What Best, Top & 2011 Have in Common, and How to Use Them to Make More Money


August 19, 2011 , ,

Which article would you rather read? One called “Small Business Tips,” or “Top 10 Small Business Tips?” If you’re like most web denizens, you’ll probably choose the latter. While you may not realize it at the time, modifiers like those found at the beginning of the second title are very effective at drawing in readers.

While it may be difficult to believe that adding a few words to your titles can make a significant difference in your rankings, a test by Anvil Media revealed that certain modifiers are much more commonly searched for. For instance, Anvil found that while “greatest restaurants” is searched for about 28 times every month on Google, “top 10 restaurants” sees around 1300 monthly searches. Better still, “best restaurants” shows a reported Google monthly search volume of 14,800. With such data, the importance of effectively using the right modifiers becomes clear. Before you see how effective these modifiers can be, however, it may be helpful to learn exactly what they are.

What are Modifiers?

For our purposes, the term “modifiers” refers to words that are added to key words and phrases in order to improve optimization for search engines. For instance, instead of calling an article “Workout Tips,” you might add a modifier and title it “Best Workout Tips.” Words like “Best,” “Top” and “Leading” are commonly searched terms and are usually fairly easy to inject into your content without sacrificing readability. “2011” and other date-specific modifiers can also be effective ways of attracting extra traffic, but keep in mind that such modifiers tend to lose relevancy more quickly.

If you are looking to drum up more local attention, try adding a geography-specific modifier such as your city’s name, surrounding towns and suburbs, your county, or your state. By mixing these with modifiers like “Top” and “Best,” you can still target a specific demographic while improving your regional visibility online. For example, using a title such as “Top Dallas Auto Insurance Providers” will help you get more interested, targeted traffic than simply writing “Auto Insurance Providers.” Also, if you represent or run a business, modifiers having to do with money, like “Rates,” “Pricing” and “Offers,” can also be effective for grabbing reader’s attention.

Even though they typically see lower search numbers, using these terms can make it easier for your site to stand out, get hits and make money. For instance, Google’s Keyword Toolshows 246,000 monthly searches for “GPS systems,” a high-competition phrase. The term “Buy GPS” shows only 74,000 monthly searches, but there is less competition, making it easier for you to land on Google’s front page.

How Do I Use Modifiers?

While modifiers can be used throughout your content, the best place to use them is generally in titles and headers, as

Google PageRank generally places more emphasis on elements within H1 and H2 tags. For example, let’s say you own a pet business, and you want to write a post about Halloween costumes for dogs. It would be advantageous to use a title such as “Best 2011 Dog Halloween Costumes. People searching for costumes will want to know which ones are currently popular or are likely to become popular in the coming year – they don’t want to see any from last year. By adding “2011” to your title, you let visitors know that they’re getting the most relevant content.

Of course, you should never sacrifice readability in favour of squeezing in more modifiers. This generally looks like keyword spamming and Google may even reject your article as black hat SEO. As with all SEO, success lies with moderation.

How Do I Make More Money With Modifiers?

In order to find the modifiers that work the best for your content and pull in the most revenue, you need to start tracking how well each modified phrase performs in terms of attracting traffic and improving your conversion rate. One way to do this is with split testing. With the help of a tool like Google Website Optimizer, you can create two different versions of the same page, using different modifiers on each. The tool then randomly redirects visitors to one of your two pages and records their activity.

You can use the resulting data to determine which page had a higher conversion rate. If you are exhaustive in these tests, you can discover the best possible modifiers your site. This will in turn lead to more traffic, conversions and profit.

Finally, like any SEO tactic, you should try to diversify the modifiers you use to help your content show up on a greater number of search queries. For instance, you could use both “top marketing techniques” and “best marketing techniques” at various points in the same article in order to catch searches for both phrases. While you shouldn’t cram in too many different modifiers, optimizing your content for a few different variations can increase your odds of showing up for multiple searches.


39 thoughts on “What Best, Top & 2011 Have in Common, and How to Use Them to Make More Money”
  1. Excellent article. One of the best on your blog. Honestly, I haven’t really used such modifiers with my postings but I have seen many following the same technique and no doubt, such modifiers can really bring in the desired traffic if used intelligently. I will surely try making use of such modifiers. keep it up..!

  2. Making money online is not that easy and you need to be very good at it as well as you need to be smart enough to make use of new ideas and teachniques. This post will help people to modify their ideas and planning and will make thier work easy and effortless.

  3. these are very useful tips that should be incorporated into articles that especially review products and services and some of the terms mentioned such as ‘best’, ‘top’ etc are usually eye-catching anyway. this is great for content optimization for search engines and providing interesting content for visitors atthe same time

  4. Awesome post Gary!

    Personally, I do choose my titles wisely, and more importantly, I also make sure that the body of the content meets or if possible, exceeds the title’s strike.

    It’s also important to use/place your target keywords wisely on the title, as when people start to link back to your content, they are more likely to use its title.

  5. A modifier is best thing to learn and if you starts using it than you can easily bring more traffic to your web.

  6. Hello there,

    This information is very useful and lots of idea to built in-terms of business. I read many articles but those tips and it really helps a lot. Just like Aswani and others had the same comments base on modifiers but still this information helps a lot.

  7. That’s fascinating and would help in super optimization . I have learnt brilliant tactics and hacks . 🙂

  8. Very nice article and excellent information on SEO. This is surely useful to add little modifiers in keywords which help rank better in SE’s but such useful but thin tips require to be shared in order to be implemented. Thanks for sharing your research.

  9. The idea that people have never heard of the term “modifier” before (see above comments) as it relates to language is really strange to me. The author is talking about the part of speech; it’s a basic component of grammar! I think you need to understand basic grammar before you understand how to manipulate language to get ahead online 🙂

    As for the article itself, I found it contained a nice overview of these concepts and I feel that the author succeeded in presenting these ideas in a broad way!

  10. Good tips, didn’t know about that. I’m going to try this with a new article and see how much difference it makes 🙂

  11. Thanks for the article. Guess I need to put more time in researching my titles and tags. I am sure this will make a positive difference for me!

  12. Very nice article. Never really gave the ‘top 10’ lists much thought but now, makes me want to write up a few of my own.

    Like a few others here, I haven’t used much modifiers in my posts anywhere, I really should though.

  13. Excellent article.I consider that making money with modifiers is really a good option.Thanks for sharing!

  14. Tittle can really make or break your website. It plays great role in search engine optimization. Reading your article really give me a clear understanding on how to get better search result.

    1. Well said Anne, title is the most important part of the web page which can increase or decrease the traffic. so it must be a strong title to increase the traffic

  15. I really appreciate your efforts of sharing the useful information with us, I found it very enlightening. Looking forward to find out more and acquire further knowledge from here,
    thanks again and have a nice day !!

  16. a great article, I put the tag on the title and tags meta.ngoai I comment out the website and forum with high PR. thanks for sharing

  17. Hi Lawmacs,

    Nice Sharing title and description is the main fact for search engine optimization.. I also learned a lot to get more traffic.

  18. Thanks for your advice on using Google’s website optimizer. Are you sure that the H1 and H2 tags still attract the same attention as they did five years ago? I understood that the Google algorithm was changed in mid 2010 to delete any importance to H1 and H2 tags in favour of the keyword/keyphrase appearing within the first 12 words or the first sentence. Please correct me if you have evidence that I am wrong.

  19. Title is exceptional tag of website its more impact on your ranking and it show your website theme, H1, and H2 tag is helpful in seo as well but use only single H1..H6 in web pages. really your blog is plausible, many thanks for sharing nice info.

  20. It is very important that you choose your title carefully. A title that impacts the readers and you can do this by adding words like best, top, leading to make your readers feel that you are the ultimate solution to their problems or needs. But make sure that your content supports the title, give your readers what they need to know and what they need to learn.

    1. Yes I am agree with you. Title is so important for every post and it impacts reader. If title say what have in the post, reader must find easily that he is wanting.

  21. Potential steps to reaches bottom to top Social bookmarking sites are effective way to generate good traffic in all search engine. It’s safe for user to use web links, tags by social bookmarking. Free of charge reprint rights also gain a website regular broad aspects by user. Blogger giving a chance itself to get benefit from viral marketing.

  22. Interesting article.
    This is the kind of thing I have been implementing in my blog as well. If I am not mistaken, you need to have 1,000 unique visitors to use Google website optimizer, right? Either way, I think it is useful to cater the article to viewers than to yourself!

  23. Thanks for the site information. I had stayed at home for jobs before but could not be successful. Now again I would like to try out after reading your blog. Lets see what happens.

  24. I never had the idea about modifiers, just now after reading your blog. I really think that this would help my site generate traffic. Thanks guys!

  25. Though I have not tried your modifiers, I think that it will really help more in getting traffic and I would really want to use it on my future blogs.

  26. Specifying modifier with users entered search query would be more beneficial. I have tested my two campaign in Adword with its technique of Keyword insertion which inserts user enterd keywords in title. When I analyzed two campaign with same budget and keywords, One with modifier performed better.

  27. Hmm, adding modifiers. Seems too simple to be so effective but it looks as if that is not the case! Thanks for sharing!

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