You’ve written your web page or blog post, using your keywords and providing great content, but have you written great micro content for that page yet?
What do I mean by micro content? I mean the small bits of copy that can make a huge difference in terms of SEO and getting a reader to click.
Headlines and page titles
Headlines are crucial. You want keywords in the headline for the search engines and for your readers. The clever headline that might capture your attention in a magazine already in your hands will not always work as a page title. If you have the job of posting magazine content online, you’ll want to review the headlines and perhaps write a new page title for the online version or use the “kicker” headline if the story has one. “Nuts to that!” might be a surprising and engaging headline for a story about walnut shells abrasives in a magazine for jewelers, but seeing the headline in search results won’t get a jeweler looking for polishing solutions to click on your link.
You don’t want to appear in search results with a listing like this—without a meaningful page title or description.
When you or a reader decides to share your page with others as a bookmark, a tweet or through Facebook, you want to a meaningful title to display.
I really respect TED.com’s page titles. Look at all the information it contains: presenter’s name, presentation title, media type, and then the source. I know exactly what to expect before I click and the keywords don’t shout.
Subheads, like the one above, help to break up your text and make it more easily scanned and read. Subheads are another location for your keywords.
Calls to action
Many of your pages will include a call to action. You might be encouraging your readers to change their behavior, buy your product, send a donation, leave a comment, try a sample, or register for training. Your call to action might change depending on the page. Your calls might increase in complexity as a reader gets deeper into your site.
Image captions and alt text
Eyetracker studies have shown that readers’ eyes fixate on image captions. So make the caption meaningful and provide a reason to move on to the actual story copy. If you’re posting an article about crafting a felt rabbit, use a photo caption like “Creating a felt rabbit takes only three simple steps” or “Create an irresistible toy pet for your cat.”
The alt attribute for images serves a different purpose. It’s for people unable to view an image. The alt attribute should fully describe the photo so “Blue felt rabbit with exaggerated ears” would be an appropriate tag. Using keywords here is still a good idea. The description you use will help them show up properly in an image search.
Before you post your copy or provide it to someone else to post, please consider these smaller examples of important marketing copy.