Google Webmaster Tools will tell you flat out if your meta title and description writing is making you or breaking you.
If you’re using Google Analytics, you might as well sign up for a Google Webmaster account as well. Amongst the advantages are easy submission of an XML or RSS sitemap, page load speed data, and the topic of this blog post: Data on effectiveness of your website metatags.
In the image below, I show examples from my kayak fishing blog. It should be noted that I’ve been very busy this year, so I haven’t been fishing much, and as a result not posting to the blog all that much. So I’ve taken some SEO hits.
At the same time, the data in the image clearly shows the following:
1.) The number of times my pages have come up in Google search results (SERPs) in the last 30 days.
2.) The keywords that are generating the most impressions.
3.) The number of times that Google users have clicked on my pages in the SERPs.
Here’s the data:
Now, if you had to guess which of my pages had the best meta title and descriptions, what would you go with? Clearly, the CTR (click through rate) for “niagara escarpment” and “freshwater kayak fishing” are the best. Both of them get clicked through over 14% of the time when a searcher sees them on Google search pages.
So that’s a good place to start. But what pages are winning those visitors for me? For that, we have to drill down with the + next to the keyword. Here’s what we find:
For “niagara escarpment”, we see that a blog post I did about the formation of the Great Lakes is the one that pops for that keyword. The second listing there is for a map image of the escarpment. So likely that one is coming from Google Image search.
Depending on your vertical, and the purpose of your website, that may or may not have much value to you.
Using the Data to Get More Website Traffic
Here’s your takeaway.
Clearly, I need to write a better Title and Description for the REI Kayak page. That one could be a money maker for me, but with a CTR of under 1%, I’m leaving all that cash on the table.
880 times that page has been available to Google searchers, and yet only 12 of them have dropped in on me. Time to sharpen the pencil, and write copy that sells.
The Title and Description meta tags are most likely what searchers see in Google. The Blue Hyperlink in the search results is often your Title Tag, and the text underneath is likely to be your Meta Description.
So you can argue that it’s the most important text to consider when designing a new web page.
So go get a Google Webmaster account, and find out if your SEO efforts are generating opportunities, and further, whether or not your SEO efforts are generating VISITORS.
SEO is wasted if you rank in the top 5, yet no one clicks the link. So the exercise detailed above is crucial for every small business looking to grow via the web.