3 Insanely Effective Ways to Improve your Click Through Rate

click through rate seo blog
June 27, 2018 Leanne Wong 16 Comments

What is click through rate?

Click through rate (CTR) is the percentage of clicks a page gets.

The technical definition:

A SERP (search engine results page) click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of the number of times a search listing was clicked to the number of times it was displayed to searchers.

So when you type in a search query on Google, the top 10 listings are displayed…

The no. of times the listing is clicked on divided by the no. of times it was displayed equals CTR.

ctr definition

When it comes to blogging, we’ve traditionally focused on creating a killer content strategy, writing magnetic headlines, and perhaps investing in SEO.

But improving CTR is tremendously valuable and can improve your organic rankings.

Also, higher CTR means more clicks and more visitors. Which means higher potential for leads, subscribers and conversions.

In this post, you’ll learn 3 insanely effective ways to turbo charge your organic CTR. It’s gonna be fun, I promise.

Why CTR is a big deal in organic rankings

Did you know, CTR is an important ranking factor on Google.

No doubt backlinks and content remain the top 2 most important ranking factors.

But user experience factors also contribute to performing well on search engines:

  • bounce rate
  • dwell time
  • click through rate

Out of the three listed UX factors, CTR appears to have the strongest correlation to SEO.

The higher your CTR, the more relevance Google thinks your page has to a given query.

The art of giving a click

When your content shows up on search engines or anywhere on the Internet, one of two scenarios will happen:

  • scenario #1: people click on your content
  • scenario #2: people click on something else

The key to high CTR is to optimise your search snippet so it encourages people to take action, and click.

ctr seo art of giving a click

Depending on how well-known your brand name is, that brand factor can affect whether a person clicks on your listing.

We’ll be working on the other factors in just a bit.

But getting someone to click is only half the battle.

After you get the visitor to your site, keeping them on your site is a whole new ballgame.

You have to convince them your content can solve their problem and what they came here to find. But thats for another time.

1. Title, titles, titles: How to write headlines people can’t resist

Your title is the most important part of your page.

It outlines what your page content is about and is the strong hook that people will latch onto.

An enticing and relevant title that answers user’s query will get people to click through.

headline magnetic seo hacks

5 powerful elements to use in your page title:
  • Promised benefit: what is the benefit you’re promising to potential readers? Will it solve their problem, provide more in-depth information, help them in what way that matters?
  • Emotional hook: use power words that evoke strong emotions. Such as “unbelievable”, “insanely”, “surprising”, “hack”, “unexpected”. Here’s a fantastic list of 400+ power words by SumoMe.
  • Topic keyword: this is the main topic your page is about. Think about seed keywords and evergreen content ideas.
  • Specific: define clearly what your page is about. Clarity first, novelty second. The best way to be specific is to use numbers and modifiers.
    • “7 ways to double your blog traffic in 2 months”
    • “How to create a rock solid email marketing plan”
  • Urgency: create a sense of desperation / urgency for the reader. What will they miss out on if they don’t click on your page right now?

Finally, make sure your title sounds natural above all else. Don’t try to incorporate all five elements if they don’t make sense.

Battle-proven headlines: Use Adwords ad copy to make your titles 2-3x more compelling

Did you know? Adwords ad copy are the best places to draw inspiration from to write great headlines.

Adwords ad copy go through dozens, if not hundreds of A/B testing.

Their sole purpose is to maximize clicks.

A huge part of Google’s Adwords Quality score is CTR.

The higher an ad’s CTR, the higher its ad relevance. So advertisers are incentivised to maximize their CTRs with compelling copy.

For example, let’s say your post is about “email marketing”…

Just search for the words “email marketing” on google:

google-email-marketing

Next, note down the words and phrases used in Adwords ads displayed:email-marketing-adwords

then, use them in your title and meta description tags:

email-marketing-title

 

2. Meta description optimisation

Meta description is the snippet of information below the link of a search result.

It summarises your article and its goal is to persuade people to click.

As you can see below, I searched for “keyword research” and Moz’s meta description contains that exact keyword query. So those words are bolded on the search results.

metadata-example-seo

Answer user intent: Use keyword queries from searchers in your description

One neat hack I found to write better meta descriptions is to find out what keyword queries people are currently using to find you.

Then, use those keyword queries in your description.

This will improve your description copy to answer search intent, why people are searching and what words they’re using to solve their problems.

Also, by using words that searchers are using, you’re using words that they are familiar with.

Thus, encouraging click-throughs!

You can find out the CTR of a specific page on your site by checking your Google Search Console.

If you haven’t signed up for a search console account, stop reading this article and create an account now.

Here are a few guides to help you get started:

First, navigate to ‘search analytics‘:

google-search-console-example

Next, check the boxes for ‘queries’:

webmaster-tool-leannewong

3. Keyword Optimisation with ‘People also Ask’ Boxes

Final tip.

Pretty much a lot of the metadata optimisation work we’ve discussed involve keywords and search intent.

Use this keyword optimisation hack with Google’s ‘People also Ask’ boxes to nail search intent.

And find keyword opportunities you never thought of…

What are Google’s ‘People also Ask’ Boxes

The ‘People also Ask’ boxes are related searches that people also ask. Duh!

It’s one of Google’s more advanced machine learning features to date.

It’s Google’s way of saying, “hey you searcher, these questions are also related to your initial search. Stay a while more and explore these suggested ones too…”

For example, I search for “what is blockchain”:

what-is-blockchain-seo

Then, I click on the 1st related question in the box:blockchain-concepts-seo

Immediately, Google expands the box to 2 more related search questions.

Okay, not too wild.

Now if I try and click on the 3rd initial question from the box:

bitcoin-seo

Google expands the list further into 7 related search questions!

The ‘People also Ask’ box dynamically expands related searches, potentially into the hundreds.

It’s practically a black hole of infinite lists of related search questions.

Britney Muller has explained the People also Ask phenomenon in great detail here at Moz.

We’ve seen how the list expands and topics/questions change as a result of my choice of topic.

This is huge, folks.

The ‘People also Ask’ box is a goldmine of highly relevant keyword phrases, questions, and potential headline topics you can target in any subject matter.

I’d recommend spending couple minutes in your content writing, just to click on this accordion box and analyse related keyword queries.

There you go! Hope this short tutorial was helpful for some of you out there.

Have you tried these techniques? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

16 People reacted on this

    1. Aww you’re the best, Mary! That’s great, let me know if you have any questions along the way, would love to know how you did with the strategies listed here.

  1. Wow a boatload of awesome info here. I have been blogging 4 years. and honestly my views suck because I have not been patient and taken time to learn this stuff….I am highly impatient and its making my blog suffer. I need to really go through this post with a fine tooth comb..thank you so so much for sharing!

    Valerie

    1. No problem, Valerie! So glad to hear this post on CTR was helpful for you! Yep, there’s no easy path to understand SEO, patience is key. Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions along the way, my dear.

  2. I’ve read tons of posts on SEO but none on click-through, so thanks for educating us! I always thought click-through was some fancy technical thing (kind of what I thought about SEO when I first heard the term), but I’m glad to see that getting higher click-throughs is actually quite simple. I also appreciated your breakdown of a good headline. I always use a free headline analyzer, but I was a bit clueless as to what constituted a high rating versus a low one. It always seemed arbitrary to me, as well as what they considered “power” words and “emotional” words. Now it makes a lot more sense!

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