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3 Deliciously Simple SEO Tips That Increases Your CTR

You're not oblivious, are you?

Of course not. You clearly see that in order to increase your conversion rates, you need to do the simplest things.

Keyword research? Check.

On-page optimization? You've got that down to a science, don't you?

But -- what about search engines?

More...

Every time someone searches for your keywords and your site pops up in the results, is it enticing enough to get searchers to click-through?

What's worse, many bloggers are just lazy to do anything about this when they hit the publish button.

And if you're one of those bloggers, are you really giving your post the best chance to get read?

Your search engine results actually help your conversion rate.

And if your biggest problem is laziness, you’re perfectly normal. But, this is something you have to start taking seriously if you want to increase your CTR.

Here are some simple, but effective, tips you need to be doing with every post.

Create Click-Worthy Headlines That Are Short and Deliver ~ @CopyWarner

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Tip #1: Create Click-Worthy Headlines That Are Short and Deliver

When you're searching for relevant blog posts to read, or dissect, do you ever come across this:

Simple SEO Tips 1 | byteofdata.com

Annoying, isn't it?

And since it's a big time blog, it makes you wonder:

  • "Was this done on purpose to create curiosity?"
  • "Change my entire approach to what, exactly?"

And because it's a big time blog, you might click it, right?

But the reality is, unless you really like and respect the website, and the blogger, you're probably not going to click on the post if you see that.

And as a blogger, that's not what you want to do.

You never want to write headlines over 65 characters -- because something like that happens. And if you're not a big name, readers may not be as forgiving and still click on your post.

So, how to avoid this mess?

Keep it short.

Let's look at that original headline again. The complete headline is: "Five Shocking Facts That Will Change Your Entire Approach to Social Media."

73 characters.

A bit long, don't you agree?

Let's look at some alternative options that could deliver the same oomph -- but with less characters:

  • Five Shocking Social Media Facts That Will Change Your Approach (63 characters)
  • Five Social Media Facts That Will Shock You Silly (49 characters)

In fact, these two alternative options received a better score in CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer tool.

Simple SEO Tips 2 | byteofdata.com

Takeaway #1

Regardless of whatever headline you initially come up with, try to come up with 5 - 10 more to see if you can come up with something better.

More importantly, make sure that the title fully reflects what the post is about. Nothing worse than clicking on a click-worthy headline and the post isn't anything close to what the headline promised.

==> Make sure your headline delivers!

Write Optimized URLs That Are Targeted With Your Keyword ~ @CopyWarner

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Tip #2: Write Optimized URLs That Are Targeted With Your Keyword

If you're trying to rank for specific keywords, you need to optimize your URL to show it.

Here's what I mean:

Simple SEO Tips 3 | byteofdata.com

And even in this brief video, Matt Cutts explains that having keywords in the URL does help -- a little:

Now, take a look at this post by Ian Cleary that I highlighted.

Not only is Ian's title optimized with the keyword, "WordPress SEO Tips", but the URL also contains the same keywords: http://www.razorsocial.com/wordpress-seo-tips/

This is important because that's helping him rank very high for that keyword -- among other things.

Don't you think doing something like that will help your click-through rate?

Takeaway #2

==> You should do your best to create a URL that's optimized!

For example, let's say you wrote a post titled: "4 Actionable Methods To Convert More Subscribers To Your List."

Which URL would you rather have:

  • www.yoursite.com/4-actionable-methods-to-convert-more-subscribers-to-your-list
  • www.yoursite.com/convert-more-subscribers

Or better yet, which one looks cleaner?

Optimizing it is only part of the work. And even though Adrian Jock proved that you don't necessarily need a short URL to save space for sharing on social media, it just makes your URL look cleaner.

Write Curiosity-Inducing Meta Descriptions That Suck People In ~ @CopyWarner

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Tip #3: Write Curiosity-Inducing Meta Descriptions That Suck People In

So many "experts" say that this has no weight on SEO rankings whatsoever. And whether that's true or not is besides the point.

This is a major element that must be optimized.

Think about it...

How many times have you made a decision to read a post, solely based on the brief description you read?

Let's put it to the test, shall we?

Take a look at these four posts on "Pinterest Marketing Tips" that I found during a search:

Simple SEO Tips 4 | byteofdata.com

Based solely on the meta description, which one of these would entice you to click through?

Probably the first two, right?

But the question remains, how?

How can you make your description so enticing, random searchers for that keyword will click?

Here are a few practical tips to keep in mind:

1. Use SEO Plugins...

Something like WordPress SEO by Yoast allows you to have the following form on each blog. This will allow you to write your meta descriptions:

Simple SEO Tips 5 | byteofdata.com
2. Keep your keywords fairly close to the front of the description...

Since you only have 160 characters or fewer, you want to make sure to get your key points across early.

3. Make them very unique...

Take a look at the image of the four posts again. If you were to write a post based on that keyword, how would you make yours stand out from theirs? Take a minute to just come up with something. Here's what I came up with:

"Struggling to understand Pinterest? Follow these Pinterest marketing tips to kick-start your strategy into high gear from day one."

Takeaway #3

Even though the description isn't as important as the title, it's not to be ignored. Not everyone is a savvy blogger or reader, and will still use the description to make their decision to click.

==> Make it count!

Further Reading: If you've got the SEO bug you might like to check out this guide from Yoast: "The Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings For WordPress Sites."

Conclusion

I know. I know.

This is all stuff you already know about, right?

Thing is, as simple as these tips may seem, sometimes you just need a good reminder. And these tips can truly mean the difference between being ignored and receiving thousands of visitors hungry for your content.

Because ranking high for a keyword isn't enough. You have to make your link so irresistible that visitors will have no choice but to click.

Up for the challenge?

What other tips do you have that can improve your CTR?

Leave a comment below and join in on the conversation.

Andrew M. Warner
 

Andrew M. Warner is the content writing mastermind behind ContentRanked, a site that helps marketers and businesses create content on their site that converts. When he's not creating content, he's usually networking on Twitter, over at @CopyWarner.

  • Hey Andrew,

    Thanks so much for agreeing to be a guest author here at Byte Of Data! You’re the first of my group of five who I’m aiming to get on here by the end of the year…

    You’ve certainly crafted a simple but effective post that will get people to focus on 3 SEO elements when they write and publish a post. I’m certain that if they put these Simple SEO Tips into practice they will start to see positive results with more click thru’s to their site.

    Thanks again Andrew!
    – David

    • Thanks David for the honor to write a guest post for your blog. I’m also glad I was one of the 5 people that you wanted to write one.

      Hopefully, it delivers and resonates with people.

      – Andrew

  • Hi Andrew and David

    The first tip is mouth-water and actually work as virility maker to grab the attention of people. The headline of “a man dies” is usually converted as “a father of two passes away” just to create its impact more lethal. This works best in blogging just because of plethora of contents on internet that too for free.

    Many people just rely on putting the main keyword in URL though it is good but one should try to put the long-tail key word into the URL to make the search more clear.

    Curiosity makes one to chase it and this applies on all types of curiosity so the meta description should not be a precis of the post but just influence the readers to click on it but just signalling them what they can found in a given post.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this really an informative post

    Have a great week ahead.

    • Hello Mi,

      Great to see you back here and thanks for taking the time to comment and share.

      Yes its good to get the keywords into the URL just as long as it still makes sense…I’ve seen some dreadful keyword-stuffed URL’s over the years!

      Thanks!
      – David

    • Hi Mi,

      Thanks for the comment. SO glad you enjoyed the post.

      The headlines are really the thing that gets people. And if you make it curious enough and enticing enough for people to click, all the better for you. That only means that you found a way to pique their curiosity.

      – Andrew

  • Sherman Smith

    Hey Andrew and David,

    The title is what gets me. There have been a couple of times where it took me at least an hour just to come up with a click worthy title. I had a who page filled with different blog titles that left me undecided but eventually I pick one.

    But these are simple but powerful tips if you want to draw some type of attention where it be from search engines or social media.

    It all starts with the keyword. It’s best to have it in the headline, URL, and metadescription. One extra thing I like to add is to make sure to have it in your images’ ALT tag. Theread been a couple of times where I found my own blog because of this.

    Thanks Andrew for re-emphasizing this! Thanks for sharing you two!

    • Hey Sherman,

      Yes, titles can be troublesome. I’ve spent many an hour in the past trying various alternatives in the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. And I agree, and use the same method, for adding your keyword to the images’ ALT tag.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your SEO experience.

      – David

    • Hey Sherman,

      Thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed the post .

      The title is what gets people most of the time. I will definitely be coming out with a post in the next few months that can provide a solution … or at least, give an idea of how to help that.

      Keywords in headlines is good and like you said, in the image as well.

      – Andrew

  • Hi Andrew and David,

    Those are simple yet very important points to make sure that we give all the chances possible to our blog post to get noticed.

    I think I can check them all, yes.

    Great guest and great post 🙂

    ~Sylviane

    • Hi Sylviane,

      Andrew wrote a great post here with some very good examples.
      Good to hear you have these 3 Simple SEO Tips covered 🙂

      Thanks
      – David

    • Hi Sylviane,

      Thanks for the comment.

      You’re right, though these are simple, they’re very important tips that we need to continuously remember to do and apply.

      – Andrew

  • Hi Andrew,

    Super simple and super smart! It is not too hard, this SEO thing, if you follow simple tips regularly. The short and punchy titles and fascinating meta’s make all the difference on the SEO front, reeling folks in who want to learn more. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan

    • Hey Ryan,

      Thanks for the comment. So glad you enjoyed the post.

      Those things really do make the difference. Hope more people start taking notes and realizing.

      – Andrew

  • Leslie L Denning

    Hi Andrew and David. Usually when I read about posts, I’m finding about all the things I DON’T know. I feel all warm and fuzzy that I, like Sylviane, can check off all three.

    I’m so grateful to have found Yoast SEO. It has made such a difference – taking something that used to give me a headache to something that can be done with little effort. You are so right to recommend it. Thanks for sharing this information.

    All the best,
    Leslie

    • Hi Leslie,

      Great to know that you’ve got these Simple SEO Tips covered and are using the excellent Yoast SEO plugin.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing!
      – David

    • Hey Leslie,

      Thanks for the comment Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Fortunately for you, Sylviane and others, you can check those things off. Unfortunately for many, they can’t say that just yet.

      I’m grateful for Yoast as well. I tried other SEO plugins and it just didn’t work for me.

      – Andrew

  • @davidhartshorne:disqus,

    Nice to see @andrewmwarner:disqus over here!

    Andrew,

    Nice post. You raise some interesting points about SEO… for instance, does adding a meta description help you rank any higher? Maybe, or maybe not. But could it help your post to get more clicks? Definitely.

    May I ask, Andrew… does Shadeofinfo get a lot of organic traffic? Do you spend a lot of time optimizing your posts? Your titles and writing style are always so smooth… it would never occur to me that you were even trying to optimize for any particular keyword.

    Chat soon,

    Brent

    • Hey Brent,

      Thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      To answer your question: I do get some organic traffic, but the majority of posts I use to write about, were just things I wanted to share and get off my chest. And it’ll make no sense trying to optimize them.

      But now, I make a conscious effort to use SEO whenever I can and optimize my posts for keywords. That’s something I completely ignored for the first year and a half of blogging. But changed that up 6 months ago.

      It’s clearly something I need to do much better with though.

      – Andrew

    • Hey Brent, thanks for your pertinent questions to Andrew. I agree that Andrew has a great writing style and you wouldn’t know that he is specifically trying to optimize his posts for keywords. But that is the skill of a good writer, and I believe Google likes that type of content 🙂

      Have a great week ahead!
      – David

  • Hi Sunday,

    Andrew has shared some good reminders of the importance of basic SEO and how to execute on each post. Often we may be tempted to skip one of these steps but over time they will prove to be useful in building valid links to our articles.

    Thanks for sharing and commenting!
    – David

  • Hey Sunday,

    Thanks for the comment.

    It’s all about getting effective results and even though these tips are fairly known to many, it’s still very imperative to apply them.

    – Andrew

  • Ashley Faulkes

    Hi Guys

    Great post.

    Few people think about the effect that the SEO has on the actual CTR coming from Search. Sure you can rank, but if no one clicks then you are ranking for nothing!

    I have even seen clients of mine who I got to the top of page one, have an awful Meta description, so there click throughs were not what you would expect for such a position on search. A prompt review of their content fixed that problem!

    Another intersting thing is you can of course have the title different to the SEO title, which I also like to do after using Coschedules headline tool (awesome tool huh! but how to you get about 75? never managed, and even their posts are always 74! weird). After all, a great headline is not necessarily a great seo title!

    all the best with your seo!
    ashley

    • Hi Ashley,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback of SEO with us – always good to hear from your experience with clients!
      I like the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Tool too, but like you say breaking the 74 barrier is difficult. I wonder if you had a total mix of words that didn’t make any sense but fulfilled their criteria…?

      Have a good weekend 🙂
      – David

    • Hey Ashley,

      Thanks for the comment.

      You’re absolutely right. You can rank in the search, but if absolutely nobody clicks then it’s just a waste.

      I do like to play around with the titles from time to time. Sometimes I would have the main title different from the title that’s used in the image … and also different from the title that’s used in the SEO title.

      Coschedule is an awesome tool that I use on a day to day basis to try to come up titles that people would read. I think the highest number I ever received for a title was 82.

      – Andrew

  • Benjamin Chan

    Hi Andrew and David

    Thanks for the post and discussions which are very insightful and useful.

    In future I shall also make use of CoSchedule Headline Analyser Tool in addition to Yoast SEO for SEO and CTR purposes.

    Best regards. Have a nice week-end.

    Benjamin

    • Hi Benjamin,

      Thanks for your comment and great to hear you found this useful.
      You can’t go wrong with Yoast SEO and the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Tool – they are both a tremendous help in optimizing your posts.

      Have a great weekend!
      – David

    • Hi Benjamin,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Glad you enjoyed the posts and plan to use CoSchedules headline analyzer tool in the future.

      – Andrew