SEO Basic Tip #4 – Prepare for SERP Success

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As you work on your pages your visibility WILL improve and so will your business. But you need more than just top visibility on the SERP  (Search Engine Results Page).  You actually need people to visit your website (unless you’re some sort of a weirdo who only gets excited about showing up on Google page 1 for its own sake).

I’d like you to indulge me by participating in an experiment  (c’mon, you’re here already, you’ve already spent this much time with me, humor me, ok?).

Here’s what you do…it’s really simple, just 3 steps…

  1. Search on something that matters to you.   Maybe a hobby, a band, a place you want to move to, whatever.
  2. When you get to the SERP, click on the entry that you think best matches what you’re looking for.
  3. Come back here when you’re done.

(Did you do it?  Don’t cheat yourself, if you didn’t do it, go back and do it.)

What was your experience like?  More specifically, what did you click on?  Why did you click on it?

If you’re like me there’s a good chance you did not just click on any old random entry.  You probably did a quick evaluation based on what the entry looked like.  Here was my experience:

Because I happen to help organize a group called the “Western Colorado Socratic Club” I did a search on “Socratic Clubs.”  Here’s what the results page looked like…

SERP for the search Socratic Clubs

I hope you can see just from the purple text which entry I clicked on.  Yes, Wilfred, it was the “Gonzaga Socratic Club.”

The reason I clicked on it was two-fold.  Before I explain that however, for those of you who might be unfamiliar with the terms I’m about to use, take a look at this entry which shows the simple anatomy of this search engine result:

close up of entry on SERP

As for the two reasons I clicked on this entry instead of entry number one, here they are:

  1. The Title Tag of this site matched what I was looking for.  I searched for “Socratic Clubs” and by Golly this is a Socratic Club (contrast that with the number 1 entry, which was from Wikipedia, and which told me what the original Socratic Club was.  But I already know what it was, that’s why I’m searching for Socratic Clubs).
  2. The Meta Description Tag of the site gave me a clear view into this particular club at a glance.  They seem to match the profile of what I’m searching for, plus the entry was descriptive enough that it allowed me to make a better judgment call about what I would get when I clicked on it.

So here’s the lesson from this: Don’t just optimize your Title Tag and your Meta Description Tag for the search engines, polish them to match the intention of the person searching.  Does this involve making some educated guesses?  Of course it does.  You need to know your market and know the mindset of your audience.   That part is up to you.

Footnote: If you know how to change your Title Tag and Meta Description Tag, the above tip will be easy for you to implement.  If you don’t know how to do this, you have two options:

  1. Ask your web developer to make the change for you
  2. Learn how to do it yourself

For those of you who want to learn how to do it yourself, it will depend on what platform your website is built on.  I plan on doing a couple of quick tutorials on how to do this in WordPress, and if you leave me a comment (below) and tick the “notify me…” box I will make sure you find out when I get those tutorials online.

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Leave me a comment and tick the "notify me" box if you want to know when I post tutorials on how to change the Title and Meta Description tags in WordPress

 

Ross Barefoot

Ross Barefoot is Chief Technical Officer with Horizon Web Marketing in Las Vegas, Nevada.He also is the founder of FLEXISS Digital Design and a Certified Search Engine Optimization Trainer for the Search Engine Academy.

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