Consider title length limitations! Titles will be cut off, if too long – which results in less CTR! 52 vs. 32 characters will be displayed as page title in SERPs Make sure, your titles won’t get cut off! In general, 50-55 characters is pretty much safe…
The real deal: Pixel width! 107 chars & no cut-off! Google cares about how wide your title is (measured in pixels). Image taken from the post on seomofo.com Screengrab in FF on Sept. 22nd 2012. Test & background: http://gdig.de/11
Google SERP Snippet Preview Try it out at: http://gdig.de/13
Use character savers! <title>Buy Choclate Cookies and Cakes online</title> Replace “unnecessary” words whenever possible. <title>Buy Choclate Cookies & Cakes online</title> Get rid of unimportant words to save room for keywords & USP. Also consider word-order!
Use strong Calls-to-Action CTAs are strong verbs, unique selling propositions (USP) or “non-concrete” promotional words!
Play around with UPPERCASE words! Don’t uppercase multiple words or even the full title - it will raise spam flags! Test capitalizing the single most important word in the title for maximum visibility.
Change titles to match seasoning patterns! Depending on your niche: Try playing with seasonings. Pre- / Appending seasonings to generic titles might give a short-term boost.
Debug Page Title Rewriting Google might change your page-title … … if they feel it’s not “good” enough. Use pipes or mid-dots instead of hyphens It’ll make large-scale title debugging is WAY easier! Official Google announcement: http://gdig.de/14
Let Google tell u what that page is about! No “real” page title is given – but Google also displays the sites name! Considering Google does page title rewriting… Why not launch without title & work with the result?
Tip: SeoTools for Excel by Niels Bosma =HtmlTitle("http://www.domain/my/url.html") =HtmlMetaDescription("http://www.domain/my/url.html") Get titles into Excel with a single function call! Download & Documentation: http://nielsbosma.se/projects/seotools/
The obvious: Do speaking URLs Speaking URLs will get SERP highlighting Also make sure you keep them short to prevent cut-off, again!
Breadcrumb Setup is simple! Breadcrumbs still stand out – use them! Use BC mark-up if Google doesn’t recognize yours. Breadcrumb Setup Info: http://gdig.de/16
GWT Geographic Target Settings Geo-Settings are only available for gTLDs If you set up a geo target in your GWT account, it’ll be shown right to the URL & give some more real-estate.
<meta name="description" content="Jeremy Renner…" /> #3: Meta Description
Basics: Keywords, Targeting, etc. Proper keyword targeting! Strong CTA present! Non-cut off due to proper length! Make sure to get the basics right: Keyword usage, length limitations and call-to-action!
Make use of Images when-ever possible! Images are available for: Software, products, recipes events & more! Images really stand out in SERPS, therefore they do have a massive impact on CTR (30-40%+)
How to implement recipe images?<div itemscope itemtype="http://data-vocabulary.org/Recipe" > <h1 itemprop="name">Grandmas Holiday Apple Pie</h1> <img itemprop="photo" src="http://domain.com/my/apple-pie.jpg" /> By <span itemprop="author">Bastian</span> Published: <time datetime="2009-11-05" itemprop="published">November 5, 2009</time> <span itemprop="summary">This is my grandmothers apple pie recipe.</span> Prep time: <time datetime="PT30M" itemprop="prepTime">30 min</time> <span itemprop="nutrition" itemscope itemtype="http://data-vocabulary.org/Nutrition"> Serving size: <span itemprop="servingSize">1 medium slice</span> Calories per serving: <span itemprop="calories">250</span> Fat per serving: <span itemprop="fat">12g</span> </span> Ingredients: <span itemprop="ingredient" itemscope itemtype="http://data-vocabulary.org/RecipeIngredient"> Thinly-sliced <span itemprop="name">apples</span> - <span itemprop="amount">6 cups</span> </span> <span itemprop="ingredient" itemscope itemtype="http://data-vocabulary.org/RecipeIngredient"> <span itemprop="name">White sugar</span> - <span itemprop="amount">3/4 cup</span> </span></div> schema.org provides structured mark-up using pre-defined HTML attributes. Rich Snippets Image Mark-up: http://gdig.de/17
Verify your mark-up w/ Google Google’s Structured Mark-Up Tool does provide valuable info on your status-quo. Testing Tool: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
Ratings will get you an extra line in SERPS Ratings can either be single rated items but also aggregated ones… Ratings do suggest trust – even though some sites may not be THAT trusted… It still does massively increase CTR (and on-site conversion)!
Authorship Mark-Up is a killer! Can either be implemented on page- but also on root-level! It’s about personal branding as well – make your-self known to the (your) audience! A Searchmetrics study shows ~17% of US SERPs include authors already. Searchmetrics Data: http://gdig.de/18
How to implement Authorship mark-up?1) <link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/YOUR-ID" /> 1) Implement “rel-author” into your <head> section2) 2) Add “contributor “ URL to your G+ profile 3) Check Googles structured mark-up tool to verify! Using the rel-author is3) simple – but don’t game it, otherwise it’ll be gone… fast! Authorship Info: https://plus.google.com/authorship
Hidden benefits of authors: More Links! Test, Test, Test… Also try different image colors, consider seasonings, etc. Kudos to Matt McGee: http://gdig.de/15
Videos? Why not!? Make sure to have video XML sitemaps in place and provide as much details as possible! Even better CTR as with pure image results due to some more details in SERPS. You can also get publishing date & play time.
BTW: Video preview the “Creative” Way… “Call Pathway Insurance for a Customized Quote: 513-662-7080” How many people will call directly vs. clicking out to that (less) relevant YouTube channel? If you’re REALLY good: Setup a dedicated phone line!
Use GWT to submit & verify your sitemap GWT allows you to submit and verify XML video sitemaps. Use it! Video XML Sitemaps: http://gdig.de/19
Pro Tip: You can also just ping Google Use PHPs cURL library or GNU wget to call the URL & verify the response header. www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ping?sitemap=sitemap_url A successful request does return HTTP 200. Make sure to URL-encode the sitemaps URL and limit to 1 req./hour Sitmaps Ping How-To: http://gdig.de/1a
Meta Description: Date Snippets Make sure the timestamp will be updated frequently, outdated snippets can negatively impact CTR! Google tries to extract publishing dates from your site. It’ll be pre-pended to your SERP snippet.