Increase Your Click-Through Rates from SEO Traffic
Click-through rate (CTR) is an important, but often ignored, part of the SEO experience. According to data from AWR Cloud, reaching the first position for a keyword should lead to an average CTR of 28.93 percent for desktops and 24.68 percent for mobile. A fall to position two reduces CTR to a figure closer to 15 percent, with a steady decline as you move down the page. Your search position is clearly a major piece of the puzzle, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. If a site can use one of a few methods available to them, they can often reach more searchers than higher ranked sites. The following techniques can quickly lead to a bump in CTR, resulting in more traffic and targeted searchers.
Your title is the first thing a searcher will see as they browse the results. While most people will automatically click the first result, a carefully written title can give you an edge. The first thing to consider is the title length. Google uses pixels to measure titles and has conducted experiments in increasing the pixel number from 512 to 600. For optimal browsing experience across all devices, aim to keep your title below 60 characters in total to avoid getting cut off.
A title will stand out more if you add numbers or symbols. If you are selling a product, you could include the price or discount you are offering. A percentage is another way to draw the eye, while offering valuable information to the searcher. If the content is new, you could try adding the year to indicate its freshness. Finally, if your brand name is recognized in the industry, add this to the end of the title for instant recognition.
The description won’t have the same impact as the title, but it is still worth getting right. Try to include your main keyword in the description text as this will then be seen in bold. The longer description length – around 160 characters – allows for more detail, but it is usually best to focus on benefits rather than features. If you can generate curiosity, this is always likely to increase CTR.
One way to create an enticing description is to see what advertisers are doing. If someone is paying for advertising, they are usually conducting A/B split testing to find the best CTR for their ads. Look at the advertisers on the page, along with some similar keywords, and find common phrases and words that appear across a number of ads. These phrases are probably being used because they get consistent results.
Featured snippets are brief extracts from a web page that offer quick answers for searchers. The featured snippet will be placed at the top of the page, so you can get a more prominent position than even the number one spot. While the snippet does offer information to the searcher, it is often not enough to satisfy the query, so the user will click the website link. Also, the chosen website is frequently not in first position, meaning there is an opportunity to be featured without needing to dislodge the best-ranked sites.
To land a featured snippet, find industry keywords that are questions or require a definition of some kind. Avoid very simple queries as Google already answers these from the Knowledge Graph. After identifying your search terms, adapt articles to start with a concise and direct answer to the question. The snippets are either paragraphs, lists, or tables, so create the content that bet suits the information you are giving. Try to also create supplementary content that adds to the topic being discussed. Finally, use the Search Console to submit the content for quick indexing.
Click-through rate is more commonly associated with paid traffic, where small improvements can turn a losing campaign into a profitable one. If you take this same approach into SEO, though, you can gain similar results from increased traffic. Attaining a page one ranking for a variety of keywords can change your fortunes, but improving the click-through rate is where you will ensure you gain every last visitor available to you. Ultimately, if you are going to dedicate time and money to SEO, it makes sense to work on the smaller factors that will ensure profitability.