In Google Search, click-through rate (CTR) is calculated by the number of clicks your page receives over impressions – number of times your page is seen on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Your click-through rate directly influences your conversion rate. Regardless of how good your content is, it is impossible to get any conversions if people do not choose to visit your page.
Furthermore, it also affects SEO (albeit not a major signal). Having more clicks to your site tells Google that it is relevant and useful for readers, which may lead to better rankings.
Yes, CTR is really important and that is why today’s article will help you boost your CTR in 3 simple steps!
Use Google Search Console to zoom in on the pages to improve on
Before we go into the specific steps, the first thing to do is to find out where the improvement is needed. You can start by looking at the data collected by Google Search Console (GSC). It’s a free tool and collects a wide range of data regarding your site’s performance on Google Search. (Do set up an account if you do not have one!)
Here’s how to find the information you need:
Click on Search Traffic > Search Analytics. There are a few options and filters to organize the data. Tick the Impressions and CTR boxes located at the top of the page. Choose Pages to reveal the impressions and CTR in terms of individual pages on your site. By sorting the pages by impressions, you can immediately pick out pages which are high in impressions but relatively low in CTR. These are the pages which are getting sufficient visibility on SERPs but failing to garner clicks.
To improve the CTR of such pages, this is what you need to do:
1) Create an eye-catching title-tag
The title-tag is the title of your web page. This is extremely important because it is the most prominent feature on SERPs (Figure 1). When users scan through the search results, the title-tag is the first thing they read to determine the page’s content. Therefore, it can greatly affect a user’s decision of whether to click or not. To create a good title-tag, the main focus is on 2 elements – word choice and length.
- Word choice
Choose the words used in the title-tag with care. Most importantly, include your target keyword as close to the front as possible. This helps to grab the user’s attention and may give your rankings a slight helping hand. Also, when words in the title-tag match the search query, they are bolded. This helps them to stand out further. Lastly, use words which evoke emotions such as curiosity and excitement. Such emotions urge the users to click on your page.
There is only so much space on SERPs so Google limits the number of characters available for a title-tag. To prevent Google from cutting off your carefully crafted title-tag, keep it within 65 characters!
2) Optimize your meta-descriptions
Meta-descriptions (Figure 1) serve to elaborate the content of your page. They do a great deal in helping your potential visitors understand your page, which can help boost your CTR.
Previously, we mentioned about word choice and length when it comes to creating title-tag. Similar rules apply to optimizing your meta-descriptions. It definitely helps to include your target keywords (although not necessarily at the front) since they will be bold if they match the search query.
Keep your meta-descriptions within the limit of 160 characters so that they can be fully shown. Sometimes, Google may choose to fill the meta-description with page content that they deem as more relevant. So, don’t worry if your meta-description is not reflected on the SERPs.
A useful tip here is to include a short Call-to-Action (CTA) in your meta-description. Convey to your visitors the benefits that they will gain if they click on your page. You can reference your products, services or promotions and deals during festive periods. For example, for a flower delivery service, the meta-description can include a CTA that says: Order online with free delivery! (Figure 2)
3) Use rich snippets
Rich snippets are elements that add additional information to your listing on the SERPs. It draws the attention of users and attracts them to click, increasing your CTR. Sometimes, it also adds to the perceived credibility of the page and provides extra convenience for users. Depending on the page, there are different types of rich snippets that can be added. For example, star ratings, cooking duration and calories can be added to recipe pages (Figure 3). For product pages, pricing information and breadcrumbs are included (Figure 4). These are all added using Schema markup to the HTML of your page.
Boosting your click-through rate by enhancing your search listing may bring improvements to your conversion rate. However, that will not be possible if the actual content of the page falls below the expectations painted by the search listing. Be honest. Ensure that it describes your page truthfully. At the same time, create valuable content that matches the description.
Need more help on how to implement these steps? Get in touch with us now! We are always ready to help you improve your digital presence!