Are You Missing Out On Your Websites Biggest Advantage?

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Every once in a while I come across an optimization tactic that blows my mind. It resets my entire perspective and makes me realize there is a huge goldmine I have been entirely ignoring. This part Friday, I chanced upon one such strategy and want to apologize for holding back until now this excellent strategy.

More important that this one strategy is the doorways it opens in how you think about your website and how to optimize it for more traffic. The reason I am calling this Traffic Optimization is because the strategy involves on-site optimization which is typically used for SEO, but in this case it is really Social Media Optimization. While the idea has been around for a while I’m sure, it is the first I am hearing about it.

This excellent strategy was guest post Ann Smarty posted on Shimon Sandler’s blog discussing optimizing title tags with HashTags. Optimizing title tags or on site code to improve social sharing is a new concept to me, but It really opened my eyes. In fact, once you understand this tactic, you can use it to identify currently unknown and undiscovered strategies, and possibly even be used by social startup’s to take advantage of onsite optimization.

The title tag of a website has long been a bedrock of onsite SEO. This is very obvious for two main reasons. 1. The title tag is supposed to be a Title that clearly names and identifies the file found at that URL on a website. Since it appears in the browser tab it is an excellent idea to make it descriptive. For this reason, it makes sense for Google to trust it to describe the page and succinctly  identify the relevancy of the page. 2. Since the Title Tag appears as the anchor text of the link in a SERP snippet (usually) it can greatly influence Click Through Rates like the headline of an ad. In fact, many people add exclamation points to the end of the Title because this has been proven to generate more clicks in PPC ads. This is nothing new.

What I found fascinating was the recognition that sites like twitter turn the title tag of the page into the title of a link in a tweet. There are immediate ramifications when you realize your title tag is being imported into a tweet. The first thing is the length of the title. Title tags usually should be short enough to not be truncated by Google in the SERP snippet, so under 70 characters is a best practice. But now, if you consider that tweets gets more retweets and shares when they include a comment from the twitter user, the shorter the title tag, the better. Additionally, there are hashtags that are trending in specific industries, so including that hashtag in the title, as long as you get one tweet, will likely lead to more exposure of that tweet, and more retweets. You can do some awesome things with optimizing title tags for Twitter. Another strategy Ann Smarty mentions is adding your twitter handle to the end of the title instead of the brand name, which could be very helpful, especially if you have a long brand name but a short twitter handle.

The post continues with a very similar strategy but onsite optimization for Pinterest. Since on pinterest people share images, it’s important to look at how Pinterest pulls the text of the Pin, especially because many people tweet Pins. So, how do you optimize your images for pinterest sharing? Well, Here is what Ann wrote…

“Many people don’t realize that the anchor text is what gets imported into the Pin description / comment field when people are using the official “Pin it” bookmarklet. So by including a couple of important hashtags in the <alt=> part of the image, you make sure they get both:

1. In a Pinterest description

So, while you need to read Shimon Sandlers blog and Ann Smarty’s post to get the full strategy, the key takeaway is to include a hashtag of a trending keyword or relevant hashtag in your images Alt Tag.

The Most Important Takeaway From This Though Is To PAY ATTENTION to the HTML elements that other sites use to pull information about a link and make sure to optimize around those features to maximize results. 

What similar strategies can you think of?

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.


  1. Jade McAulay says

    I had no idea and can’t believe I’ve never made the connection between the html and how it comes up on social media descriptions, despite spending quite an amount of time on places like twitter and pinterest. I honestly feel like this is something I should know and it’s made me a little embarrassed, but at the same time it’s great to finally be aware of it. For there to be that coloration between the two makes things so much easier with descriptions on twitter and does drive home the importance of having a title that sits within a certain length, so that it will translate best across mediums, and especially for those twitter replies. Definitely something I’m going to be keeping in mind for the future so that I can optimize this for myself.

  2. What’s up, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this blog post.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  3. Great post, David. I’d just read Ann’s blog post. Love your take on her content. I wonder if these items (hashtags in alt tags and title tags, etc) are still relevant (and not penalized, for example), in 2017? Any idea? Thanks again!


  1. […] hashtags as well as many other social sites. If you want to be extra clever, you can follow this sneaky strategy I wrote about a while ago. If you optimize your page titles and image titles with trending […]

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