What do search engine optimization (SEO) and emotion have to do with one another? Google doesn’t necessarily look for emotional words and phrases to rank your content.
However, if you want to improve your SEO, your focus should be on feelings because the way you make people feel can influence actions that could improve your search rankings over time.
There are two key areas where emotional words or “words that sell” can have a net positive on your SEO over time. These are:
- In search engine results page listings
- In web page design and content
Keep reading to learn more about the science behind all of this. Then, check out our tips on using emotions to sell.
SEO: The Human Emotional Filter
The job of an SEO expert has evolved. This job was once a largely technical position that involved checking keyword density, polishing up meta texts, and other behind-the-scenes tasks.
Today, an SEO pro must have a wide range of skills. These include knowing how people search for the things they want on the internet and understanding how they interact with the results they get.
It may help to remember that search intent is largely an emotional concept. Why is that? If people weren’t largely led by their emotions, they would only click on search results that were the most logically related to their search intent. But they don’t do that.
The human emotional filter often convinces people that the thing that is most emotionally appealing is better than the thing that is most accurate. To put it succinctly, the human emotional filter is why search engine results that trigger emotion tend to get more clicks than those that don’t.
This concept doesn’t end on the search engine results page. The human emotional filter continues to regulate behavior after people click on results links and are sent to your website. Elements of your web design, content, and branding can also appeal to emotions in ways that impact SEO.
Words that Sell: Emotions and Clickability
You need people to click your links in their search engine results to improve your SEO. At the same time, you need to rank higher before most people will trust your pages enough to give them a chance.
So how do you give your content an edge? You use emotional power words in your titles and descriptions to earn more traffic to your website.
What Are Emotional Power Words?
An emotional power word is a word or phrase that evokes a strong emotional response. This response can lead people to take certain actions. In this case, that action is clicking your search result link.
What are these words? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of them. Emotional words can vary. People from different cultures and demographics may respond differently to these keywords or even not respond at all.
Understanding the emotions that lead people to take action is important for SEO. These include:
- Exclusivity: Making people feel as though they are part of a special group
- Urgency: Creating a feeling that people must act right away
- Fear: Evoking a sense that something bad will happen if action isn’t taken
- Secrecy: Triggering a feeling that the person is learning a secret or insider info
- Reassurance: Building a sense of trust and confidence
- Greed: Inspiring people to want something for nothing or instant gratification
When you use them correctly, words and phrases that create these emotions can get people to take action.
How to Use Words that Sell in Titles and Descriptions
First, consider the content you are trying to optimize for search. What is the topic? Who is the audience? What do you want them to do? Then, choose the emotion that you think will attract the right audience and put them in the correct frame of mind once they land on your website.
Now, you can work on composing a title that uses a word or phrase to evoke that emotion. Try to follow these guidelines:
- Stick with one word or phrase
- Ensure it makes sense
- Try to include it at the start of the title
You also want to keep the title length limited to about seven words. Any longer, and it may not show correctly on mobile. Finally, use a power word or two in the meta description. These words should work to evoke the same emotion and fit naturally into the text.
Web Content: Using Words that Sell
The higher your click-through rate, the better. It means more traffic to your website, and Google’s algorithms pay close attention to this metric. However, that’s just one way for you to use words that sell as a tool to improve search engine ranking.
The experience that you provide to visitors once they land on your website also makes a big difference. This experience can improve time on page rankings, conversions, and other metrics that will help your pages get better placement on search engine results pages.
Everything that you do within your web pages to influence SEO is known as “on-page SEO.” This work includes optimizing images, making your site easier to navigate, and ensuring that your page load times are acceptable.
Unfortunately, while most teams focus on these things, they miss the role that content plays in improving SEO. The formula is quite simple. More compelling website content leads to better ranking. It also leads to increased conversions. Those, in turn, boost SEO.
So where should you use content that evokes emotion on your website? There really isn’t a bad place to do so. If there is content, you can probably improve it by infusing it with emotionally powerful words and phrases. Just ensure they make sense.
However, there are a few places where triggering emotion can be particularly effective.
Headings and Subheadings
Naturally, headlines are a great place to use emotions to sell. Potential customers are going to see these first. Subheadings are also a great choice. Many people skim web pages rather than reading them from top to bottom.
This reality means that subheadings get noticed as well. If you can compel the person reading with an emotionally-charged subheading, you may just get them to read the content in the paragraphs below.
At worst, you have improved your time on page metric. At best, your content may help get the potential customer to the next stage in the buyer’s journey.
Here are some great examples:
“3 Infuriating Tricks That Insurance Agents Pull”
This one evokes a sense of anger and injustice. It also creates a feeling of curiosity. When someone sees this heading, they want to know what those tricks are. More importantly, they want to know how to stop insurance agents from tricking them.
“Insider Tips for Mastering eCommerce and Beating the Competition”
Competitiveness, success, and exclusivity. That’s a nice combination of empowering emotions. People are going to want to engage with this content.
Product Titles and Descriptions
There’s no rule that a product has to have a boring, simplistic title. Instead, think of the function and benefits the product provides your target audience. Then create a product title that will get audience members excited enough to add it to their shopping cart.
Here are a couple of examples:
“Play Rough and Look Great with Durable Jeans for Boys”
“Food Processor becomes Time-Saving Gourmet Kitchen Multitasker”
Call to Action
Call-to-action statements are most commonly associated with landing pages. In truth, they can appear anywhere. Your CTA may be on a product or services page. You may include calls to action in your blog posts or anywhere else.
The real challenge with a CTA is giving prospects that last nudge of encouragement they need to take that final step. This step is where doubt and hesitation might kick in. Your conversions will increase if you provide content that makes readers feel more sure of themselves.
You can help people along by using emotional keywords in CTA button text. But you have to be judicious. You want people to be eager to convert. Vague language isn’t going to be very helpful. Instead, you want to balance plain language with emotions that sell.
Here’s an example:
Call to Action – “Build a Dream Budget that Smashes Your Financial Goals”
CTA Button – “Join Our Email List”
In this case, emotions are excited in the call to action. However, the CTA button is simple, honest, and accurate.
Email Subject Lines
An email subject line doesn’t appear in Google search results. It also isn’t something you will find on one of your web pages. What does it have to do with emotional content or improving SEO?
Your email click thru rate can directly impact SEO. When people click links in your emails, it increases traffic and can boost SEO for the linked pages in the future. Of course, none of that happens if your subject lines aren’t motivating people to open those emails instead of swiping them away.
Powering Up SEO: Next Steps
You draw people to your website and landing pages with content that delivers the right information at the right time while leveraging the perfect emotional response. That’s just the beginning. You have the customer’s attention. Now it’s time to build a relationship.
It takes a powerful communication strategy to do that. However, you can achieve this result with an email and SMS outreach campaign — and the experts at Contact Consumers can help. Contact us to discuss the next steps that will work best for your company.