It’s SEO Monday, and I’m your presenter Che’. Today we’ll be covering how to Make a Big Impression with Little Space. When writing web copy, it seems like the rule of thumb is “the more the merrier.” You want 150-200 words or MORE, you want to have MORE copy than your competitors, you want to say MORE within that copy, etc. However, there are definitely instances where “more” is just not an option. I’m talking about the dreaded character limit.
For certain fields, you cannot exceed a certain number of characters. Characters consist of letters and spaces, so for instance, if you are only allowed 25 characters for a field, the 25 character phrase includes both the letters that make up your words and the space that makes up your sentence. For the example, “Hi, I’m Ché,” there are 11 characters that include letters, spaces and punctuation.
You’ll run into several instances where you are restricted. For the purpose of this video, we’ll focus on the meta tags. For the Meta Title, you generally want to keep it at 70 characters are less (depending on the search engine), and for the Meta Description, you’ll want to stay around 150. As you can see, you will not be penalized for going over this limit, but your entry will be cut off. The snippit with the searched keyword will be what appears from the entry. If you limit your meta title or meta description to 70 or 150 characters respectively, you ensure that your entire marketing message is seen.
Some other common fields that restrict your characters include PPC ads, Generic Ad Space and Twitter, but you’ll run into it from time to time in other areas. When you’re used to writing hundreds of words for your website, scaling back to less than 100 characters is not only counterintuitive, it’s downright daunting. But you can do it!
How, you might ask? It’s simple.
- First, you want to incorporate the “Call to Action.” This is the part that incentivizes people to buy your product or service. You need to use your words to show them why they need what you’re offering, or how it will improve their life in some way. Try to depart from the “Buy this!” “Shop this!” “Get this!” path; that’s the go-to path for most ad copy, and trust me, it reads like you’re selling them something. When people are faced with thousands of ads daily, that’s the last thing they want. You need to coax them into reading the rest of what you have to say.
- People are likely seeing this copy before they visit your site. If you have a winning ad proposition, use it! If you offer Free Shipping deals or have the lowest prices or offer rare items, tell people!
- When you’re pressed for space, shorten it however you can. You may not like using these symbols, but they are major space savers.
- If you’re including a link (in a Twitter post, for example), visit bit.ly, a site that automatically shortens links. Just copy and paste into your text field. This will save a ton of space.
- Ask a question that reel them in. Then use your product or service to answer that question.
An example I like to use from time to time – because it’s near and dear to my heart, and something I can comprehend fully – is my cat example.
Let’s say you own a cat store that has award-winning purebred cats for the lowest prices. You personally fly each cat to the customer’s doorstep, fully vaccinated and ready for love. How do you fit that in the title? This title comes in at 68 characters, just under 70, ensuring that the entire title shows up. This title incorporates the principles of stating your value proposition and of using characters to reserve space. You even have enough space left over to incorporate your site name!
For the meta description, you have a bit more room to play with. This meta description has 148 characters. Since we already used your value proposition in the meta title, there is no reason to repeat it. Now you need to entice visitors. This meta description starts by asking a question, and then calls the visitor to action. Also notice that an ampersand was used to reserve space for other characters.
If you need additional assistance making a big impression in a small space, Exclusive Concepts offers Advanced SEO Copywriting services that cover these principles and more. Call us today! Thanks folks, I hope you enjoyed SEO Monday. Have a great week!