Charlie’s Quick Fire Reading List #13: Meta length & headline hacks

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet on the reading list front, it’s been a busy few months for the Attacat team! Lots of exciting things happening.

An SEO-heavy reading list for you today in light of a new Google SERPs update. We’ve also highlighted a super simple use of personalisation from a leading (fancy) supermarket that have done wonders for improving their conversion rate (e-commerce companies pay attention).


Attacat brain

Significant change to SERPs: Google extends length of titles and descriptions

While it sounds pretty minor, this could potentially be a pretty significant change in the SEO world. Over the past couple of weeks there has been a reported 17% increase in the width of Google organic search results listings.

New Google SERPs length
Credit: Moz

While SEOs are reluctant to jump on the bandwagon just yet because 1) character widths vary and 2) Google appends meta anyway we’d suggest it’s something to keep an eye on and there is certainly more to come. If your business is agile enough, you can try amending the length size of your title tags and meta descriptions but be prepared to move things around depending on the results.

If anything, make sure that you’re recording CTA pre and post the May 4th change.

5 brilliant headline hacks for crazy high organic click-through rates

If you’re planning to tweak your meta in line with the new length changes, make sure you read this article!

Basically it alludes to SEO-optimised titles being a bit rubbish, but suggests a cure. It’s actually basic stuff really (format, tone, emotion and hook and topic relevance) but really worth catching yourself up on.

CTA vs. position in search console

We’d suggest the first step is to define the queries that you’ve got a low click-through-rate for, thankfully the article gives you a hack for that as well :).

10 free online marketing tools every small business owner needs

Quite frankly, the online marketing tool industry is a bit of a minefield and it’s not a particularly friendly place for a small business owner with limited cash flow to spend on subscriptions. The benefit of using a agency for your online marketing activities is that you should get insight from a great range of tools that the agency has access to. Nevertheless it’s useful to know what’s out there and more importantly, what’s actually worth using.

Google keyword tool

Our favourites from the list include:

  • Open Site Explorer – backlink audit tool. We use a number of different tools to extract backlink data for clients but this is a really good start.
  • Screaming Frog – crawl tool. While the free version only provides limited insight and if you’ve got a bigger website it’s not ideal, it’s still an essential tool. We use Screaming Frog every single day.
  • Google Keyword Planner – keyword tool. While this tool is heavily focused around the ‘paid’ side of advertising (Google AdWords and the like), if you strip it down to just looking at search volumes and keyword ideas it’s extremely useful.

How Waitrose is using personalisation to increase conversions

While personalisation is by no means a new trend, it seems to be moving slowly under the radar. We’re starting to see more and more brands use personalisation to improve their conversion rate and it’s really exciting to see. Most of the time it’s pretty subtle, Waitrose is no different.

Waitrose logo

Supermarkets have been using customer data to improve conversion rates for years – it’s nothing new. The Tesco Clubcard was basically set up to get precious data out of customers. Those of you with Tesco Clubcards will know that they send quarterly money-off vouchers and discount vouchers depending on your shopping history, a welcome gift in the post from my perspective! Waitrose have gone that little bit further, allowing loyalty card customers to select their own offers. A nice touch, I think.

Thanks for following it through to the end, hoping you’re going away with a few extra bits and bobs to play about with and talk to your colleagues about. Want to know if your website is up-to-speed with the latest SEO updates? Our SEO Audit is a comprehensive overview of your website’s SEO ‘health’ and provides invaluable guidance and actionable (and big impact) tasks. Get in touch if you want to chat!

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