This past week I attempted to explain Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to my students in my electronic marketing course. I fear that many of my students failed to comprehend the importance of SEO and more importantly, struggled with drafting an effective description that would entice potential visitors to their website.
An analogy: I admonished them to take advantage of the opportunity to sell your product, or in the case of their resume/eportfolio to sell yourself to potential employers. The analogy that seemed to bring a little clarity in the eyes of my students was a comparison to billboards on the highway. There are many billboards promoting hotels and restaurants along the interstate, but some are more effective in attracting the driver to leave the road than others. Pretty pictures might grab your initial attention, but what motivates you to take that next exit. Is it the message “kids stay free,” “free hot breakfast,” or “restaurant open 24 hours?” An interesting and motivating descriptive message will achieve a similar result, such as, attract a greater click though rate than a random snippet of information from the website’s content. Still many of my students struggled to write an effective description for their own resume website. Feeling a bit frustrated, I turned back to my SEO books and reviewing some of the wealth of SEO websites.
Conversation Marketing website identified 3 items that should be included in the description tag. I would like to share those 3 tips with my students:
1. A reason to click. Give the potential site visitor a reason to believe that you offer an answer to their inquiry . . . Provide them a clue as to why your website is to be the perfect answer to their search!
2. More text – more clarity. According to Conversation Marketing, Google is testing different snippet sizes so go ahead and include greater detail. I would add . . . ensure that you proof your work to avoid spelling and grammar errors.
3. Put your strongest point first. Use your keyword, primary headline, and the most enticing aspect of your brand message near the first segment of the description. If the snippet does not include the full description statement then at least, the most important points still appears on the Search Results page. Learn more at the following website:
Check out their website and consider buying the book Conversation Marketing . . . currently just $7. for the PDF version. A real bargain for cash strapped college students