Getting The First Click
Getting The First Click is a two-step process.
1. Get Their Attention
2. Elicit a response
The first time many people will see any reference to your site is when they type their search phrase into a search engine and the results page appears. This is your only chance at making a first impression and you should make the most of it.
People will see your title first. Craft a title that is clear and concise. People scanning search results aren't ready to buy. They are in the information gathering stage. Give them the information they want and give it to them quickly.
It always suprises me when people ask how many characters they can cram in a title tag. Titles are meant to provide an overview of the page content, not a detailed summary of the page.
If you're worried that your title simply doesn't have enough pull don't fret. Your page description will appear right below your title. If your title is effective people will read your description.
The description area is your chance qualify the surfer and pull the user into your site.
Effective titles will get their attention
Put your description in an <H1> tag using keywords that are found in your title and in the first paragraph of your body copy. Google will pull the snippet they use in the SERP straight from your header tag and first paragraph if the keywords the surfer used to find the site are found in both places.
Have you ever wondered why some sites get almost a full paragraph for a description and others get a sentence that trails off rather quickly? There's no mystery. Google highlights the keywords the surfer used by putting those keywords in bold face. Simply use the keywords strategically in your header tag and in the first sentence of the first paragraph on the page.
If you're serious about targeting buyers and want to qualify them first, put the price of the item you are selling on that page between keywords in the header tag or in the first sentence of the first paragraph on the page.
Someone searching for Word Processing Software For Macs will be presented with a clear description and they will see a price. If they like the price or want more information they will click on your link.
If they click you have succeeded at four tasks.
1. You got their attention.
2. You elicited a response. (they clicked your link)
3. You have qualified the surfer. (they are looking to buy Widget Word Processing Software)
4. You gave them a reason to buy now. (free copy of Blackhat's Optimization Tactics)
We often think of our site's pages as the first opportunity to make an impression while at the same time we know that the majority of our traffic comes from search engines. Your title and description is normally the first thing people see. Use that knowledge effectively.
Part 2 Next Friday - Copy That Sells - Making Them Buy
I'm interested in hearing what you are doing to get people to click and your techniques for increasing your conversions rates. There seems to be huge interest in the Google Dance That Never Was and a heavy focus on optimization.
Copy is what sells. Not your position in the SERPS. So forget about position for a minute or so, how compelling is your content? What are you doing to make your copy work for you?