How to Increase Organic Click-through Rate in Google

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click-through rate

Click-through rate or CTR is nowadays regarded as one of the most important metrics for an internet marketer.

Why is that you’re probably asking? Organic CTR is not as important as links or some other factors, right?

Well, it’s hard to say.

Is CTR a ranking factor for Google?

Although Google is constantly denying that user-oriented factors play a role when it comes to rankings, research shows otherwise.

To top it all off, with the introduction of Google RankBrain algorithm, this trend will continue increasing as the search engine focuses on human feedback.

By getting more clicks you will likely be able to improve your rankings.

Besides SEO value, organic CTR in Google also has a commercial value.

According to Moz’s article,

websites that have high click-through rate also have greater conversion whether we are talking about leads or sales.

So, better read this article if you wish to get your sales on the right track!

Let’s start with the analysis

Before you start making any presumptions or modifying your content, it is necessary to determine trends. You have to discover what is working and what’s not.

Your main task here is to find content that is under performing.

Here’s how to do this.

Go to Google Search Console.

Here, you need to click on Search Traffic and then pick Search Analytics from the drop-down menu.

You will get the total number of clicks and impressions. You will also get the clicks and impressions for individual pages.

These two will help you set up the following formula:

CTR formula

Impressions is used to quantify the number of times a page or a link has been shown to a person.

So basically, if that page or link got a lot of clicks, your CTR will be high which is ideal.

Ranking high is the key.

If your content is on page 2 or 3 of Google, you probably won’t have a high CTR (there will not be enough impressions as people usually do not visit second or third page).

However, if your content is ranking among top 5 in Google and still doesn’t have high enough organic CTR, that is definitely a cause for concern.

What should you do if CTR is low?

Your job here is to detect pages that are ranking high but do not have high CTR.

At the same time, you should probably ignore the content that has CTR of 50 % or higher.

General rule of thumb is to ignore pages that are among top 10 % of your content when it comes to CTR.

So, what should you do?

Here are the top 7 things you need to improve or add in order to boost your organic CTR:

  • Humanize
  • Numbers
  • Formatting
  • Power words
  • Competitive advantage
  • Brand
  • Reviews

Have in mind that there are various types of click through rates.

Basically, clicking on any type of link affects your CTR. This includes emails and PPC.

Links from articles are also considered as something that impacts click-through rates.

However, in this article we will be considering only the pages (or links) that appear organically in Google.

Why is that?

Because although methods for increasing CTR for different pages are similar, they do have certain differences.

This is why I need to make a clear distinction.

No matter what, it usually comes down to how you use words and how impactful those words are on a potential visitor.

Let’s face it; when a person sees first page of Google there are a lot of different messages.

Yours need to be different.

Wanna learn more? You will, just bear with me.

Disclaimer: I do not claim that CTR is among the main ranking factors. However, improving your titles and meta descriptions (thus organic click-through rate) will likely have a positive impact on your rankings.

  1. Humanize

You are probably looking at this subtitle wondering: “What in God’s name is he referring to?”

There is nothing stronger than the human emotion.

This is the main reason why content goes viral in the first place: we require something to relate to!

Even if the link is pointing out to something wrong or negative we will click on it. As long as it creates a strong emotion, we are more likely to visit a web page.

Let’s check query beer happiness:

beer happiness

First 3 results point to brands so they have inherent advantage over any other result.

But the 4th position sends us to an article that talks about positive effects of drinking beer.

Now, people who entered this query are likely beer drinkers and require some sort of a confirmation that will persuade them that drinking is good for you.

This is precisely what this article provides.

In a sense, the article satisfies their query and provides a result visitors wanted to see.

Of course, all of that is accomplished with a compelling title.

  1. Numbers

There is something in human brain that reacts well to number.

Most likely it is connected to the fact that numbers are much easier to digest and “read”.

Second reason why numbers are so popular is probably due to the fact that most people skim through titles and articles instead of reading them.

Because of this, numbers are something that will catch their attention helping them focus on the message.

I used the query facts about beer:

facts about beer

This is a great example of how blogs use numbers for improving their organic click-through rates.

They work perfectly for tips, tricks, facts articles.

You simply want to read all of them, don’t you?

  1. Formatting

Like with articles, formatting can be a strong tool that will help you catch visitor’s attention.

In this case, there is only so much you can do.

But you can still add some modifications that will have a tremendous impact on your CTR.

Query in question is beer tips:

beer tips

Capital letters in the title made so much difference.

Given that the query doesn’t have so many authoritative results, it was easy to take number one spot with a featured snippet result.

  1. Power words

What are power words?

They are the words that are… awesome!

Words such as awesome, cool, powerful, devastating, amazing, incredible are all good examples. In a way, they are hyperboles that are meant to augment your title and make it more impressive.

  1. Competitive advantage

Competitive advantage is something that is mainly connected to your meta descriptions.

Simply put, they tend to be inadequate for titles so it’s much better to place them afterwards.

This kind of descriptions is common for money keywords.

In other words, if a search query is likely to lead to high profits and is very competitive, you can expect a lot of pages with such descriptions in top 10.

Results for premium beer producers:

premium beer producer

Moosehead Brewery is a good example.

It describes itself as the Canada’s oldest independent brewery. That by itself is good enough reason for you to click on the link.

But as everything else on the list, have in mind that the brewery didn’t reach top 5 just because of its description or high CTR.

Among other, strength of the brand (and their link profile) also needs to be considered in this case.

  1. Brand

As I mentioned in the previous tip, the power of the brand is definitely something that shouldn’t be disregarded.

In fact, Google always gives an advantage to brand names and websites that have exact-match keyword in their name (at least a tiny bit).

If your brand is strong and recognizable, there is no reason not to add it in meta description.

When it comes to your title, it will be a part of your domain’s name so there is no real reason for you to add it to the title name too.

Anyway, adding it is not only important for SEO. It is also crucial for your brand presence.

Given that most advertising is done through internet nowadays, this will give you a much needed boost.

  1. Reviews

Let’s say that your brand is not so influential yet.

Nevertheless, it might be doing a good job.

How can you profit from that?

By adding reviews to your results (rich snippets, microdata).

untapped

Positive reviews are another good reason why a person should click on a link and eventually buy a product.

When it comes to commercial search, people are usually looking for a company that can sell them a product or a service with best performance to price ratio.

Rating is a quick way to find this out.

As for you, it gives you a competitive advantage that will increase your organic CTR.

Final Words

There are so many ways to increase your organic CTR.

If you’re good at textual advertising you will likely find a way to create compelling titles and METAs that will skyrocket your click-through rate.

Always bear in mind that CTR is just a small part of the whole equation.

It is something that helps, it creates a bond between you and visitors and it quickly builds trust. However, if other elements are not there, you probably won’t be successful.

How often do you check your organic CTR? Have you tried improving it? Let me know how in the comments!

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