Over the past few weeks we’ve talked about ways to get found by search engines. And while getting found is the first step, getting clicked on once your page is displayed is even more important.

Once someone lands on your web page, it is vital that they do not leave within the first few seconds. This is known as a “bounce” and when someone bounces off your page, Google takes notice of that. They assume that the search did not produce the right result for that keyword phrase and as a result, will eventually stop showing your page for that search term. You MUST hook them and then show them relevant information.

Remember, Google doesn’t just index websites, they index pages. Your goal is to get every page on your website indexed. There are two critical pieces of information that help a person decide to click on your page over any of the other choices that are displayed to them:

  1. The title or headline
  2. The excerpt or summary

Here is how to make the most of them.

Titles or headlines

Title or headlines are the most important attention grabbing tool you have. They should be less than 70 characters in length to avoid getting cut off in the search results page. The actual length varies because the size of letters varies (for example, and “i” takes up less space than a “W”) and screen sizes also vary (with mobile devices displaying fewer characters than a desktop device). Note, there should only be one title (H1 tag) per page so that Google knows exactly what that page is about.

When it comes to product sales pages, many shop owners make the mistake of just using the product name and/or number. For example, “10598 Cuban Link Ring”.  Take a look at Amazon or Etsy for ideas to make your titles more engaging. For example, “.925 Sterling Silver 5mm Wide Cuban Link Chain Band Celtic Fashion or Wedding Ring.” This is 69 characters long and much more descriptive, so it is more likely to get clicked on.

Use a headline analyzer tool like coschedule. Try to get a score of 70 or better.

If you need help coming up with some creative headlines, try an AI based title generator. I’ve looked at a number of these and one of the best is http://www.copy.ai/?via=greg-jameson

Excerpt or summaries

A meta description is the short excerpt from a site page that is displayed in the search results. It’s normally two or three sentences in length, and lets the searcher know what the page contains and how pertinent it very well may be to their question. Google may decide that your meta description isn’t suitable for the user’s search query and will generate their own based on your page’s copy.

Regardless, it’s a major piece of the motivation behind why a searcher could choose to click – or not click – on your page, and it’s also the first touchpoint that they have with your company. Obviously, it merits making the most of it.

The excerpt or product summary is often used as the meta description but they are not always the same. You want your meta description to contain between 50 and 160 characters. If this is a product sales page, this might be the “short description.” Think of it as the elevator pitch to get someone to click on your page and read more.

Make sure to include your keywords in your meta description and also any unique selling points. Your goal is to get someone to click on your webpage. When it comes to writing meta descriptions, you should do the following:

  1. Include Your Primary Keyword Phrase
  2. Describe Your Page’s Content
  3. Include a Call to Action
  4. Make Them Unique and Interesting

Note that meta descriptions do NOT affect your search rankings. Clear back in 2009, Google confirmed that meta descriptions are not an SEO ranking factor. But, they do affect whether searchers will click through to your page – which is the other half of the battle. Compelling and actionable meta descriptions will convince more people to click on the search results, and more clicks mean more traffic.

If you are using a SEO plugin like AIOSEO, you can enter your own meta description for each page or product on your site. You can include emojis, which might help. For example, I set the meata description for this article to be

✪ The two most important factors for getting someone to click on your web page from the search results. ✪

Here is the resulting preview:

snippet preview

You can look for emojis to copy and paste from the article on how to make your email subject lines stand out.