Calls to action or “CTA’s” are typically reserved for PPC campaigns, but they shouldn’t be. Most title tags and meta-descriptions are not written to attract the end user, and they should be. Getting a solid call-to-action within your organic listing can have a huge impact on your bottom line (assuming of course: the right keywords, conversion techniques, offerings, etc.). Think about what would happen with your PPC campaigns if you used the same copy that’s reserved for your title tag. I bet your click-thru rate would plummet. Better yet, think what would happen if you used the most effective PPC ad copy in the title tag on your organic page. You would have a significant increase in traffic for that page.
But, I could lose my rankings?
I get it—if you’re on the first page in a top position for one of your keywords, it’s risky to rock the boat by changing a title tag. You could lose your top position or worse yet, move a couple pages back in Google. It does happen occasionally, and it’s a calculated risk. But I think the risk is justified … here’s why:
First, the best scenario would have been to get compelling calls to action in your title tag and meta-description before getting on the first page, but that’s not always realistic. Setting that aside, if you properly built out the site architecture, content on the page, and incoming links— essentially doing your SEO due diligence—then small changes to your title tag and meta-description shouldn’t make a huge negative impact. And if there are repercussions, they will likely result in a small loss in rankings (position #2 to #4, for example), which could actually be a good thing.
Here’s why: Let’s say you’re currently in position #2. We’ve seen that position #2 can generate 10% of Google’s estimated search traffic, while position #4 can generate 6%. If you move from position 2 to 4, you should expect to see a decrease in traffic by at least 4%, right?? WRONG! If you’ve included a solid CTA (“free trial,” “buy now,” “download the guide,” “contact us,” etc.) then you’re likely to see an increase in traffic because your listing in Google is that much more compelling and will attract a greater number of clicks.
Below are a few examples of results on Google’s first page for a search for “network security solutions.” I like the contact information and bolded exact phrase on the first listing. The second two could use some help:
In summary, title tags and meta-descriptions should be written for more than just search engines. They should be written for end users in order to grab their attention. Get some solid calls-to-action in place, and you’ll reap the benefits in traffic which should equate to leads and revenue. At Fathom, we build our SEO programs from the ground up with this in mind.