Got your attention?
There is ONE single factor in your inbound marketing efforts which, if you get it wrong you can forget about success for your website or business in the Internet world.
A quick explanation first:
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a phrase originally used by Hubspot (Love Hubspot!) to describe a range of integrated online strategies. Hubspot describes inbound marketing as “Any marketing tactic that relies on earning people’s interest instead of buying it”.
So forget about email blasts, forget about advertising, PPC, or cold-calling – these are all outbound marketing strategies.
Think instead about social media, blogs, search engine optimization (the natural or organic results, not the paid ads). These all generate visitors to your site from content you have posted online and these are people who are already interested in you through relationship building or because they are already looking for whatever you are selling.
That’s the quick definition done – now to the really important bit…
What is the crucial “win or lose” facet of your inbound marketing strategy?…
Drum roll please…
Yes it’s that simple and here I am going to take you through a range of ways to gain high impact and great click-through for:
- Your website and onsite content – eye food for scanners
- Your Blogs – rise above the competition
- Your Twitter efforts – get noticed, get visitors and get retweeted
- SEO – the powerful Title Tag and why you must master this
What should you be aiming for in a title if you want to get the sort of results I am talking about?
Well, it would have to be compelling, interesting, wacky, different, thought provoking, unusual, irresistable, controversial, intriguing…
You get the idea!
Here we go…
Pimp your website – or – writing strategies for the web!
Number one – put yourself in your visitors’ shoes!
How have they found your website?
Have they clicked on a search result? Have they typed in your business name? Have they arrived from social media?
Or have they arrived because of an advertising campaign which promotes your products or services?
What do they want when they arrive at your site?
Are you able to deliver a very clear answer to their question?
You have to pre-empt this so think very carefully about what the most important visitors (ones who are ready to part with their hard earned cash!) may be looking for…
And give it to them… On a plate…
Answer the question in the title of the page!
And make the features of whatever you are selling easy to read headings on the page.
Remember that most people online scan quickly over a page before deciding whether to hang around so your bold headings are the key selling points. Your text below the heading can explain advantages of the product but the headings must be clear and clean.
This is what is known as “making your web page sticky”!
Now take a look at your website Home Page.
Is it really clear what your site is all about and are you presenting your premium products or services in a clear and compelling fashion?
Now do the same for your other pages.
Are you presenting your products and the benefits of the products for easy scanning?
Here is an easy way to work out whether your page is working for your visitors:
The big question is…
What needs do your products satisfy in your market?
Once you have answered this question the format is simple:
Your page Title is your Product!
If you are selling a flat screen TV, title your page “Flat Screen TV”!
Then each heading is a different way the product satisfies the need…
Headline #1 – This TV has the clearest picture on any TV, ever!
Headline #2 – Uses next to no power – save the world!
Headline #3 – Plug in your social media… Yes, you can update your Facebook!
You get the idea!
Not rocket science is it?
Killing it with great blog titles!
The web is awash with content!
Everyone is an author these days (and anyone can be!)
There is a very simple method to get noticed for the content you are producing for your blog.
Put as much effort into the title of your post as you do writing the thing…
Seriously it is that important!
Think really carefully about what would make a post absolutely impossible to ignore – and remember people find your blog posts in a lot of different places – search, social media, social bookmarking sites and many more. Most of these sites will show a title and a short snippet so your title is “do or die”!
Look at the last few titles on this blog…
You will see that each one has had a fair bit of thought put into it – the trick is how to get your target keyword into the title while ensuring it lifts the curiosity levels.
You can see that every title we use we have put a fair amount of thought into (and we have usually discussed for some time before settling on the agreed one – fun, but not always easy!)
A little takeaway for bloggers – readers love lists!
The last two posts are two of the most popular on this blog – “10 Personality Types” and “10 Facebook Mistakes” and the lists thing seems to be a pattern across the web!
Posts with this sort of title get results…
Think… 7 reasons, 101 tips, 49 ways, 5 essentials and so on. Use these where you can – posts that are lists are often great link bait as well!
How to write irresistable titles for Twitter!
OK, Twitter can be an absolute firestorm of information of all sorts – welcome and not so welcome. If you are actually following a credible number of people then your feed turns over dozens of tweets every few seconds. You can manage this to reduce the manic nature of Twitter by using lists on Twitter.
So, let’s say the normal Twitter user (now that’s an oxymoron!) is trawling through their Timeline…
How could you possibly get your content noticed in this free-for-all?
Easy! Think about titles again!
A Tweet is a title… A title with a link.
So Twitter is a brilliant way to hone your title copy-writing skills. You have to be smart in this arena, you have to really hit people with a short, sharp blast of something which will separate you from the masses.
There is way too much generic, dull posting on Twitter…
Gems like Do you want more followers?, You can make money online, Sponsor more reps for your biz, Make money everyday with one click, Visit our Facebook page and click Like, Look at our nice new product here, New blog post How to de-flea your hamster (OK that one is a bit interesting) etc etc
Would you click on these?
No, probably not! And it is not surprising that these people tend to slip into the “inactive Twitter users” stats pretty quickly.
Often it will not be good enough to use your brilliant original title from your blog as your tweet if you really want to knock it down!
I will give a couple of examples below. Twitter allows you the luxury of testing a range of titles – outrageous, intriguing, formal, flippant – to see which ones work!
Which versions get visits? Which versions get retweets? Which versions get favourited? (is that a word? It is now!)
I’ll give you a couple of examples of how you can rev up your Twitter titles below.
The original blog title was pretty good but you have to tailor this to fit the high speed space of Twitter.
Here’s what I mean:
This first shot is how the Tweet would appear when I hit the Tweet button for a post on our blog:
Now let’s tweak this a little bit:
Or let’s try this one, this is the original blog title:
Would it be much more effective for click-through when it looks like this?
One more example – this is how the original version reads:
Maybe we could get better buy-in if it looks like this?
The brilliant thing about Twitter is that you get to test multiple variations in copy.
Which ones get shared the most? Which Tweets get the most replies? Which versions send the most visitors to the website?
So you can track your effectiveness on a number of different levels!
I can guarantee you that if you start paying close attention to the copy in your Tweets your Twitter impact will grow substantially!
One proviso though..
You have to send people to a page that has good content on it too – think about the original “pimping the website” bit I talked about earlier – a great title, relevant headings that answer questions and informative content under the headings!
Don’t produce content purely to satisfy a production schedule – make it interesting, informative, valuable, life-changing (OK , just thought I would throw that one in to see if you were still with me)!
SEO Title Tags – What are they and why are they so damn important?
I am not going to go into a detailed explanation of SEO here – you can get an outline of how SEO works by visiting our Search engine optimisation page.
What I will tell you though is that your title is one of the most powerful indicators to Google when they are deciding which websites to place in their search engine results pages.
So you need to nail this one!
A title tag will look something like this in the source code for your page:
<title>Your inbound marketing strategy is toast!</title>
That is assuming you want to rank for “inbound marketing” and “toast”! 😉
If your site is WordPress you should install the All In One SEO Pack plugin – this makes creating Title Tags easy.
If your site is not WordPress but has a Content Management System there should be a place to edit your meta tags. You should be able to edit your Title Tags in this place.
If you don’t have a CMS it might be time to talk to a developer…
Use your keyword in your Title Tag – but don’t be a bozo and do the spammy Keyword | Keyword | Keyword | Keyword | Keyword stuff we often see from people struggling to understand SEO.
Remember that this Title tag will be what will appear in search. Make it keyword oriented but make it read naturally and make it compelling. Make people want to click on your result instead of the spammy one above or below it!
Would you click on something that reads “Best Widget | Top Widgets | NZ Widgets | White Widgets | Black Widgets”| Grey Widgets”?
Or would you click on a Title that reads “NZ’s Best Widgets | Choose From Our Extensive Widget Range | Widgetopia Inc
Easy answer really!
Another thing to note is that whenever you share a post on Facebook or Google+ the title will automatically default to your Title Tag.
I have seen a lot of confusion (sometimes by really big sites that should know better) caused by keyword stuffing showing up in the title tag on a social media share. It makes you look like an amateur!
So there you have it…
Titles rule on the Internet!
If you mess up the opportunity that great titles can give you then you will have a tough time getting visitors to your site, let alone getting targeted visitors.
Please let me know when you have tried a few of these tips or whether you are already using them. By putting real effort into your titles are you seeing an increase in traffic and conversion?
I welcome your comments.
Mike Morgan works with innovative businesses in New Zealand and Australia developing custom web marketing strategies integrating SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media Optimisation. When not in front of his screens you will probably find Mike walking on beautiful Ohope Beach with wife Midge and doberman Cooper. Follow Mike on Twitter here and Google+ here