Search Engine Optimizers or SEOs frequently overlook optimization of sites for organic click-through rates (CTRs). Yet, the steps to improve organic CTR SEO (search engine optimization) are pretty simple to increase existing traffic. They are also largely independent of the usual focus of keyword ranking conversion, which is the “go-to” strategy.
Let me explain this statement. When you test and optimize for CTRs, you leverage existing traffic and rankings. As a result, you increase the rate of user click-throughs to your website from search engines, which is what you want.
Unlike CTR optimization, keyword conversion methods are complex and time-consuming. Consequently, SEOs tend to play around with SEO-friendly meta-tags, titles, and descriptions that rank well to attract user clicks on your organic search results. Often, we leave those meta tags in place until we feel the need to give them and keywords a makeover to generate better results.
Seldom do we or anyone else use the same processes to improve organic CTR SEO conversion rates. Sure, other agencies concentrate on CTR SEO conversion rates, but not as often as they should.
Why is this the case? The reason is that many agencies struggle to draw their attention away from the familiar. And what is familiar is the focus on traffic and rankings over user experiences and conversions.
Organic Click-Through Rates (CTR) Explained
Before we get into improving CTR SEO, we need to understand what CTRs and how to optimize these organically.
First, we speak about the organic CTR and not the how-to improve click-through rate version you get from paid traffic, like Google or social media ads.
The definition of organic click-through rates is the total number of people who click an organic search engine result relative to the overall number of searches or impressions the search engine displays for a specific term.
In a simple formula method, it looks like this:
Total number of organic clicks/search engine displays for that term = organic CTR
Search engines base CTR on ranking and also on:
· Title tags
· Descriptive URLs
· Presence of Rich Snippets
To explain in more detail, if you rank third for a keyword that attracts 100 searches monthly and ten people click on the result, your organic CTR is 10%.
Side note: Before we go further, some people use the term “click-thru rate” instead of “click-through rate.” Which is right? Both are correct, but you may have better results using through than thru for SEO purposes.
Now we can get into why this infrequently used yet powerful tool is essential and why learning how to improve click-through rate can grow traffic to your site.
Why is Organic CTR Important?
It would be best if you used organic CTR for various reasons. Two of these reasons are:
- When you have higher click-through rates, traffic increases to your website. You can also increase your CTR and traffic without improving your rankings.
- Search engines like CTR, which is a vital signaling tool. Google uses it in its algorithm, meaning that it picks up on click-through rates, which is a good reason to improve CTR SEO. Despite controversy about whether Google accounts for CTRs, rankings increase when traffic increases due to the, strongly suggesting they add the kind of value your website needs.
- Because Google’s SERP features and paid ad options have driven the distribution of click sharing into a decline, the quicker you find out how to improve click-through rate, the more organic traffic you can drive to your site.
Besides, Backlinko did a study several years ago that supports using practices to grow organic CTR. This company analyzed five million Google search results to understand CTRs.
One of Google’s findings was that the CTR in the first-page ranking position attracted a 31.73% rating. Position 10 on page 1 attracted a rating of 3.09%. The average rating on page one was approximately 11%. These figures show a notable difference between the number 1 and 10 positions.
Further exciting results from the study include:
- It is ten times more likely that people will click on the number 1 search result on Google rankings than the number 10 position.
- Positions 7 to 10 illicit much the same organic CTR rates, and advancing one place after the 7th result can improve your CTR by up to 30%.
This information comes from Brian Dean of Backlinko, so please visit his blog and YouTube channel.
Next is the exciting DIY part of improving the organic click-through rate.
How to Improve Organic Click-Through Rates
You can use our SEO Services to help you improve your organic click-through rate, or you can do it on your own.
Either way, here’s where we move to the exciting tips on how to increase organic click-through rates yourself.
1. Do the Google Search Console Test
Before delving into how to improve organic click-through rate, we strongly suggest you perform a content audit. This audit will reveal the pages with the lowest click-through rate.
These tools will help:
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Screaming Frog’s crawler
- SEMrush’s tool
- Use Google Search Console to check the analytics of your traffic.
This analysis will allow you to:
- Check your website performance
- Make sure queries are selected
- Will check your average CTR
This information is excellent and allows you to create a strategic plan when moving forward with improving your click-through rate.
For now, we’ll focus on the Google Search Console. Once there, go to the Performance tab. Check queries and average CTR for title tags and meta descriptions and then export and save the data to keep as a baseline. Once you make improvements, this baseline will help you to track progress.
Split the results after you isolate a group of pages with lower CTRs. Keep half as a control group and improve the title tags and meta descriptions in the other half.
Use emotions to improve the title tags and meta descriptions. Also, use question marks and stay within the character range mentioned earlier. Other tips include adding things like calendar year, free shipping (if applicable), numbers, brackets…the sky is the limit.
If you’re running PPC or paid social ads, now would be a great time to pull your ad copy data to find out which ad titles (and, more importantly, which styles or themes) receive the most effective click-through rate.
Publish your improvements and then check back with the Google Search Console in a few weeks to compare changes in the click-through rate. Also, compare results with your control group to see what has worked and has not. If your changes reaped positive results, make changes to the control group.
2. Find and Fix Keyword Cannibalization
Now is a perfect time to check for keyword cannibalization. Cannibalization is the term that refers to optimizing multiple pages for the same keyword. This practice may seem significant, but you end up competing against yourself, which is a big negative.
You can reduce or eliminate cannibalization by:
- Using tools from SEMrush and AHrefs.
- Replacing keywords with secondary keywords or keywords with more variation.
Follow These Steps to Find Cannibalization:
- Create a word matrix: You can do this on Excel by listing the most critical URLs on your site and capturing their keywords. Instead of a spreadsheet, you can also grab this data with a keyword mapping tool.
- Once you’ve captured the data, check for duplication of keywords on those prominent URLs.
- Check title tags and meta descriptions together with less important content. Also, check where you may have used the incorrect keywords on certain pages.
Methods of Fixing Cannibalization and Improving Click-Through Rates:
- Restructure: You may need to reorganize or restructure your website. Identify the most authoritative page and change it into a landing page if necessary. Then link this landing page with others that have the same keyword/s focus. Think hierarchy: focus one page on shoes (general page) and others on details. Then, link the general pages (men’s shoes, women’s shoes, casual shoes, etc.) back to the general guiding page.
- New Landing Page: If you don’t have a consolidated landing page for all products or services, create one that acts as your authoritative page. Then link it to your page variations.
- Content Consolidation: If you don’t have enough content to spread across two pages using the same keyword/s, use one, especially when they’re not performing well. This strategy is also helpful to resolve content problems that don’t add value (thin content).
- New Keywords: Find and use new keywords if your pages already offer diverse, authoritative content pages.
- 301 Redirects: You can resolve multiple ranking pages with the same terms by using 301 redirects. This method involves consolidating cannibalized content and linking them to one authoritative page. Only use this strategy sparingly where the content is similar and has matching keyword (specific) queries. Also, ensure that your keywords provide an accurate description of the content on the authoritative page.
3. Use Creativity in Titles
Add creativity to your titles by following these tips to improve CTR SEO.
Don’t Use Heavy Title Tags.
Create title tags with characters from 15 to 40 deliver the highest CTR. The CTR can increase by approximately 8% more than those outside this range when you do. It’s advisable to include the keyword in the title tag and the content (preferably the first paragraph). Be sure to write your title tags for readers and not bots to improve your organic click-through rate.
Make Use of Brackets and Question Marks in Titles
When you create title tags with a question mark, they generate a 14.1% higher CTR than titles without, according to a study by Backlinko. Adding brackets also adds variety, which helps drive up to 40% CTR numbers.
Use List Numbering
Similar to the previous concept, creating a numbered list grabs search engine attention, and you’re looking at CTR improvements of around 36%.
Put Your Content Library To Work
Use the 80/20 rule by Pareto when practicing how to improve click-through rate. In other words, optimize 20% of your best-performing content to achieve an 80% improvement. You can follow the processes above to identify this content.
Conduct Headline Tests
The easiest way to test headlines is in a headline analyzer. Beyond this, you can check how well PPC and social media ads fare.
Always choose your keywords carefully before you use them to optimize title tags and meta descriptions for the best outcomes in organic CTR SEO.
4. Make Your URLs Descriptive
It’s always critical to do proper keyword searches to match the URL with your title. This is why title optimization is essential because both works in tandem to improve CTR SEO.
5. Optimize Your Description
Another learning curve in how to improve organic CTR SEO is to take the simple route and use the main keyword in their descriptions. Another option is to use the main keyword and variations in the description and meta description.
The earlier Backlinko study showed that organic listings in combination with meta descriptions increased the CTR by 5.8% than those that didn’t use meta tags.
6. Structured Markup
Structured markup is a little-known and infrequently used method for how to improve click-through rate. You can learn more about Structured Data, or Schema Markup is another technique on how to improve click-through rate.
There are many Schema Markup or microdata variations, all of which you can apply to your website. The consequence is greater site visibility in SERPs, which should theoretically garner an increase in click-through rates.
This is known as Structured Data (or Schema Markup).
7. Leverage Emotion
Adding emotion to title tags increases CTR by about 7%, whether positive or negative. So, for example, the title tag can read “How to improve click-through rate that will make you happy.”
In contrast, using descriptive adjectives such as best, powerful, amazing, or insane is not good and can lower your website’s CTR by roughly 13%.
8. Use Positive or Negative Sentiment
Explore how to improve CTR SEO by harnessing the power of sentiment with this tool, whether positive or negative.
9. Using Title Case Scores Points
Although using a title case may sound like a no-brainer, not everyone does it. Try this capitalization tool for your titles. Otherwise, take the safe path by capitalizing major words and using lower case for minor words.
10. Structure Content for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are an excellent way to improve your organic click-through rate. Featured snippets and rich snippets come in many forms, enticing Google to list your site with more helpful information. By using Schema Markup, you essentially add code to website pages that say to Google, “Look at me.”
Anyone searching a specific term and who sees the features below is more likely to click on them and go to your site before any other. This statement is especially true when your website ranks number one in organic searches. However, even if it isn’t at number one, it includes additional information that enhances the user experience makes it stand out.
Frequently seen schema types on SERPs include:
- Local Business
- Products and Offers
11. Bring Page Load Times Up to Standard
Improving click-through rate just got a little easier with the Page Speed Test tool. Use this tool to speed up the rate users see your pages because fast is an advantage you need.
The last thing you want is a tortoise-like page upload speed to get between you and your clicks. And let’s face it, if your pages are too slow to attract clicks, you’re out of the game because you need clicks to land on your page actually to count!
Get Visitors Clicking
To get people clicking on Google for your pages, you must learn how to improve CTR SEO.
If these tips on how to improve your organic click-through rate seem too tough to handle yourself, then let’s chat!
We’ll do a site analysis and devise a strategy to boost your website’s traffic fast. The result, more traffic, more interest, more profit!
Our Lancaster SEO Company has been as much of a “go-to” solution for content optimization as it has been for improving CTR SEO as of late, and we would like to see your site reach its true potential.