerations, our research has shown that the true cut-off point that Google uses is closer to 570 pixels. Site Crawl reflects our latest research on the subject.

As with other issues, you can export the full data to CSV, to sort and filter as desired:

Looks like we’ve got some work to do when it comes to brevity. Long title tags aren’t always a bad thing, but this data will help you much better understand how and when Google may be cutting off your display titles in SERPs and decide whether you want to address it in specific cases.

5. Full Issue List Export

When we rebuilt Site Crawl, we were thrilled to provide data and exports on all pages crawled. Unfortunately, we took away the export of all issues (choosing to divide those up into major issue types). Some of you had clearly come to rely on the all issues export, and so we’ve re-added that functionality. You can find it next to “All Issues” on the main “Site Crawl Overview” page:

We hope you’ll try out all of the new features and report back as we continue to improve on our Site Crawl engine and UI over the coming year. We’d love to hear what’s working for you and what kind of results you’re seeing as you fix your most pressing technical SEO issues.

Find and fix site issues now

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Bing improves autocomplete suggestions for academic paper & movie title queries

Bing says autocomplete suggestions for movies will analyze a user’s natural language and intent to deliver the most likely interpretations.

The post Bing improves autocomplete suggestions for academic paper & movie title queries appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Headline Writing and Title Tag SEO in a Clickbait World – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

When writing headlines and title tags, we’re often conflicted in what we’re trying to say and (more to the point) how we’re trying to say it. Do we want it to help the page rank in SERPs? Do we want people to be intrigued enough to click through? Or are we trying to best satisfy the searcher’s intent? We’d like all three, but a headline that achieves them all is incredibly difficult to write.

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand illustrates just how small the intersection of those goals is, and offers a process you can use to find the best way forward.

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard!

title tag whiteboard

Video transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about writing titles and headlines, both for SEO and in this new click-bait, Facebook social world. This is kind of a challenge, because I think many folks are seeing and observing that a lot of the ranking signals that can help a page perform well are often preceded or well correlated with social activity, which would kind of bias us towards saying, “Hey, how can I do these click-baity, link-baity sorts of social viral pieces,” versus we’re also a challenge with, “Gosh, those things aren’t as traditionally well performing in search results from a perhaps click-through rate and certainly from a search conversion perspective. So how do we balance out these two and make them work together for us based on our marketing goals?” So I want to try and help with that.

Let’s look at a search query for Viking battles, in Google. These are the top two results. One is from Wikipedia. It’s a category page — Battles Involving the Vikings. That’s pretty darn straightforward. But then our second result — actually this might be a third result, I think there’s a indented second Wikipedia result — is the seven most bad ass last stands in the history of battles. It turns out that there happen to be a number of Viking related battles in there, and you can see that in the meta description that Google pulls. This one’s from Crack.com.

These are pretty representative of the two different kinds of results or of content pieces that I’m talking about. One is very, very viral, very social focused, clearly designed to sort of do well in the Facebook world. One is much more classic search focused, clearly designed to help answer the user query — here’s a list of Viking battles and their prominence and importance in history, and structure, and all those kinds of things.

Okay. Here’s another query — Viking jewelry. Going to stick with my Viking theme, because why not? We can see a website from Viking jewelry. This one’s on JellDragon.com. It’s an eCommerce site. They’re selling sterling silver and bronze Viking jewelry. They’ve actually done very classic SEO focus. Not only do they have Viking jewelry mentioned twice, in the second instance of Viking jewelry, I think they’ve intentionally — I hope it was intentionally — misspelled the word “jewelry” to hopefully catch misspellings. That’s some old-school SEO. I would actually not recommend this for any purpose.

But I thought it was interesting to highlight versus in this search result it takes until page three until I could really find a viral, social, targeted, more link-baity, click-baity type of article, this one from io9 — 1,000 Year-old Viking Jewelry Found On Danish Farm. You know what the interesting part is? In this case, both of these are on powerful domains. They both have quite a few links to them from many external sources. They’re pretty well SEO’d pages.

In this case, the first two pages of results are all kind of small jewelry website stores and a few results from like Etsy and Amazon, more powerful authoritative domains. But it really takes a long time before you get these, what I’d consider, very powerful, very strong attempts at ranking for Viking jewelry from more of your click-bait, social, headline, viral sites. io9 certainly, I would kind of expect them to perform higher, except that this doesn’t serve the searcher intent.

I think Google knows that when people look for Viking jewelry, they’re not looking for the history of Viking jewelry or where recent archeological finds of Viking jewelry happened. They’re looking specifically for eCommerce sites. They’re trying to transact and buy, or at least view and see what Viking jewelry looks like. So they’re looking for photo heavy, visual heavy, potentially places where they might buy stuff. Maybe it’s some people looking for artifacts as well, to view the images of those, but less of the click-bait focus kind of stuff.

This one I think it’s very likely that this does indeed perform well for this search query, and lots of people do click on that as a positive result for what they’re looking for from Viking battles, because they’d like to see, “Okay, what were the coolest, most amazing Viking battles that happened in history?”

You can kind of see what’s happened here with two things. One is with Hummingbird and Google’s focus on topic modeling, and the other with searcher intent and how Google has gotten so incredibly good at pattern matching to serve user intent. This is really important from an SEO perspective to understand as well, and I like how these two examples highlight it. One is saying, “Hey, just because you have the most links, the strongest domain, the best keyword targeting, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll rank if you’re not serving searcher intent.”

Now, when we think about doing this for ourselves, that click-bait versus searched optimized experience for our content, what is it about? It’s really about choosing. It’s about choosing searcher intent, our website and marketing goals, or click-bait types of goals. I’ve visualized the intersection here with a Venn diagram. So these in pink here, the click-bait pieces that are going to resonate in social media — Facebook, Twitter, etc. Blue is the intent of searchers, and purple is your marketing goals, what you want to achieve when visitors get to your site, the reason you’re trying to attract this traffic in the first place.

This intersection, as you will notice, is super, uber tiny. It is miniscule. It is molecule sized, and it’s a very, very hard intersection to hit. In fact, for the vast majority of content pieces, I’m going to say that it’s going to be close to, not always, but close to impossible to get that perfect mix of click-bait, intent of searchers, and your marketing goals. The times when it works best is really when you’re trying to educate your audience or provide them with informational value, and that’s also something that’s going to resonate in the social web and something searchers are going to be looking for. It works pretty well in B2B types of things, particularly in spaces where there’s lots of influencers and amplifiers who also care about educating their followers. It doesn’t work so well when you’re trying to target Viking battles or Viking jewelry. What can I say, the historians of the Viking world simply aren’t that huge on Twitter yet. I hope they will be one day.

This is kind of the process that I would use to think about the structure of these and how to choose between them. First off, I think you need to ask, “Should I create a single piece of content to target all of these, or should I instead be thinking about individual pieces that hit one or two at a time?”

So it could be the case that maybe you’ve got an intersection of intent for searchers and your marketing goals. This happens quite a bit, and oftentimes for these folks, for the Jell Dragon Viking Jewelry, the intent of searchers and what they’re trying to accomplish on their site, perfectly in harmony, but definitely not with click-bait pieces that are going to resonate on the web. More challenging for io9 with this kind of a thing, because searchers just aren’t looking for that around Viking jewelry. They might instead be thinking about, “Hey, we’re trying to target the specific news item. We want anyone who looks for Viking jewelry in Danish farm, or Viking jewelry found, or those kind of things to be finding our site.”

Then, I would ask, “How can I best serve my own marketing goals, the marketing goals of my website through the pages that are targeted at search or social?” Sometimes that’s going to be very direct, like it is over here with JellDagon.com trying to convert folks and folks looking for Viking jewelry to buy.

Sometimes it’s going to be indirect,. A Moz Whiteboard Friday, for example, is a very indirect example. We’re trying to serve the intent of searchers and in the long term eventually, maybe sometime in the future some folks who watch this video might be interested in Moz’ tools or going to MozCon or signing up for an email list, or whatever it is. But our marketing goals are secondary and they’re further in the future. You could also think about that happening at the very end of a funnel, coming in if someone searches for say Moz versus Searchmetrics and maybe Searchmetrics has a great page comparing what’s better about their service versus Moz’ service and those types of things, and getting right in at the end of the funnel. So that should be a consideration as well. Same thing with social.

Then lastly, where are you going to focus that keyword targeting and the content foci efforts? What kind of content are you going to build? How are you going to keyword target them best to achieve this, and how much you interlink between those pages?

I’ll give you a quick example over here, but this can be expanded upon. So for my conversion page, I may try and target the same keywords or a slightly more commercial variation on the search terms I’m targeting with my more informational style content versus entertainment social style content. Then, conversion page might be separate, depending on how I’m structuring things and what the intent of searchers is. My click-bait piece may be not very keyword focused at all. I might write that headline and say, “I don’t care about the keywords at all. I don’t need to rank here. I’m trying to go viral on social media. I’m trying to achieve my click-bait goals. My goal is to drive traffic, get some links, get some topical authority around this subject matter, and later hopefully rank with this page or maybe even this page in search engines.” That’s a viable goal as well.

When you do that, what you want to do then is have a link structure that optimizes around this. So your click-bait piece, a lot of times with click-bait pieces they’re going to perform worse if you go over and try and link directly to your conversion page, because it looks like you’re trying to sell people something. That’s not what plays on Facebook, on Twitter, on social media in general. What plays is, “Hey, this is just entertainment, and I can just visit this piece and it’s fun and funny and interesting.”

What plays well in search, however, is something that let’s someone accomplish their tasks. So it’s fine to have information and then a call to action, and that call to action can point to the conversion page. The click-bait pieces content can do a great job of helping to send link equity, ranking signals, and maybe some visitor traffic who’s interested in truly learning more over to the informational page that you want ranking for search. This is kind of a beautiful way to think about the interaction between the three of these when you have these different levels of foci, when you have these different searcher versus click-bait intents, and how to bring them all together.

All right everyone, hope to see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

http://www.w3newbie.com/responsive-html5-web-design-tutorial-and-free-template-code/ (Source Code) In this video tutorial you will see how to make a basic HTML5 responsive website with a basic…

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Is that Mind-Blowing Title Blowing Your Credibility? You Decide

Posted by Isla_McKetta

tantalus

What if I told you I could teach you to write the perfect headline? One that is so irresistible every person who sees it will click on it. You’d sign up immediately and maybe even promise me your firstborn.

But what if I then told you not one single person out of all the millions who will click on that headline will convert? And that you might lose all your credibility in the process. Would all the traffic generated by that “perfect” headline be worth it?

Help us solve a dispute

It isn’t really that bad, but with all the emphasis lately on
headline science and the curiosity gap, Trevor (your faithful editor) and I (a recovering copywriter) started talking about the importance of headlines and what their role should be in regards to content. I’m for clickability (as long as there is strong content to back the headline) and, if he has to choose, Trevor is for credibility (with an equal emphasis on quality of the eventual content).

credible vs clickable headlines

What’s the purpose of a headline?

Back in the good ol’ days, headlines were created to sell newspapers. Newsboys stood on street corners shouting the headlines in an attempt to hawk those newspapers. Headlines had to be enough of a tease to get readers interested but they had to be trustworthy enough to get a reader to buy again tomorrow. Competition for eyeballs was less fierce because a town only had so many newspapers, but paper cost money and editors were always happy to get a repeat customer.

Nowadays the competition for eyeballs feels even stiffer because it’s hard to get noticed in the vast sea of the internet. It’s easy to feel a little desperate. And it seems like the opportunity cost of turning away a customer is much lower than it was before. But aren’t we doing content as a product? Does the quality of that product matter?

The forbidden secrets of clickable headlines

There’s no arguing that headlines are important. In fact, at MozCon this year, Nathalie Nahai suggested an 80:20 ratio of energy spent on headline to copy. That might be taking things a bit far, but a bad (or even just boring) headline will tank your traffic. Here is some expert advice on writing headlines that convert: 

  • Nahai advises that you take advantage of psychological trigger words like, “weird,” “free,” “incredible,” and “secret” to create a sense of urgency in the reader. Can you possibly wait to read “Secret Ways Butter can Save Your Life”?
  • Use question headlines like “Can You Increase Your Sales by 45% in Only 5 Minutes a Day?” that get a reader asking themselves, “I dunno, can I?” and clicking to read more.
  • Key into the curiosity gap with a headline like “What Mother Should Have Told You about Banking. (And How Not Knowing is Costing You Friends.)” Ridiculous claim? Maybe, but this kind of headline gets a reader hooked on narrative and they have to click through to see how the story comes together.
  • And if you’re looking for a formula for the best headlines ever, Nahai proposes the following:
    Number/Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise = Killer Headline.

Many readers still (consciously or not) consider headlines a promise. So remember, as you fill the headline with hyperbole and only write eleven of the twelve tips you set out to write, there is a reader on the other end hoping butter really is good for them.

The headline danger zone

This is where headline science can get ugly. Because a lot of “perfect” titles simply do not have the quality or depth of content to back them.

Those types of headlines remind me of the Greek myth of Tantalus. For sharing the secrets of the gods with the common folk, Tantalus was condemned to spend eternity surrounded by food and drink that were forever out of his reach. Now, content is hardly the secrets of the gods, but are we tantalizing our customers with teasing headlines that will never satisfy?

buzzfeed headlines

For me, reading headlines on
BuzzFeed and Upworthy and their ilk is like talking to the guy at the party with all those super wild anecdotes. He’s entertaining, but I don’t believe a word he says, soon wish he would shut up, and can’t remember his name five seconds later. Maybe I don’t believe in clickability as much as I thought…

So I turn to credible news sources for credible headlines.

washington post headlines

I’m having trouble deciding at this point if I’m more bothered by the headline at
The Washington Post, the fact that they’re covering that topic at all, or that they didn’t really go for true clickbait with something like “You Won’t Believe the Bizarre Reasons Girls Scream at Boy Band Concerts.” But one (or all) of those things makes me very sad. 

Are we developing an immunity to clickbait headlines?

Even
Upworthy is shifting their headline creation tactics a little. But that doesn’t mean they are switching from clickbait, it just means they’ve seen their audience get tired of the same old tactics. So they’re looking for new and better tactics to keep you engaged and clicking.

The importance of traffic

I think many of us would sell a little of our soul if it would increase our traffic, and of course those clickbaity curiosity gap headlines are designed to do that (and are mostly working, for now).

But we also want good traffic. The kind of people who are going to engage with our brand and build relationships with us over the long haul, right? Back to what we were discussing in the intro, we want the kind of traffic that’s likely to convert. Don’t we?

As much as I advocate for clickable headlines, the riskier the headline I write, the more closely I compare overall traffic (especially returning visitors) to click-throughs, time on page, and bounce rate to see if I’ve pushed it too far and am alienating our most loyal fans. Because new visitors are awesome, but loyal customers are priceless.

Headline science at Moz

At Moz, we’re trying to find the delicate balance between attracting all the customers and attracting the right customers. In my first week here when Trevor and Cyrus were polling readers on what headline they’d prefer to read, I advocated for a more clickable version. See if you can pick out which is mine…

headline poll

Yep, you guessed it. I suggested “Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird” because it contained a trigger word and a keyword, plus it was punchy. I actually liked “A Layman’s Explanation of the Panda Algorithm, the Penguin Algorithm, and Hummingbird,” but I was pretty sure no one would click on it.

Last time I checked, that has more traffic than any other post for the month of June. I won’t say that’s all because of the headline—it’s a really strong and useful post—but I think the headline helped a lot.

But that’s just one data point. I’ve also been spicing up the subject lines on the Moz Top 10 newsletter to see what gets the most traffic.

most-read subject lines

And the results here are more mixed. Titles I felt like were much more clickbaity like “Did Google Kill Spam?…” and “Are You Using Robots.txt the Right Way?…” underperformed compared to the straight up “Moz Top 10.”

While the most clickbaity “Groupon Did What?…” and the two about Google selling domains (which was accurate but suggested that Google was selling it’s own domains, which worried me a bit) have the most opens overall.

Help us resolve the dispute

As you can tell, I have some unresolved feelings about this whole clickbait versus credibility thing. While Trevor and I have strong opinions, we also have a lot of questions that we hope you can help us with. Blow my mind with your headline logic in the comments by sharing your opinion on any of the following:

  • Do clickbait titles erode trust? If yes, do you ever worry about that affecting your bottom line?
  • Would you sacrifice credibility for clickability? Does it have to be a choice?
  • Is there such thing as a formula for a perfect headline? What standards do you use when writing headlines?
  • Does a clickbait title affect how likely you are to read an article? What about sharing one? Do you ever feel duped by the content? Does that affect your behavior the next time?  
  • How much of your soul would you sell for more traffic?

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

CLICK HERE http://tinyurl.com/qjxyeww CLICK HERE TO access the most powerful clickbank traffic system that’s allowed me to go from zero to k per month with clickbank in just few short days…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Silly Marketer, Title Tags Are for Robots!

Posted by jennita

Like all good marketers, we think carefully about our title tags before publishing new content. Then we just take that carefully crafted title and plop it into the OG tags for social shares, right?

Think again!

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Jen Lopez explains why we need to put in a little more effort than that.


Video transcription:

Hey, Moz fans, welcome to yet another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Jen Lopez, the Director of the Community here at Moz, and today I’m going to take you on a tale of two marketers.

We have the SEO, right? We focus on making sure that the robots and that the spiders are crawling through our sites and can get to them. Then when we want things to show up in the SERPs, we make sure that our title tags are keyword rich and our meta descriptions are super enticing, right? We make sure that when somebody clicks from the search engine results page, that they see exactly what we want them to see. And that’s smart, right? Those keywords are actually a high ranking factor. All of these things that we focus on, we work very hard to make sure that our keywords are at the beginning of the title and that sort of thing.

But then we have the social media marketer. Yes, I drew that. I’m sorry, all social media marketers. I know you don’t actually look at that. We think about the people, right? How are people going to look at it? How are people going to re-share this? And so as a social media marketer, we’re thinking like, “How can we change the Open Graph tags so that people on Facebook and people on Google+ and people on LinkedIn are seeing these things exactly the way we want to see them?” We want to see big images. Who cares about keywords? That’s what that SEO person does, right?

What about Twitter cards? You want to make sure that when you send something in a tweet or somebody tweets your blog post or your infographic, or whatever it may be, that it’s coming across exactly the way you want to see it. You’re thinking about rich pins, and you salivate when you’re on Pinterest and you see a recipe and it actually shows all of the ingredients in the recipe. That might just be me, but in general that’s often what we do.

What tends to happen is people are getting better about using the Open Graph tags and the Twitter cards and that sort of thing. But what we normally do is we take what we have, put in the title tags and meta description, and we make it the default so that it’s really simple. So we’re doing the basics. We’re being lazy. That’s exactly what we’re doing.

We do it on our own blog. You go to our blog, the title that you see on the page, the title of the post, the title that you see shared on social network, it’s always the same. You’re going to see it across the board, and it is time for us to stop being lazy because think about if you did this.

Now let me give you first an example — Huffington Post. I recently wrote a post for Huffington Post, and being a SEO myself, I worked very hard at making sure that the title tag was something that would come across in the SEO world very nicely so that it would show up in SERPs great and it would do all this stuff. What was interesting was, that without my prompting, that something that the Huffington Post editorial team did, is after I submitted my post with all of my information, they told me it took several days. I get this email that says, “Congratulations, your post is on Huffington Post.” I did a little happy dance because now I can put in Google+ that I contribute to Huffington Post.

Besides that, the first thing I did is I went to share it on Facebook. What’s interesting is when I shared it on Facebook, it was not the image that I’d used. It was not the title that I’d used nor was it the description. It was very specific to social.

So I went back to my page thinking, “What the hell, did they change all of my stuff?” No, my title tag and images and everything are still exactly the same. However, they’ve set the Open Graph and the Twitter cards to be specific to social. I had this like “Oh my gosh moment,” when I realized: Why in the world aren’t we all doing this? Why aren’t we taking one piece of content and making it so that not only do the robots see it and do we care about the keyword rich title and meta description that looks good in the SERPs and getting all the schema just right so that it looks right there? Why don’t we do that plus we make sure that the Open Graph tags are great, that you have an image that’s super shareable, that you have a description and the title that can be somewhat up worthy?

I’m not a huge fan of, “This woman wrote on a Whiteboard, and you’ll never guess what happened next.” I really don’t like those, but people click on that stuff. You put a different image, a different image here than a different image you have here, and you make it something. You put a circle around somebody’s face in the background. We’ve all seen those on Facebook, right? They work really well. It’s brilliant. You take one piece of content, and you make it work really well for the robots, and you find that happy place. You get the people plus robots equals love. That’s because you’re making your content that you’ve worked really hard at, you’ve put time and effort into this, you’re making sure that it’s easily consumable by the people who want to share it and re-share it hopefully and make it viral because you want that virality here. But you also want it to be stable, and you want the robots to see it and you want the spiders to be able to get to it and all of that.

So my quest, you have a quest. I am doing this hopefully internally as something that I’m pushing very hard, and I would like to see you step up your game as well. So rather than just keeping those defaults of, “Here is my title tag and I’m going to use it in all of the places,” that you’re going to take the time to write not only your title tag and meta description for SEO purposes, but that you’re going to work hard at taking these and doing really great things with your social meta tags as well.

Below, I’m going to give you some resources to specific posts that talk about how to do this well and how to do this well and then take those and combine them. When you do that, you are going to find that people are going to love the heck out of your stuff. I will be the first one when we get that set up on our site, I will tell you exactly how it’s working for us. So stop being lazy, do the hard work, and make your stuff super
shareable all over the Web.

That’s it for today. I hope to see you again soon. Have a great weekend.

Additional resources

For more info on title tags: 
New Title Tag Guidelines & Preview Tool

For more info on social meta / open graph (OG) tags:
Must-Have Social Meta Tags for Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and More

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Ecommerce Title Tags: Top 5 Ways to Increase Clicks

The first steps of commerce take place within the search results. Give consumers a better sense of offers and pricing with your title tags. By exposing more information up front, sites can better align with the right consumer and get more clicks.
Search Engine Watch – Latest

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Google Title Tags Measured By Width Not Character?

I missed this but it appears the title tag length in the Google search results is not necessarily measured by the number of characters but the width of all the characters together.

There are blog posts on this by Chris Turner and older posts from a year or so ago from SEOmofo…


Search Engine Roundtable

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Google: Title Tags Can Change Based Off Of Language/Country

This might be an obvious point to many SEOs but Pierre Far from Google clarified that if you have specific landing pages for the same product but targeting different languages/countries…




Search Engine Roundtable

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Wordtracker’s new Title and Description wizard

Author (displayed on the page): 

Why page titles are so important

The page title is one of the most important individual on page elements for SEO. Like the title of a book it tells the search engine (and your potential visitor) what the information within it is likely to be about.

The page title is also used to give someone looking at your website an easy way of seeing what it is about.

The easiest way to see what the title of a page is, is by looking at the heading of the tab in your browser (although Chrome doesn’t actually display it):

Google looks at hundreds of different elements on and off a page to decide if and where to rank that page for any given search query. The page title is one of the main elements which are looked at on a page and bears a direct relation to how well the page will rank for certain terms.

Including a keyword within the page title can make the page rank better for that keyword, as it helps to establish how relevant the page is to the search term.

Just having a well optimized page title, however, will not make a page rank well, but you should still look on it as a key part of an SEO strategy.

Having a poor page title can hurt more than your rankings: your conversion rate from the search engine results can suffer as well. The page title is a key part of what Google shows in the search results, so it is also part of the ‘ad’ for your site, as shown in these search results:

How to write a proper page title

When composing a page title there are three main aspects to remember:

  • Length
  • Keywords
  • Advertising

Let’s go through these in a bit more detail:

Page title length

The length of the page title is key. Google will only show 69 characters within the results and will cut off anything above this. Importantly, Google will not pay attention to the keywords which are over this limit:

This example is taken from an old Wordtracker article. Looking at the code we can see what’s happened:

Everything looks fine but counting the characters we find that it is 70 characters long, that’s just one character over. Google has then cut the entire word off the end, just because it’s one letter over.

Within the Title and Description Wizard we keep count of the number of characters you’ve used and let you know when you go over:

Let’s have a look at the Wizard itself – to open it up, just head to the Keyword Map, and from the Niche you want to work on (remember, each Niche represents a page on your website), and from the drop-down menu choose ‘Title & Description Wizard’. It’ll open up for you, showing your Targets, and giving you a space to enter the url (the web address) of your page, and spaces to enter your title copy and your description.

Keywords in your page title

Placing your keywords in the page title can help you rank better for those terms, so it’s really important that they are included.

Within the Title and Description Wizard we pull in the keywords you have targeted within that niche. As you include the keywords we check (tick) them for you and any words you’ve forgotten to include are underlined:

Advertise through your page title

Always remember that the page title is part of the advertising for your site. It’s usually the very first impression people have of the page as it is shown directly in the search results.

If you try and stuff in as many keywords as you can without paying attention to how the title reads it won’t be attractive to the human user.

And if Google detects the result has a poor clickthrough rate then it may choose to lower your ranking, so there’s no point in building a title just for the search engines.

A great way to split up the keywords within the title is by using a pipe symbol (|): this helps to keep under the character limit.

Or combine keywords so that, for instance, if you had the keywords keyword research and keyword research data; you could write:

Keyword Research Data | Wordtracker

You don’t have to use a pipe to separate keywords, but steer away from using non-uniform characters, like stars, in order to make your result stand out. Google may down weight the rankings for sites which do this.

If you want to make it stand out more, capitalize the first letter of important words. While capitalizing the entire title will not look good, capitalizing the first letter of the important words can read well and draw attention to the result.

It’s also a good idea to include some branding in the title as it reinforces who the result is from (even if people don’t click on the result they may still see the search result).

Placing the branding at the end of the title works well as, firstly, your keywords will stand out at the front and secondly it means that if you do creep over the character limit it’s this element that is cut and not your important keywords.

Creating a good page description

The page description can be found below the page title in the search results:

It’s taken from the meta tags within the page. Meta tags are simply bits of code which carry additional information to that displayed within the browser and they’re only visible by viewing the source code of the page. Right-click within your browser and select ‘view source’ to see this.

The page description should be a summary of the information found within the page, so that you can gain a quick impression of what you are likely to find when you click through from the search results. The core elements to remember for a description are:

  • Length
  • Summary
  • Brand
  • Call to action

Length of your page description

The length of the description is restricted to 160 characters – any more than this and Google will cut words off the end. Of course, this doesn’t look good and can mean that if you include vital information within the text beyond this limit, it won’t be shown.

The Title and Description Wizard has a character counter to help you with this.

Page summary

The description must provide a proper summary of the page.

Stuffing the description full of keywords is not likely to help. Although Google will show keywords relevant to the search in bold within it, this has no direct influence on rankings.

However if the searcher doesn’t know what they are clicking through to they are unlikely to click on the result and that can damage your rankings as having a poor clickthrough rate is a negative signal for Google.

Advertise your brand within the page description

Make sure that you include your brand within the description. This reinforces who the result is from and helps to build brand awareness.

Even if someone doesn’t click on the result they are still seeing your 'advert' and its branding.

Include a call to action

Including a call to action can help to increase the clickthrough rate from the search results. More people clicking on the results means more visitors. It also sends a positive signal to Google which can improve your rankings.

A call to action is something which encourages the user to click on your result, for instance:

“Find out more online today”

Putting a time frame within it makes the call to action stronger: “Find out more today” is much more persuasive than simply “Find out more” Here’s an example of a description with all these elements:

“Writing the perfect description tag for SEO can be difficult. Here is the Wordtracker guide to getting it right. Find out more online today.”

Once you’ve set a title and description for the niches in your keyword map, just use the map’s ‘Export’ button at the top right, and you’ll see all the information you entered, sensibly organized and all ready for you to copy out into your content management system or html code.

Try the wizard out today and speed up your workflow.

Free trial of Wordtracker’s Keywords tool

The more relevant keywords that you rank well for, the more business you will do. You can start researching keywords today with a free 7-day trial of Wordtracker’s Keywords tool

Take a trial button

Wordtracker Blog

Posted in IM NewsComments Off


Advert