Recently, I signed up for HubSpot‘s webinar “The Science of SEO.” As freelance writers, we’re often requested to create clever titles to entice people to ‘click-on’ a blog post or article. However, if content isn’t what users are looking for, they’ll move onto the next website. Clients need to understand that titles do matter; however, content trumps titles.
Here are some key points from The Science of SEO
1. Most use Google to search online.
2. Most trust a ‘description’ rather than a title. People look for the description to determine if search results are relevant to what it is they’re looking for.
3. Those over 30 trust a higher page rank as indicating a trustworthy website. Those under 30 didn’t believe a higher page rank indicated a website was trustworthy. This is why it’s important to know the target market.
4. Most trust organic searches rather than PPC ads; however, most will not admit to clicking on a PPC advertisement.
5. Clients’ websites are listed next to ‘spam’ and must be distinguishable from ‘spammy’ websites.
Take away: if you’re a freelance writer with a web design background, make sure clients know and understand the importance of ‘standing out’ from ‘spammy’ websites. Colors, fonts, images, etc. do matter. Spiders work 24/7; they never take a break.
6. Use media such as images and videos to make ‘content’ stand out and enhance articles and blog posts.
Freelance writers: make sure you have the ‘right’ to use images and photos. Better yet, have your clients provide them.
7. Comments on blog posts won’t necessarily help ranking. Posting more frequently could increase ranking.
FYI: It’s up to freelance writers to make sure clients understand the necessity of having updated material on their websites.
8. Watch the words you link to. You know that saying, “Out with the old and in with the new,” well it applies to the words you link to. Linking to words such as recent, insights, soon, answers, and others could increase clients’ page rank.
Take away: searchers online are looking for timeliness versus buzz words. Freelance writers; provide links in blog posts and articles that are relevant to your clients’ customers.
9. How many characters are you working with? It’s best to keep titles between 40 and 80 characters. You can easily find out how many characters are in a title by using Word or some other program. Of course, you could always use Twitter. They only allow 140 characters.
10. Analysis goes a long way. If your freelance writing clients aren’t using some type of analytical program such as Google Analytics, suggest they start analyzing pertinent data today and tomorrow, the web traffic will flow.