I got lazy. Some basics fell to the side while I had my head down. I didn't check on some seo basics that could have increased client conversions. They really didn't matter until they all of a sudden mattered to the tune of 50% increase on conversions and spending 30 minutes to gain $5,000.
WHO CARES ABOUT SHORT META DESCRIPTIONS?
A number of balls are in the air for most clients at any given moment. Promoting assets, creating those assets, content creation, architecture changes & other balls in the air are pretty important to move forward. When I look at short meta descriptions, this was far down on my list of priorities. Until I got around to that priority & realized how many sales they could have been making.
A client sells products that contain feet and inches in the product name. They also sell some products that have nicknames. What's the problem here? When quotes are used for measurement or for a nickname in a meta description, Google closes that description even though it keeps going.
How It Looked:
I was traveling to Montreal when I saw this example. These are the full meta descriptions, but they only take up one line. Our client was only getting a one line meta description that didn't make much sense.
Why This Is Bad:
1. You take up one less line in search results. One line might help push down another competitor just below the page break. For one product, extremely minimal item. Across 150+ products, this could have a big impact.
2. NO CALLS TO ACTION! The customer service this client provides is phenomenal. Free Shipping on everything. Price Match Guarantee. No Hassle Exchanges, 10/10 Reseller Rating. These are all Calls to Action that could instill trust & make a potential customer click on their organic result. No one will see those because the meta descriptions were cut short.
Simple fix; write out the actual feet & inches. Nicknames don't have to go in quotes, but could be replaced with commas.
Total site traffic continued growing at 20%. The 156 pages with fixed meta descriptions grew 52%. The conversion rate for those pages was up 50% whereas the conversion rate for the entire site was up about 20%.
The second example to share deals with copy. For a long time, companies could just plop in manufacturer descriptions and rank well. This still happens today. Take the Dyson dc41 vacuum as an example:
From my limited vacuum knowledge, it looks to be a top of the line product. It has one of those ball looking things, can swivel, pick up all the cat litter that Liv Tyler or Puppy spread all throughout the house & more. Dyson ranks on the first page, as they should. The description used on the Dyson site is taken by some other well known properties which also rank well. Yahoo Shopping and Bed Bath & Beyond are two big ones.
A lazier marketer might look at this & think "Google has a tolerance for duplicate content. We don't need to rewrite the description for this vacuum if others can rank well using Dyson's content."
The majority of the clients you work with are probably not Fortune 500 companies. They have the Klout to get trust from Google & get away with it. This tolerance has been lowered over the past 1-2 years and smaller sites are having a harder time using the same description to rank.
Not a stunning one here, but lets rewrite ALL THE CONTENT. This would take a lot of convincing to get that type of a budget approved by the client. BACK THAT UP with some dollar figures via a test. "Lets take your top performing product, rewrite that content & see what happens."
It took a copywriter in that vertical about an hour to rewrite the content for a minimal cost that SEER covered. It took less than 30 minutes to load this up & format it nicely onto the two product pages. Rankings responded almost immediately. That higher ranking resulted in a $5k increase in revenue (non seasonally impacted) for just that one product. They have thousands of products. Immediate buy-in was received to the point where they brought on a copywriter to knock it out faster.
Two examples of small things where we knew better & should have acted more quickly to ensure both clients were getting the most out of their site.
I'd love to hear more lessons learned from anyone reading this post. Feel free to comment or get me on Twitter @adammelson.
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