So, the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) world was abuzz last week. The little techy nerds have been at it again and Google has made some changes. And it’s all to do with headlines. Ironically, the headline announcing the change was decidedly dull…
“Google Increases Width of Search Results Column.”
Boring title aside, what exactly has changed and why is it important to you as a business owner who writes?
In short, Google has increased the column size for their organic search results from 500 pixels to almost 600. At the same time, they decreased the amount of whitespace between the results and features in the right sidebar to only 60 pixels from from 65. The space for descriptions also increased in size by 16-18 characters.
Now, this may all sound a little unexciting and totally irrelevant to you. In fact, you probably don’t know your pixels from your elbow and are wondering how a search result can in fact be organic (no pesticides allowed??) And that’s ok, because you don’t really need to know the technical details. However there IS a reason for this chitchat with you.
Your business CAN be positively impacted….
…if you know what to do.
Here’s what an increased column length means:
Wide search result columns are a copywriter’s dream because now there are a whole lot more characters to play with for the title of our articles and blogs! So where there used to be only 59 characters to squeeze your keyphrases and a great call-to-action into your title, now you get 70 characters before the ellipses […] kick in. And THAT means you get a better shot at writing something truly compelling, and makes your title writing a whole lot more important to get right!
Here’s an example to demonstrate the point:
(Old character count limitation)
Winning custom cupcake recipes in Melbourne, OR: Gourmet &…
(This is 59 characters, with spaces.)
It’s not a bad title but take a look at the improvement with the additional character count:
Winning custom cupcake recipes in Melbourne, OR: Gourmet & gluten free
(This is 70 characters, with spaces.)
Doesn’t that just add a whole new dimension and make the title imminently more clickable? The additional characters allow for a more complete and keyphrase-rich sentence which is highly likely to drive more clicks. And more clicks is what we’re after when we’re trying to get people to our website and view our services. That’s the whole point of writing blogs and articles and adding pages to your website filled with interesting and valuable content, right? You want to have people find your pages listed in Google when they search for solutions to their problems….then you want your page to stand out from the crowd on the search results page by having a sexy title that attracts attention and begs people to click through. Because once they’ve clicked through, then they enter YOUR world…the world of your website where all their greatest desires will be met.
So there you have it. Geeky info that’s actually really important for entrepreneurs who are writing about their ‘thing’ in the hope of attracting people to their business. SEO matters – if you want anyone to read your words that is.