One of the most effective ways to reduce spend on digital marketing campaigns is to get more quality clicks from the content that is already on the site. This can be done by increasing click-through rates (CTR).
The click-through rate of an organic campaign is the number of clicks you get divided by the number of searchers who seen the business listing (impressions). So, if 20 people see your organic search result, and 5 people clicked on it, you’d have a 25% CTR.
Why CTR is an Important Metric
CTR is an indirect ranking factor for Google. Simply put, if searchers are clicking on your result more than they are clicking on other results on the SERPs, Google will acknowledge this and push your result higher up the rankings. Having a higher ranking can also improve your CTR because moving up just one spot in the organic search results can increase click-through rate by 30.8%. This means that increasing organic CTR is highly beneficial for any SEO campaign. It’s also free, as you’re not creating anything new, or paying for ad spots, but rather, making the most of what you already have.
The following are a few simple ways to increase your organic click-through rates.
1. Use Copy Carefully
Your copy has a significant impact on your CTR. There are certain ways title tags and meta-descriptions can be written to accomplish this. First, adding a positive emotion leads to an average of 7.4% higher CTR. Negative emotion will also generate more clicks than a neutral title. Adding a question to your title is another effective way to increase CTR. Tools like Answer the Public are ideal for finding popular questions about your subject that may be relevant for your title. But, be careful not to alienate the audience by using ‘power’ words, such as ‘Amazing’ and ‘Ultimate,’ as searchers often perceive these words as clickbait, and as such, do not click-through to the page.
2. Include Keywords in Your URL & Title Tag
Including keywords in the URL is another way to increase CTR. Google’s best practice guidelines state that URLs should be descriptive and contain relevant search terms. Keywords should also be included in the title tag, close to the beginning. Digital marketing research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest and AnswerThePublic can help marketers find relevant keywords that contain the specific language used by searchers.
3. Keep Titles Short
Despite writing title tags following Google’s best practice, remember that Google can (and often will) update these titles to display on the SERPs. After all the effort that went in to writing your title tags, you want to make sure people see them. The most effective way to ensure they are not changed by Google is to keep title tags under 600 pixels. With a shorter title, Google is less likely to update it with something that will fit better on its results pages. In addition, shorter title tags are proven to have higher CTRs.
4. Write Your Own Meta Descriptions
Just as Google can change a title tag, the search engine will often update the meta-descriptions. This occurs so often, in fact, that SEO experts have long debated whether or not it’s worth writing their own meta-descriptions. Writing a meta-description is still a worthwhile exercise, as pages with meta-descriptions have a higher CTR than those without.
5. Add the Year to Title Tags
According to ClickFlow, adding the current year to the title tag will increase click CTR by 50-150%. Google will also rank this content higher as it appears to be fresher. This is particularly true in fast-paced industries. However, in order to be effective with this tactic, you will not only have to update the title tag but also the content in the article each year in order to reflect up-to-date trends.
6. Use Insights from Google Ads
Your organic listings can benefit from learnings taken from Google Ads. If you are running a Google Ads campaign, look at your keywords and their quality score. Ads with a higher quality score typically have the most effective Ad Copy and a higher CTR. This can give invaluable insight into the most effective words and phrases to include in your organic title tags and meta-descriptions.
7. Optimise Your Featured Snippets Listing
As a result of Google’s featured snippet results, more than 50% of Google searches now end with no click. This means that even if you have obtained the featured snippet for a certain keyword, you still have work to get searchers to click-through your website. In order to do this, consider adding a few extra points to answer the search query. Google will typically show the first 5-7 points in an answer. If you include 8-9 points, the searcher will have to click-through to see the full results.
Increasing your organic CTR is an underused but effective digital marketing tactic. It doesn’t take much time, and it costs nothing, but it can have a huge impact on your overall campaign.