How to Boost Your Ranking with Title and Description Tags

Navigating Google’s algorithm for ranking can be tough, especially with the implementation of RankBrain. An intentional title with description tags are can improve your click-through-rate and boost your ranking with this algorithm!.

In 2015 Google dropped it’s RankBrain system, an artificial intelligence application that learns about, improves, and constantly updates it’s algorithm in order to produce relevant results. Even though it’s been almost 3 years since the implementation of RankBrain, content marketers are still trying to master the system and create content that ranks #1. It’s a good thing we’ve had a few years to work on it, because we are now finding tips and tricks that work with this new system to get higher rankings. One of these hacks is to optimize your title and description tags. Let’s dig into:

  • How RankBrain Works
  • The Importance of a Catchy Title
  • What’s the Deal with Description Tags
  • Putting It All Together

How RankBrain Works

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RankBrain is Google’s AI system that analyzes search result and updates the algorithm

The Basics

As explained in the introduction, RankBrain is Google’s artificial intelligence system that analyzes search results in order to produce the most relevant ones. Before this algorithm, Google’s search process was fairly simple and unrefined. It would simply scan web pages for the keywords that people typed. The problem was, 15% of search queries submitted were unrecognized by the system. They needed to up their game, and thus RankBrain was created.

In the past, the system was hand-coded, and it was up to engineers reevaluate and update the system. Now, the RankBrain machine-learning system updates the coding and algorithm, and then determines whether the results are relevant enough in order to keep the update or rollback on it. Engineers are still involved, of course, but the system did outperform them by 10%!

What It’s Looking For

RankBrain’s focus isn’t on turning out more results, it’s on producing relevantones. The system really tries to understand exactly what you are searching for in order to generate results that satisfy the intent of your search. Moz says that it’s “believed that the query now goes through an interpretation model that can apply possible factors like the location of the searcher, personalization, and the words of the query to determine the searcher’s true intent.” By figuring out this true intent, RankBrain can come up with more relevant results for the searcher.

How does it do this? RankBrain keeps an eye on how you are interacting with search results. It records and analyzes factors such as click-through-rate, dwell time, and bounce rate. And it’s with this information that we can jump into the fun stuff- how titles and description tags can help optimize this system and get your content to rank #1!

The Importance of a Catchy Title

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Be creative with your titles and try to write ones with high emotional value

Titles and description tags help with your click-through-rate, which is one of the evaluators RankBrain uses to filter results! So how do you write titles that will make people click on your content?

  • Try to write titles with a high emotional value. CoSchedule found that titles with high emotional value get more clicks (and shares) on average!
  • Add brackets and parentheses to the end of your titles!  A study done by Hubspot and Outbrain found that titles with clarifying brackets or parentheses performed 38% better than titles without!
  • Numbers, numbers, numbers! A study done by Buzzsumo found that titles with numbers in them have more engagement and get more shares. This not only includes list posts but also statistics.
  • Get those power words in there. According to Backlinko, power words add more emotional value and really pack a punch! Some of their favorites are effective, insane, proven and new!

Check out Coschedule’s headline analyzer tool! It will score your headline based on common and uncommon words, emotional value and power value. Aim for a score above 70! Not only that, but the analyzer will give you feedback through a length analysis, the first and last three words of your title, keywords, and sentiment!

What’s the Deal with Description Tags

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Description tags will optimize your click-through-rate

Description tags won’t necessarily boost your SEO, but they will optimize your click-through-rate. Brian Dean at Backlinko gives 4 steps to optimize your description tags:

  1. Make it emotionalJust like with your title, put some emotional value into your description and people are more likely to click on it!
  2. Tell them WHY they should click on your postWrite your elevator pitch and convince them why they need to read your content.
  3. Pay attention to keywords from AdWords and include themSearch your keywords and pay attention to what words and phrases appear in the paid advertisements (AdWords). Try to incorporate them into your description.
  4. Include your target keywordGoogle will make your target keywords bold in the search results. Make sure to include in the description them so that they will stand out!

Putting it All Together

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Improve your Google ranking with creative titles and carefully crafted descriptions

Alright, let’s review: RankBrain is Google’s AI system that improves it’s algorithm. With the implementation of RankBrain, Google’s results become more relevant because the system tries to figure out the true intent of the search. How can we hack this system and optimize our content to rank #1? Improve click-through-rate by writing good headlines and intentional descriptions.

Make your headlines emotional. Further clarify them with brackets or parentheses. Add numbers into the title. Lastly, don’t forget to add power words that will take your titles to the next level. Run your title through a headline analyzer and aim for a score over 70!

For descriptions, write a summary of your post that also has emotional value to it. Sell your content and tell them WHY they need to click on your post. Pay attention to words and phrases used in paid ads when you search your keywords and incorporate them into your description. Make sure that you include your topic keywords, as well!

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