February 26, 2014
Snippets are those little descriptions Google (and other search engines) show beneath each search result on their pages. The description explains what that site or page of content offers. If the website publisher fails to provide a search description, or provides a lousy one in Google's eyes, Google et al. fills it in with whatever text it deems appropriate from that page.
That means you and I have a choice: create the best possible snippet, or...let Google do it. OK, so Google is hands-down way smarter than me. I mean, they have driverless cars roaming the planet taking photos of our houses and whatever else they feel like. But when it comes to crafting a snippet for my site, I'd much rather be in the driver's seat.
A snippet is not mere window dressing. It's really a little sales message that (hopefully) persuades a visitor to click-through to your site. Making sure it says what you want gives you a better chance of connecting with a visitor.
After I tweaked the snippet for each of my sites, I realized — frustratingly — that a number of days could pass before Google finally displayed the new version. Bummer. Luckily, thanks to a great SEO tutorial at Raventools.com, I found a handy site that previews your draft snippet for you as it would look on a Google search results page: http://www.seomofo.com/snippet-optimizer.html.
I gained a new appreciation for just how complex SEO is while talking with Janet. If you really want to get it right...hire her! Meanwhile, I hope you find this tiny tip useful.
January 10, 2014
December 9, 2013
Mark: Did anything about storytelling — or how businesses use it — surprise you as you wrote the book?
Ann: Sure! What surprised me most is how natural it is for humans to tell stories. My six year old spins fantastic tales about dragons and robots and superheroes quite spontaneously. We only run into trouble when we become self-conscious in our storytelling, which is the problem most entrepreneurs face. Self-consciousness takes many forms. It sounds like “I'm a bad writer” or “what if people judge me?” or “what story could I possibly tell?” I wrote Selling with Stories to provide business owners and marketers with a process that would help them rediscover what they already know how to do.
November 29, 2013
|Image source: jeffbullas.com|
In these days of hand-wringing over how to write search engine-optimized copy, Janet wisely and refreshingly knows that the search engines favor quality content written for real people. A good headline is key to attracting the eyeballs you seek.
After you read my post on Janet's site, here's an interesting article on the topic of headlines by Margaret Pincus on JeffBullas.com — which is also the source of the 'canine headline' image above.
Drop me a comment: What's your own take on effective headlines?
October 22, 2013
October 10, 2013
That line — from the introduction to Selling with Stories: How to Attract Your Ideal Client with Words and Pictures by Ann Bevans — made me stop and think.
Ever since Og the caveman discovered he could get his children to pay attention, go to bed on time, and quit throwing rocks at dangerous animals by telling them vivid stories around the fire at night, that rewiring process has continued unabated in human minds.