Fun Fact: Title tags are more valuable than you may realize. It’s important to create one that works perfectly for your content. Check out this 4-step process on how to create the perfect title tag in episode 409.
Join Chris & Matt this week for an exciting discussion on “How to Craft the Perfect SEO Title Tag (Our 4-Step Process)” by Joshua Hardwick on the ahrefs blog.
Catch up on the latest episodes of the SEOPodcast with your hosts, Chris Burres and Matt Bertram! It’s “effortless SEO education” and the “best SEO podcast in the universe!” Check out the podcast audio, memes, transcript, and more: www.ewebresults.com/seo-podcast-archive.
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Chris: Hi and welcome to the SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. My name is Chris Burres, owner of eWebResults.
Matt: My name is Matt Bertram. That’s it.
Chris: Just good ol’ Matt Bertram.
Matt: Good ol’ Matt Bertram.
Chris: Welcome to another fun-filled edition of our podcast. We’re gonna call this our rodeo edition of our podcast. At least rodeo 2018 edition of our podcast. There was actually– Matt was holding up the souvenir program from– I don’t know, some while–
Chris: A while back. That’s called a while back. As always we have a tip from our previous podcast, and we need to get a video of that tip please sir. All you need to do is turn on the LCD and then–
Matt: And the video is Google stopped changing the algorithms.
Matt: That’s the tip.
Chris: That’s the tip.
Matt: That’s the tip to Google. Or if they change them, don’t chase them.
Chris: So put the LCD on that and the red button that’s on that face.
Matt: You can’t stop in the middle of the podcast.
Chris: I’m not stopping.
Matt: People are watching.
Chris: Keep talking.
Matt: People are live.
Chris: You keep talking.
Chris: You got it?
Person: I got it.
Chris: You got it? Alright.
Matt: This is live, filmed in Houston, Texas. No.
Chris: As always we have a tip, and our tip from our previous podcast is–
Matt: Google stopped changing the algorithm!
Chris: No, no. What’s the real tip?
Matt: Okay, fine. Stop chasing– chasing the algorithm. Just provide a great customer experience to Google and you have nothing to worry.
Chris: We’ve been saying this on our podcast since the beginning. As long as you provide a good experience to the Google user, Google will look favorably upon you. So, don’t chase the algorithm, chase your customers.
Matt: Ooh, I like that.
Chris: Subscribe. Follow.
Chris & Matt: Boom!
Matt: I like that.
Chris: Alright. So, what we will ask you– let’s see. Oh. Please remember we are filming live here from Houston, Texas. And Matt and I, we are your–
Chris & Matt: Results Rebels!
Chris: Hey, I wanted to throw in this review. This is a great review from Colton Bach. It is of course–
Chris & Matt: 5 stars!
Chris: It says, “Great Company with great services! I am actively recommending them to everyone.” So, what I would recommend is that you become our customer really quickly because pretty soon apparently everyone is gonna be our customer.
Matt: I love it, thank you Colton.
Chris: Colton. Punch in the face to you Colton, we really appreciate that.
Matt: Good guy, good guy.
Chris: If you like this podcast, and if this is your first time you’re gonna know that you like this podcast really soon. If you’ve listened to this podcast before–
Matt: Or not, then bye-bye.
Chris: Bye. If you like the tips that we give in this podcast, you would probably be interested in, “5 online marketing mistakes that can tank your business & how to avoid them.” You can get such an article by going to eWebResults.com/SEOTip. We have an amazing article for you today.
Matt: It is good.
Chris: It’s one of our more technical articles, right?
Matt: Yeah, I feel like it would be good to like draw stuff.
Chris: Have a screen behind us and point and click.
Chris: I think that would probably be pretty good. This article is by Joshua Hardwick. And what we’d like you to do if you are near an electronic device, go ahead and tweet now. You wanna include us #SEOPodcast, this is #409. Tag us @BestSEOPodcast, @eWebResults, and tag Joshua Hardwick, he’s @JoshuaCHardwick. And that’s H-A-R-D-W-I-C-K, so J-O-S-H-U-A–
Matt: Like it sounds.
Matt: Like it sounds.
Chris: W-I-C-K. Are you trying to rush me?
Chris: Is that boring? Is that long and boring?
Matt: No, it’s phonetic. It’s like the phonetic–
Chris: It is actually phonetic, isn’t it? Joshua C Hardwick. And let him know that you’re listening to the best SEO podcast, ‘cause you’ve tagged us already, talk about his article. The article is, “How to craft the perfect SEO title tag.” Yes. The perfect SEO title tag. And it’s a four step process.
Matt: There’s more to it than meets the eye.
Chris: Yeah. So, when you first read the title, you were probably like, “Uhh, this is gonna be pretty quick.” And then you’re like, “Wow, this is really good stuff.”
Matt: He definitely had some good pictures and diagrams. I was overly like impressed with the layout.
Chris: Yup, he did a great job.
Matt: Mm-hmm, yeah.
Chris: So again, if this is the first time listening to the podcast– not just because this is the rodeo podcast but because we like to say hello this way, howdy.
Chris: And welcome to the podcast. If you’ve listened to the podcast before you know we run a competition each and every week, and the competition is: if we get 10 shikos–
Matt: A share, and a like, and a follow.
Chris: If we get 10 shikos and a review, then we move the part where we kinda tell you how to connect with us and all that stuff to the end. Guess what we’re moving to the end today? That part.
Matt: That part.
Chris: That part. So, we got 10 shikos. Actually we had like a hundred and 30 likes on our Facebook page. Punch in the face to the efforts that are going on there.
Matt: Appreciate it, everyone.
Chris: And yeah, we’ve already read a review. So we’re just gonna wait until the end. We’re not gonna tell you that you could easily leave us a review at eWebResults.com/Yelp.
Chris: No, I’m not gonna do it.
Matt: Hey! Hey!
Chris: I don’t care how much you ask. If you would like a free website analysis, we can get a free website analysis for you, just go to eWebResults.com and then click the button that says–
Chris & Matt: Free website analysis.
Chris: It’s pretty straight forward.
Matt: That’s the interesting title tag.
Chris: I just have one short little piece of news. There’s a Facebook algorithm change, right?
Matt: Yeah, there is.
Chris: And data’s dropping off. So there’s a Facebook page called Little Things, they deliver viral content and they are reporting a 75% drop in traffic to their page.
Chris: Yeah, that’s a lot. So, yeah.
Matt: No, no.
Chris: Change is afoot.
Matt: Mark Zuckerberg he says it’s gonna be the same. It’s gonna be the same.
Chris: Yeah, not for businesses it’s not.
Matt: Same engagement, so that’s basically what it is. The engagement is gonna be held to the same standards as you said, as any other post, but we’re getting about 36% engagement and our social stuff’s dropping as well. But we’re still getting a bunch of likes ‘cause we’re fighting the trend.
Chris: Yup, we’re fighting hard. One last thing, this guy Joey, he submitted a web form on our website. It says, “Are you guys on vacation, what’s taking so long with your next podcast?” All I can say Joey is, punch in the face to you for being so hungry for the information we’re putting out there. We really appreciate you.
Matt: Well, a lot of people come to the page to get it and sometimes we’ve hired another content writer, so it’s not updated.
Chris: Yeah, yeah.
Matt: So, that will not be a problem anymore, but if you go typically to YouTube or if you go to the archive page, it usually gets posted there automatically and we have to move it over to the new page. So just a thought.
Chris: Yeah. You can– yeah.
Matt: You can find it in other places, but Chris does not stop the thousand mile march.
Chris: Yes. Yes. I just keep–
Matt: 10 thousand miles.
Matt: Tens, hundreds of–
Chris: Make it a–
Chris & Matt: A million mile march.
Chris: That’s what we’re on.
Matt: I like it.
Chris: That’s what we’re on. And right now, we’re on mile 409.
Matt: How many miles are in a podcast? I’m just curious.
Chris: So, what I would like it to be is somewhere where the math of 410 equals a million and so then we’ve reached the–
Matt: So we’ll just divide the number. Okay, we’ll figure it out next time.
Chris: Make it nice and simple. Alright, so here’s this article, “How to craft the perfect SEO title in four steps,” by Joshua Hardwick. This is really cool, let’s jump right in. “The truth is, title tags have more potential (and SEO value) than most people realize.” So, potential value and SEO value than people realize. He gave an example. So, by the way, he works at Ahrefs. If you’re kind of in our industry, you know what Ahrefs is. They kind of aggregate information, they’ve got a tool that they reference in here. We’re gonna probably kind of blow through where he does the actual walk-through of the tool. But Ahrefs is a really great source for information about search engine optimization for your website. And he gave this example where they had a title tag that was “Rank Tracker – Ahrefs” and then “Rank Tracker by Ahrefs: Check & Track Keyword Rankings.” Their ranking rose by– actually their organic traffic rose by 37.6% when they made that change. He did add a caveat that they had changed some other stuff, and so it might not be specifically to that–
Matt: Well, every little thing you change gives you a little bit of a multiplier.
Chris: I think. So, here’s a question, “What are the SEO title tags?” Right? So when you look in the code– excuse me. I have like this little thing in my throat. I might be coughing through some of this. But when you look in the code, the Title Tag is the piece that fits inside what’s called the Title Tag.
Matt: Okay, okay.
Chris: Right? So you’ve got the <title> and then you’ve got the Title, and then you’ve got the </title>, that’s you’re Title Tag. “Its primary job is to tell visitors and search engines what they can expect from the web page (in the shortest and most concise way possible).” And I’m gonna give him the example– you’ve got your duck lips on. So, here we go. That’s the thing that gets seen on the Google SERP, right? Search Engine Result Page. And it also gets seen when you post a particular URL on social media. By the way those Pringles sound incredibly delicious. And when we were doing the sound check I could hear you eating them, so just be mindful to chew with your mouth closed.
Chris: So, “It’s essential that the title tag entices the user to click-through to your post from the SERP,” again, Search Engine Result Page, “or wherever it’s getting posted.” Here are some more reasons that title tags are important. “First impression counts.” Have you ever heard that? Yeah.
Matt: I’ve heard that before.
Chris: Yup. It’s the first thing people find typically and also brand leverage. So we can get your brand name in there. It’s gonna get more visibility with respect to say, somebody searching for SEO and your particular brand comes up, or your page comes up. By getting your brand in there, if they see that over and over again, the brand, they may not click through to you on the first page, but they may click through to you on other pages. Manny’s wondering if you ate dinner before the podcast. I did not realize it was past dinner time, and you’re absolutely right.
Matt: This is dinner.
Chris: He did something pretty interesting. So I love when you get into the nitty-gritty and people do this type of research. And the research is that the keyword usage for what position you are in Google. So, it’s saying if they did the survey– so, like they do a bunch of searches and then they aggregate the data and they say, “Those webpages that were in the first position, 26% of them had the keyword in the title.” And that was in the first position. Only 25% in the second position, 24% and so on. Which seems kind of low ‘cause like one of our SEO tasks, and I know when we’re talking with other SEOers, one of their tasks is to make sure you’re taking care of title tags. Almost every report that you will ever run on a page that’s SEO related, will talk about the keyword not being or being in the title tag. And look at this, there’s only 26% that are of the first position listings on a Google search result actually have the keyword in the title. Seems pretty low, right?
Matt: Debate over.
Chris: So, what’s interesting is since Hummingbird, Google’s smart enough to know the synonym. So I would submit that if you included synonymous of the keywords that were used to do the search, it would be significantly higher than that.
Matt: So, conversational language is hugely important and Google’s starting to catch the keyword density and so really you just gotta kinda break it up, conversational language, themes, synonyms, that sort of thing. Google I think is waiting a little bit higher from what I’m seeing.
Chris: Very cool. So, you came to us as a PPC expert, right?
Chris: You’ve clearly become an SEO expert, right? You had some good SEO skills. Was there any point where you thought – and ‘cause this is the next question – that title tags and H1-tags were the same?
Chris: And okay, let’s see. I gotta do the search ‘cause our ability to–
Matt: The H1-tag I thought was the heading tag. Well, I guess–
Chris: It is. Right, yeah.
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Chris: And it makes a lot of sense to have that confusion until you really get back in the back of the code. What you see is that the title tag if you use Chrome, and you look at the tab of the Chrome for that particular webpage, that’s typically the title tag that gets displayed there. And then that’s assuming that you’re on the page right? And then the main title in the page is typically the same thing.
Chris: That’s because typically, especially like in WordPress, your H1 gets pulled from the title of the page, and so it makes sense. But he did ask what’s the difference, and the difference is that they are in fact different. In fact he shows a picture, “Don’t confuse this with the title tag that’s visible in the tab of your browser – that is the title tag.” And then what’s actually the H1-tag on the page. So, they can be different if you want them to be different, that’s kind of the point.
Chris: Now here’s a good question, how long should a title tag be? You have any–? I know I’m throwing you on the spot here.
Matt: Well, I mean how many characters?
Chris: Yeah, how many characters.
Matt: I don’t know like 10, 12? I don’t know.
Chris: So, it’s more than 10, more than 12.
Chris: Actually I’ve been watching with my kids a show called Brain Games.
Chris: And one of the things that they did in this Brain Games, there was like, “how many countries are Africa?” I just want you to give me a range that guarantees that the accurate number is in there, right? And so, what’s the smartest answer?
Chris: So, the smartest answer is like 1 and 300.
Chris: Right? Like if you just say the– ‘cause you know the answer’s in there. But people will say, “Ah, somewhere between 20 and 50.”
Matt: That’s what I would say.
Chris: And they’re always wrong. Like I don’t know what– I don’t know what the country count is in Africa, but in this particular study it was like–
Matt: It’s a lot, yeah.
Chris: How many–? But what’s interesting, and this is why like I was– you didn’t give a range that was big enough, right? Humans tend to over-trust their ability to guess things.
Chris: Right? Because if I asked you how many countries– give me a range that guarantees it. And you give like 30 to 50, there’s no reason do that. It means you think you’re right. And in reality you’re not right. I don’t know, I thought that was fascinating.
Matt: Well, I think what’s interesting is the intent of what you’re trying to achieve. So is it long-tail, right? Is it moving the brand and everything up to the front? Like what are you trying to do?
Matt: You know, that’s kinda my thought process of okay, what are you trying to achieve with that? Is gonna dictate like what you’re gonna try to do.
Chris: Right. So he’s asking this, and I ask this question in the context of what is meta title etiquette? 50 to 60 characters. And the reason that 50 to 60 characters is important, and actually it can vary, is that– he gives the example of a title tag that has the … after it. So like the title tag hasn’t completed. And how that’s not a great experience on the search engine result page.
Chris: In terms of etiquette he also says, don’t use all caps. He suggests Sentence Case or Title Case. And even in title case, yes the odd– every now and then put in an all cap word for emphasis is fine, but definitely don’t wanna do all cap. It will get attention but for the wrong reasons.
Matt: What about camel back or whatever it’s called.
Chris: I don’t know what camel back is.
Matt: Where the first letter–
Chris: Oh, that’s the title case.
Matt: Title case, okay. I’ve heard it called like–
Chris: Camel back apparently.
Matt: Camel– I don’t know. Never mind.
Chris: I mean I can see the parallel with camel back. Yeah, title case.
Matt: Camel case.
Chris: And actually we’ve read some statistics on titles and Facebook titles or whatever, that the title case is the best. So cap the first letter for the major words.
Matt: You do that in everything PPC.
Matt: Because it makes people read the whole thing.
Chris: Yup, and then he goes– what is it? Write for humans – here’s what you wanna do with your titles – make sure you’re writing for humans, not for search engines. That was actually our tip, right? Make sure title tags are unique no matter what, per page. That may not be that important. And make sure a title tag exists on all pages. And I say it may not be that important. So if you’ve got like an About Us, and a Contact Us page, those might not be like pivotal things to have different title tags for. Alright, so we wanna write the perfect, not a good, not a great, we wanna write the perfect SEO title tag. Let’s get started.
Matt: Just give it to Google.
Chris: Just give it to Google? So actually, interestingly at the end of this article it’s like, why does Google keep changing my title tags?
Matt: It doesn’t even matter. Like this whole podcast doesn’t even matter, Google’s gonna rewrite it anyway.
Chris: Don’t ruin it. Alright, so first let’s “Find a PRIMARY keyword to target.” So, targeting topics– he prefers targeting topics over keywords, we prefer targeting–
Chris: Over keywords, yeah. I’ve been waiting to use that. He’s been waiting to use that correctly.
Matt: That is correct.
Chris: In fact, he found that on average #1 ranked page will also rank well for thousands of other relevant keywords, right?
Matt: I thought that was pretty interesting.
Matt: I thought that was pretty interesting.
Chris: And then he’s got all these charts and I ignored all those charts, but he says– so what he’s saying is: even though you may select a particular keyword and you get good placement on it, by doing it right – and that’s the page in general, not just the title tag – you actually will end up placing in the first position or in good position for a whole slew of different keyword phrases.
Matt: If you’re good, you’re good.
Chris: Yup. Alright, so let’s say you have a keyword in mind, right? If you don’t, then you should go to the keywords explorer at Ahrefs. I’m happy to promote them ‘cause they wrote this wonderful article. And then he goes and describes some of the things that we’ll do.
Matt: If you wanna be on the podcast Ahrefs, hey, SEMrush missed out.
Chris: Yeah. Alright, so step 1 was find like the keyword theme that you want to go after, right? The very short keyword theme you wanna go after. Step 2 is find long-tail versions of that keyword theme. You should always be targeting one primary keyword, but you should be usually targeting multiple long-tail keywords. Why?
Matt: Target one theme.
Chris: Or one theme, right?
Matt: Target one theme. But yes, one keyword.
Chris: Right, because you’re limited to the 40 or 50 characters or whatever it is, then you can’t target the whole theme.
Matt: Yeah, 20 to 30.
Chris: So, the question is why should you target some long-tail phrases in addition to the primary phrase? Because it takes a long time to rank for your main keyword and you can do well for those long-term phrases a lot easier. “These long-tail variations can often be incorporated into your title tag without unnatural shoehorning.” Right? So, you’re not trying to take themes that don’t make sense and shove them together, you’re actually extending a particular one.
Matt: One of the best tips I’ve seen with the content generation is if you’re trying to rank for a particular word and you’re trying to rank locally, use the word. Like I mean use Houston.
Chris: Yeah. Oh, use the local phrase.
Matt: Like SEO Houston, right? That’s easier to rank for than SEO nationally.
Chris: Right, absolutely.
Matt: And so just adding little things in like that, I think is helpful.
Chris: So, I’ve never kind of read– like I know the definition– I understand long-tail keywords but I’ve never read a particular definition. And David McSweeney gave an example– Marcus, punch in the face! “Long tail keywords are the search queries with very low individual search volume, but an enormous total search demand as a group. The name comes from the ‘long tail’ of the so-called ‘search demand curve’ – a graph, that plots all keywords by their search volumes.
Matt: So I was gonna replace this with like Amazon.
Matt: Well Amazon, you know how they started right?
Matt: So Amazon started going after all the rare books that were only bought like 10 a month or whatever, and they took that enormous amount of volume and rolled it up with no inventory, and then worked their way–
Chris: To like bigger books.
Matt: Worked their way in on the demand curve.
Matt: So like Amazon took advantage of this. It’s like classic. I mean it’s–
Chris: Well, and it’s also like a lot of apps that do well, or a lot of software or services that do well that you might see on Shark Tank. They’ll tend to start in one place, right? So if we’ve got somebody who would like to attack – and we’ve put together proposals for this – to attack like a national campaign, we’ll say, “Okay. Well, let’s choose a place. Probably Houston to begin with so that you can concentrate your budget.” And the reason that really– like this is a little side-tracked, but the reason that really works is we know that impression density is an important factor in terms of getting people to interact with you. And so if you spread your– even $100 thousand budget across the country versus throwing it directly into Houston, you know, people see your brand a lot less.
Matt: So I was at a talk and there was a VP of Coca-Cola I think.
Matt: VP of marketing of Coca-Cola, and she made this analogy of like a focused beam of light attracts moths.
Chris: More moths, yeah.
Matt: More months than just light in the room. Like it gives them a focus, they come to it, that sort of thing. So that was pretty cool.
Chris: Yup, I absolutely agree with that. He states that keywords tend to be longer and more specific than commonly searched phrases. Literally we like to describe long-tail keyphrases as: when the buyer is about to buy. When the prospect is about to buy. They’re usually doing more long-tail keyphrases.
Matt: Oh, absolutely.
Chris: Um, let’s see, “Head keyword.” So “SEO Tips”. So, we’re gonna kinda walk through his example of what he puts together. So his lead keyword is “SEO Tips.” He created two long-tailed variations, “seo tips for beginners” and “small business seo tips.”
Chris: There’s about a hundred searches per month for “seo tips for beginners” and then 70 searches per month for “small business seo tips.”
Matt: Sounds like we should write an article for that.
Chris: Then “seo tips,” 3,800.
Matt: Yeah, we’re gonna be writing an article about “seo tips for beginners.”
Chris: Alright, so step #1?
Chris: Keyword theme. Step #2? Long-tailed phrases that you don’t have to unnaturally wedge into that keyword theme into your title.
Chris: And #3, let’s draft your basic title tag.
Matt: Oooh, I like it.
Matt: That’s good.
Chris: So he says here are the rules. “Focus on descriptiveness.”
Chris: “Keep it short and sweet.” Not to exceed 50 to 60 characters. I believe we covered that already.
Matt: That’s good.
Chris: Include your keyword.
Matt: It’s good.
Matt: I like this. This is good.
Chris: Alright, so he’s gonna– their article is their list of 75 SEO tips. So after step #3, we’re at “75 SEO Tips for 2018.” Yeah.
Matt: No, go on. I got this.
Chris: So he includes– what he does with that is he includes the main keyword.
Chris: Right? Which in his case, what was his main keyword? He said his main keyword–
Chris: No, I think it was “SEO Tips,” right?
Matt: SEO tips. SEO tip.
Chris: SEO tips.
Matt: It was “SEO Tip.”
Chris: And then he also he included one of the tail words which was “seo tips for beginners–” no, “small business seo tips.” No, he changed the game on us.
Matt: Oh, this one’s–
Chris: Yeah. So, really what he ended up doing– he said, “This incorporates both the primary keyword of ‘SEO tips’ and the long-tail keyword of ‘SEO Tips 2018.’” So interestingly, he ended up changing that in his article ‘cause he didn’t include the long-tail of 2018. Maybe he did it somewhere else.
Matt: See how confusing this is, everyone?
Chris: Oh, there we go. He did get to it. Alright. So, again “SEO Tips” was the primary and “SEO Tips 2018” was the longer-tail keyword that he’s going after. And now one point he says he is, you can recognize that because you have “75 SEO Tips for 2018” just because there’s a “for” in between SEO tips 2018, right? So it’s not the actual keyword, Google is smart enough to understand that when you include 2018, you must be talking about tips that are fresh and relevant to 2018. So I think that’s good, yeah.
Matt: Well, so like what is it? Tip 2018, or how does it do–?
Chris: Oh, it’s “SEO Tip 2018.”
Matt: Well, you probably wanna do “SEO Tip 2018.”
Chris: Right. So, that was his long-tail, “SEO Tips.” He’s writing on the board back here. “SEO Tips 2018,” and because it says “SEO Tips for 2018,” you’re like, “Hey, wait. Your keyword’s not exactly right.”
Chris: It’s alright. Google understand that 2018 means 2018.
Matt: And if you’re doing paid, man, Google will say, “Yeah? You mean that? I’m gonna bill you for it.”
Chris: I’ll throw everything at it.
Matt: Be careful.
Chris: Alright. So, one of the things that he said is that– let’s see. How to choose the best and worst protein powder. So if you’re gonna make a short– this step is to make a short title. And he’s saying, “Best Protein Powder,” you can do “How to choose the best (and worst) protein powder,” right? So let’s change it up a little bit. Or use a synonym, “How to choose the best (and worst) protein shake,” instead of powder.
Matt: And best protein powder is the core phrase you’re going after. So you can put modifiers in, you can mix it up. It’s kinda like a phrase match, you know?
Chris: Yeah, and then Google does a great job, as you guys probably know of, at inferring the searcher’s intent knowing what you’re talking about, right? Alright. So, step #4, “Look at what’s unique about your content,” and tell people about the uniqueness of your content, right? So, here are 5 qualities.
Matt: 5, okay.
Chris: 5 qualities that people tend to value. “Depth and thoroughness.” So, we all know that really good content, we call it pillar content – is one of the phrases that we’ll use – ranks really well in Google. So what you’ll find out and this is Neil Patel-ism, master at like pillar content.
Matt: Yeah, oh yeah.
Chris: Really in-depth and thorough content. So, that’s got value. People recognize that. I want to just go to one article, read it, know everything about it, and then I can stop reading about it. Yeah.
Matt: Yeah, that’s me.
Chris: That’s #1. Number 2, “Lists and quantity.” People love lists and posts.
Matt: Oh yeah. Yeah.
Chris: Absolutely. Next is, “Speed and brevity.” So, you may like really comprehensive content, but there’s a whole slew of people who are like, “Okay, I just need the 5-minute overview,” or “I need something fast, I need something dirty.” And he’s saying– I think he goes into, “quick,” “simple,” “X minutes,” “today,” “now.” It was really important. Next he says, “Freshness.”
Matt: Ooh, I like that.
Chris: As an example, “SEO Tips 2018,” would be fresh. Nobody’s gonna click a result from 2012 for such a query. So, make sure you’re updating your content, keeping it evergreen.
Chris: And then finally he mentions, “Brand,” and brand is something that’s probably not talked about enough in SEO. People love brands, more importantly–
Matt: Google loves brands.
Chris: Because people love brands, Google loves brands, right?
Chris: So, people are more likely to click a search result from a brand they know and trust.
Chris: Alright. So, one of the things to kind of put into here, maybe if your target market is interested in cheap, or maybe they’re interested in really high quality stuff–
Chris: That’s gonna adjust– or luxury, exactly. That’s gonna adjust what you might do. He gives the example of best– so, what if you don’t know what your audience is interested in or what people who read based off of that keyphrase are interested in, how could you figure that out? Trust me.
Matt: Show them everything.
Chris: Do a Google search.
Matt: Oh, yes. Yeah.
Chris: Right? So, we all know that when people tend to click the particular listing over and over again, Google moves it up. And so, what you know from searching the phrase you’re targeting is what people who type in that phrase are looking for. And so then you can appeal to them.
Matt: So, there’s a book out there, I think it’s called like Everybody Lies or something like that. I just recently finished it.
Chris: I feel like you just made that up.
Matt: No! I’m serious. It’s got like an elephant on it.
Chris: Is that a lie?
Matt: And it’s like a freakonomics, like it’s a freakanomics 2.0.
Chris: Oh yeah, like economics driven– yeah.
Matt: And it’s all about Google searches, and it really gives some very creative insight into what’s going on. So, this guy got all this data and peeled it apart, and he’s talking about some pretty controversial topics, but it really is interesting. He said that like the Google bar is basically like a confession bar.
Chris: Right. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Matt: But you can find out what people are thinking, and it keyed in my memory of that when you said that.
Chris: Actually give me that book ‘cause I wanna read it. I love the– freakonomics books are pretty phenomenal.
Matt: Yeah, I enjoyed it.
Chris: So, he’s kinda taken his notes here, right? And remember, these 5 things that you want to kind of sell to your audience, depth and thoroughness, lists and quantity, speed/brevity, freshness and brand. So, now he has taken his previous “75 SEO Tips in 2018” to “75 SEO Tips That Work in 2018.” I think that’s better, right?
Matt: I like it.
Chris: By adding the phrase “That Work in 2018” the title tag is now showing freshness, it’s up-to-date, and it’s gonna work, right?
Matt: I like it.
Chris: But this title tag also incorporates a couple other qualities too, “Depth and thoroughness,” 75 SEO tips is a pretty thorough list. I mean, you go to our page and you only get 5. They’re pretty awesome. They’re pretty important, but it’s not 75, right?
Matt: But people like lists. People like to walk away with information of value and lists generate that.
Chris: Yeah, he even did a search for like just SEO tips and the top 4 things are, “These 9 SEO Tips,” “100 SEO Tips,” “101 Quick & Actionable SEO Tips,” “12 Important SEO Tips.” So, people what lists.
Matt: People want lists, they feel like it’s about you. And so it’s really good for like lead magnets and that sort of thing.
Chris: Yup. So, here’s what to do once you rank in the top 10. So, you get that up to the top 10, you need to start making some adjustments, right? And here are a few ways to increase your click-through rate. So one is: okay, Google appeal to the algorithm and get there. But we know that we’ve gotta increase the click-through rate and make sure that people stay there. That’s another topic altogether. So, “Hook the reader in by adding EMOTION to the title.” Ask me, how do you add emotion to a title?
Chris: Pain. Well, that’s actually probably 2. We look like we’ve gone blank. That’s kind of– oh no.
Matt: It’s your phone.
Matt: It’s just updating.
Chris: You know why?
Matt: It’s fine.
Chris: At some point we said, “Okay, Google,” and the Android device–
Matt: Alexa, stop it.
Chris: That’s funny. My phone’s just dead.
Chris: There we go.
Chris: It’s the rodeo intermission.
Matt: Alright, there we go.
Chris: Alright, we’re back. Alright. So, emotion: amazing, remarkable, magic, extraordinary. I don’t know, unknown secrets of internet marketing?
Chris: There we go.
Chris: “What does the content offer that’s unique?” “What pain points do people searching for this query have?” Alright? So, kind of address those. So, he ends up now– we’ve kind of changed from “75 SEO Tips” to “75 SEO Tips in 2018” to “75 Actionable SEO Tips That Work in 2018.” I love– this is a really well put together article.
Matt: Yeah, I like it. You see his thought process of how he built it.
Chris: We gotta do a punch in the face for Joshua Hardwick.
Chris: Pretty awesome.
Matt: Yeah, appreciate it.
Chris: Alright. So next he even says, “Add brackets and parentheses.” So, we know when we create sections on a webpage, like individual sections, that people are more likely to continue to read or skim through those sections, right? And find the sections they like. That’s what the brackets and parenthesis do. So now it’s “75 Actionable SEO Tips (That Work in 2018).” It just breaks up the pieces of information so people are more likely to process those pieces of information. And if they can process the information, then they’re gonna click through. Number 3 of this section – I’ve kinda lost where we’re at of what 3.
Matt: I need to take a look at my article here and I’ll tell you.
Chris: So, this is what you do after you rank in the top 10, right? So, number 1 was to hook the reader by adding emotion.
Chris: Number 2 was on this previous page, to add brackets and parenthesis.
Matt: I like it.
Chris: I think it’s a great idea. And number 3 is, “Use the ‘curiosity gap’ to entice the click.” Ask me what the curiosity gap is?
Matt: What’s the curiosity gap, Chris?
Chris: Well, let me just give you an example of the curiosity gap. I think that’s the best way to do it. Here’s a title, “He found out his son had cancer. His coworkers answered with this unbelievable kindness.” It leaves you like, “Wait! I need to know this!” What is that unbelievable kindness?
Chris: Yeah, it’s about story-telling, right? And one of the things he says is, you want to engage this curiosity gap, just make sure you’re not lying.
Chris: Right, so his title could’ve become, “75 SEO Tips for 2018 (That Google REALLY Doesn’t Want You to Know About.”
Matt: Oooh, that’s good too though.
Chris: It’s really powerful, but it’s not true, right? Like Google doesn’t care if you know about these 75 tips, right? So it’s probably–
Matt: There are so many articles named that, I’m sure.
Chris: Yeah. Exactly, yeah. So he really said, if you wanna engage this curiosity gap, “75 SEO Tips for 2018 (That Work Like a Charm in 2018).”
Matt: Yeah, well no. People do that all the time. They’re like, “SEO’s dead!” And then they talk all about SEO.
Chris: Oh yeah, and how valuable it is. Yeah, I just saw one about social media or something.
Matt: It’s kind of like clickbait. They’re like faking you out. Like I really want– if you’re gonna say that, like I really wanna hear–
Chris: Why you believe it’s actually true as opposed to like knowing that you just used it to get me here.
Chris: It’s kind of like using all caps, right? It gets attention, it just gets the wrong kind of attention I think.
Chris: And then number 4 here is, “Front-load your keywords.” Right, so if you need to have your keywords in your title tag, make sure they’re near the front. And why do you wanna do that? It catches their attention. So, if they searched for “SEO tips,” you wanna make sure “SEO tips” is really early in that title tag. It could be a ranking factor, right? So, what they’re saying is they don’t know if it’s a ranking factor.
Matt: It used to be, yeah.
Chris: How close it is to the beginning. It could be, so include it.
Matt: I just think that a lot of these changes, okay? Have been tweaked, but they’re still the fundamental of the engineering when it was built.
Chris: Oh yeah, it’s there. It’s there.
Matt: It’s still there. There are still footprints of it, they can’t completely get rid of it.
Chris: It would be crazy to do that, yeah. And then, another reason to front-load your keyword, “It can result in more keyword-rich links.” Right, because some times when people link to your website, they just use the title when they link to your website. And so, when they use the title, that’s clearly gonna be a keyword-rich link to your website.
Matt: That’s probably the most powerful thing we’ve heard right there.
Chris: Yeah, very cool.
Matt: Do that.
Chris: Now, here’s the front-loaded version of their SEO tip’s article, right? So the last version we had was, “75 Actionable SEO Tips (That Work Like a Charm in 2018).” Now he’s got, “SEO Tips: 75 Actionable SEO Techniques (That Work in 2018).”
Matt: This would be good to have up on the board to follow along.
Chris: And then remember we mentioned that include brand if it’s relevant. A lot of SEO people know Ahrefs. So he really ended up with “75 Actionable SEO Tips (That Work Like a Charm in 2018) – Ahrefs.”
Matt: Brand. I like it.
Chris: Yeah. So, it’s really, really good. He did go into– do you have something?
Matt: No, I just think the researcher, the thought process here is really good.
Chris: It’s phenomenal, right? It’s really phenomenal.
Matt: Yes, it’s like we got in his head.
Chris: And I can tell you–
Matt: He shared it.
Chris: I can tell you that when you’re putting title tags together– we were discussing insurance earlier this week – one of our clients – and so you’re like, “Yes, ‘home insurance’ for the home insurance page.” How do you make it better? And this is a nice process to make you think about how to make it better. How do we add emotion, instant, or how do you appeal to each of the things that he’s covering, that’ Joshua is covering. Yeah.
Matt: Well, just send them this podcast. Be like, “Here, just listen to this and it’ll walk you through it.”
Chris: Absolutely. So, he did give some ideas. I’m not gonna go into these about what you could do from an e-commerce perspective, just know that there are plugins for like WordPress, Joomla and Magento that’ll allow you to like use components like category, product, product name, product description you probably don’t wanna use, it’s probably gonna be too long for a title tag. But it’ll allow you to create those so that then the default meta title is exactly what you would like it to be. Alright, so that was pretty good. Then finally like we mentioned, Google changes your title sometimes, right?
Chris: They change it a lot.
Chris: And so why would Google change your title? And so it covers this. He says #1, “Google thinks that your title tag sucks.” That would be a reason, like if your title tag sucks. “Google thinks that there’s a more suitable title tag for your particular query.” And I love the example he gave. He gave the example if you search for Zappos, if you look on the Zappos’ homepage– obviously which comes up. Their title tag is “Online shoes, clothing, free shipping and returns |,” that’s the vertical bar symbol.
Matt: Is that an i? a capital i? Is that what that is?
Chris: “Zappos.com,” but what Google displays on the SERP is “Zappos.com: Online Shoes, Clothing, Free Shipping and Returns.” So, Google understands that people, when they’re looking for Zappos, they probably want Zappos. So even Google will adjust your already pretty good title tag to put the keyword in the front.
Chris: So, it’s a good reason to put your keyword in the front to begin with.
Matt: I think just Google’s gotta help people drive a little bit on the website builds and what they’re doing.
Chris: Yeah. And then finally, “Google is looking at the anchor text of your inbound links to determine the topic.” So, sometimes those websites that are linking to you, Google used the anchor text of those in order to actually adjust your title tag. And of course one of the biggies here is why does Google adjust your title tag? Well, if you don’t have a title tag, they put their own title tag. And I think there’s some stat in here about how many of these pages don’t actually have title tags. And Google does a really good job of cleaning these up. Pretty cool.
Matt: I really wanted to highlight the koala bear.
Chris: Oh yeah.
Matt: Like the koala bear, that was really info-tainment for me.
Chris: I think it should’ve been in the title, it should’ve been–
Matt: I thought that– like we could’ve talked about the koala bear the whole time.
Chris: Yeah, I think it should’ve been like, “SEO Tip 75–” No, “75 Actionable SEO Tips (That Work Like a Charm in 2018) – Ahrefs.”
Matt: For koala bears.
Chris: “And a Cute Koala Bear.” I think you add that there and–
Matt: Google’s like, “No.”
Chris: You may have exceeded the character count, but I think it’s a viable option. And finally, how can I stop Google from rewriting my title tags? You can’t. So, don’t worry about it. Joshua Hardwick, punch in the face to you. This was a phenomenal article.
Matt: Yeah, really liked your thought process.
Chris: Please tag him @JoshuaCHardwick on Twitter. And then we’ve got our wrap up stuff. That was impressive.
Matt: I was a little fearful, but my drawing I think really helped.
Chris: I’m gonna go with No Comment. Alright, so we’re wrapping up our podcast. If you liked this podcast, please tell three people about it right now. Just three.
Matt: Five. Five.
Chris: Anybody who’s a business owner, or they’re in search engine optimization, or they do marketing, or whatever, just let them know about our podcast. If you are trying to grow your business, we suggest that you do it with the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet.
Matt: The internet, yes.
Chris: Call eWebResults for increased revenue in your business. Our phone number is 713-592-6724. If you have a referral, somebody who’s interested in any aspect of internet marketing, send them to us.
Chris: They come to us, they pay us, we pay you. That is our referral program. Or donate to a charity, yeah.
Matt: Yeah, donate to a charity. But we are hiring contracts, sales reps in that fashion.
Matt: So, just give us a call if you have an interest.
Chris: And that’s anywhere in the country. We’re in H-Town, but if you’re anywhere in the country–
Matt: We have clients nationally and we’re expanding.
Chris: Very cool. Please remember we were filmed live here at 5999, West 34th Street, Suite 106, Houston, Texas, 77092. You can get a transcript, video and audio of this podcast on our website eWebResults.com.
Matt: I like that.
Chris: I had to throw that in there. My voice was feeling good.
Matt: Yeah? Alright, alright.
Chris: We are the most popular internet marketing podcast in the known universe because of you guys. We actually got on another list recently, Ahrefs! Ahrefs’ list, right?
Matt: Yeah, I think we did.
Matt: And we’re reading their article. Woh-oh!
Chris: And we’re reading their article.
Matt: There’s some reciprocity.
Chris: Serendipitous reciprocity. So, because of you we’re the most popular internet marketing podcast on iTunes. Thank you guys, thank you for connecting with us, sending us questions, for being around and having us move that piece to the end. We’re just gonna skip it altogether.
Matt: You know how to get ahold of us if you’re watching this.
Chris: Yes. It is rodeo season, so I’m about to head to the rodeo. Until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.
Matt: My name is Matt Bertram.
Chris: Bye bye for now.