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[Method] Get a HUGE increase in search click-through rate

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Sacrilege, May 27, 2011.

  1. Sacrilege

    Sacrilege Regular Member

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    I've been here for a while but this is my first share. I went back and forth about whether or not to share it because it's brought me quite a bit of success in increasing my clickthrough rate by about 250% on my search result pages, and I'd hate to see competitors using it. However this community has given a lot to me and I want to give back. The method is completely white-hat and it's something that you can implement for any pages that are showing up in search results.

    So we'll be working with the meta description tag here. This post will be a tad long because I am explaining the purpose of this tag, for those of you who already know it, you can skip right to example 3.


    For those that don't know, this tag functions as a suggestion to search engines for the snippet of text that gets placed below your links. It almost always shows up in G for your main keywords, for long-tail searches though it will often show a snippet from the actual content of your site.

    So anyway, on to the method. For this example, pretend we have a page that we are ranking for the search term "The key to the universe" - I'll start with what NOT to do. You definitely don't want a description like this:


    Example 1:
    "Key to the universe, Key, Universe, Universe Key, The key to the Universe"

    Spamming this tag with keywords is a big newbie mistake and does nothing for you. You need to write the text that will entice a person to click on the link. G does measure the amount of times your link gets clicked on vs. others, so more clicks with an acceptable bounce rate might even help you in ranking up. You have 155 characters to get it just right.

    Now the next example is what you see in 95% of search results. It's people who understand what the tag does, but don't understand how to use it to it's potential. So they write something like:


    Example 2:
    "Look here! We have the Key to the Universe! We are your one-stop source for everything related to the key to the Universe and more!"

    This just makes you look like everyone else. If you're not in the top 3, forget it, you're just another link in the pile. Even if you are ranked high, you're not going to get the clicks that you could if you write something like this:


    Example 3
    "And so that is how finally after nearly 2 years of searching, having spent over $150000 to travel the globe, I discovered that the Key to the Universe is t"

    IS WHAT?!?! WHAT IS IT?!?! I CANT STAND NOT KNOWING

    You have to click on the link to find out how that sentence ends. Notice it's exactly 155 characters, so it looks like G just cut off the sentence. And the visitor's eyes will go right to the "Key to the Universe is" part because search engines put the keywords in bold. Then they'll at least have to scan your article to find the part they were looking for, because you've already got them hooked. Build enough suspense and they will scrounge for it. The end result is more time on your site and a much better click-through rate because you'll stand out in the results.

    I was able to modify my meta descriptions on all of my ranked pages to implement this a few years ago and I didn't lose any rank. Once the SERPS updated i saw a huge increase in clickthrough, up to 300%, depending on the page. This helps you to pull a lot more hits even if you are near the bottom of the SERPS page.

    So there it is, one of my best kept secrets. Enjoy!
     
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    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  2. Kz3ro

    Kz3ro Junior Member

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    Sounds promising, I'll give it a shot. Keep sharing :)
     
  3. jdanswers

    jdanswers Regular Member

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    Hey Sacrilege, this is some real out-of-the-box thinking. I have tried cutting off the sentence with ... (three dots) in the past but it didn't seem to make any difference. I am going to give this a try on one blog and see what happens on the next update.

    Anyway, thanks for the share!
    JD
     
  4. syngenetic

    syngenetic Guest

    I'm about to go test it on one of the sites that is on page 1.
     
  5. dummydecoy

    dummydecoy Junior Member

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    yep.. that's meta description
    best to use AIO SEO pack if you want to change meta description per-post
     
  6. dima054

    dima054 Regular Member

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    Heh, this morning i just though of changing all descriptions to something teasing with like "discou...[Read more]" in the end

    upd(oh shi, next update google will ban all sites with [Read more] in desc.. LOL)
     
  7. Chrisss

    Chrisss Senior Member

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    Tumbs up - very relevant to optimize your meta descriptions but it's rare to see IM people care about it. I'm definitely going to test your method. Cheers buddy.
     
  8. spasovski

    spasovski Regular Member

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    You are the best ! We should work a little more on the human psychology and how to create attractive texts/links.
     
  9. Sacrilege

    Sacrilege Regular Member

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    Yeah guys this is all about knowing what your searchers are looking for, then giving them 75 percent of it. Not every page jumped instantly for me, some of them I had to fine-tune, but ending a description with something like "last year the GDP of Sweden was $" or "People always ask me if you can play video from your Droid on your TV, the answer is a resounding" - this is going to get you a lot more clicks than another cookie-cutter "we are the best site on the web for [keyword] snippet.
     
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  10. Chrisss

    Chrisss Senior Member

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    Do you also modify your meta title in the same way?

    Or do you prefer to keep it short and simple related to your kw!?
     
  11. SEO Controller

    SEO Controller Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Yup it's a good way to lure people into clicking on your link. Don't rely on the meta tag to give you a high ranking though. Very few search engines now rely on meta tags because it's been over abused.
     
  12. Sacrilege

    Sacrilege Regular Member

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    No, keep the title optimized for SEO. It means everything. The meta description is really meant to be written for humans, not search engines. If you know the question the searcher has in mind, all you have to do is convince him that he can find it on your page and you have yourself a click.
     
  13. Shhhocker

    Shhhocker Junior Member

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    Logical. Depending on your target market/the product/idea that you're pushing, this could certainly be a viable method of encouraging clicks. Well done.
     
  14. Madruga

    Madruga Senior Member

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    Given rep, because I like a lot how you explained everything with examples and such, although I was doing it the right way, there is always place to hear some approval :)
     
  15. dragon123

    dragon123 Regular Member

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    Simple but sounds effective, thanks for the tip..
     
  16. havingadabble

    havingadabble Regular Member

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    An excellent piece of advice - it really tries to get inside the head of your potential visitor and make them want more. Thanks for sharing OP.
     
  17. pkalico

    pkalico Junior Member

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    Awesome share. Was just setting up another site and filling out the description through the allinone plugin and was thinking to myself.."man, I hate filling out this box, I never know what to say...", no joke.

    Now I know what to put in there!!! Thanks again man.
     
  18. kojan

    kojan Newbie

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    Okay now that's pretty awesome. The most I've done with my meta tag is make sure it's optimized for the result, never really tried to use it to specifically increase CTR. This wouldn't work for all keyword though would it...?
     
  19. Sacrilege

    Sacrilege Regular Member

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    You'd be surprised how many keywords it will work for with a little creativity. If you're writing a page to rank in search results, you should know what your searcher has in mind, otherwise you probably don't have any business writing the page in the first place.

    Just figure out what they are looking for and convince them that you have it. You could have meta descriptions ending with things like:

    "the gross domestic product of Germany is $3,"
    "how did I get 10,000 free backlinks? The answer is very simple:"
    "these hit and run compensation claims are normally worth around $"

    Hell you can even do it in reverse:
    "and that's how I learned to catch a last minute flight to <insert keyword city> for just $40"

    "and that's how I learned to score <insert NFL team> tickets for $10 each"
     
  20. kojan

    kojan Newbie

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    Yeah that does make sense. What happens if your meta description is less than 155 characters? It will still work fine right? I think the only problem is when it is more then 155 characters and it adds the "..." automatically.