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7 Ways to Make Search Results More Clickable

by Justin Palmer - November 6th, 2007

Getting into the top 10 is only half the battle. How does your search result fare against the other SERP real estate? Here’s some simple tips I’ve gathered to help make your listing stand out.

  1. Questions: Try using an intriguing question to spark the interest of the user. Questions leave people hanging, wanting to know more. If you ask the right question, your result will hopefully be clicked. RagePank offers some good thoughts on using questions in your title tag.
  2. Keyword Dividers: If your title tag consists of several keywords, consider separating them by something more attention grabbing than commas. I frequently use double colons (::), the vertical bar( | ), or caret symbols ( >> ).
  3. Short Titles: If you don’t care about stuffing as many keywords as possible into your title tag, consider shortening your title in order to make it stand out. Short titles are very scan-able
  4. Company Name in Tag: The question about whether or not to include your company’s name in the title tag is a topic of much debate. If your brand name is well recognized, you could benefit from the additional trust implicit in the name. If not, you may simply be distracting from more important keywords and wasting valuable real estate.
  5. Short URLs: Get Elastic shares some interesting data from Marketing Sherpa that suggests shorter URL’s increase click-through since they do not distract from the more important page title. While there may not be much you can do about the length of your domain ( is an unfortunate 18 characters long), you may want to shorten your page files names.
  6. Keyword in URL or Page File Names: This tactic is frequently used in Pay Per Click ads. By creating page file names with keywords in them, you make your listing appear more relevant. However, you may want to balance this tactic with the one above by not making unnecessarily long URL’s.
  7. Indented Listings: Recently, I posted on creating indented search results. In addition to doubling your SERP real estate, and indented result creates a great visual marker that sets your listing apart.
  8. Move higher: This seems like a no-brainer, but often we forget how much more clickable the number 1 spot is over number 2. Moving up a few results can have an exponential effect on your click-through rate.

Not every suggestion here will work for everyone. Be sure to test these tactics on less important pages, and then analyze the results. The key is to stand apart from your competition. If all top positions are using Questions in the title tag, you’re better off doing something else.

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