How To Increase Your Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Often, marketers tend to focus their SEO efforts entirely on discoverability. There’s a careful balance to strike between a keyword-optimized website and a keyword-stuffed one.
But there’s more to it than that.
Getting a top spot on any search engine results page (SERP) won’t do you or your clients any good if searchers aren’t interested in what’s on the page.
Rather than focusing efforts entirely on SEO content that bags the top spot, you need to understand what turns searchers into website visitors in order to improve your click-through rate (CTR). This idea isn’t entirely localized to the organic side of SEO. Paid ads need to create the same results. After all, what good are ads if you’re getting a massive amount of impressions with hardly any clicks? Google Ads doesn’t like that any more than you do.
There are many ways you can bait the masses into clicking your links – but ultimately, impressions mean nothing without clicks, and clicks mean nothing without conversions. In this article, we’ll give you 10 of the best tactics you can use to attract more clicks and raise your CTR the right way.
What Are Click-Through Rates?
A click-through rate is a ratio that shows how many people see your organic links and PPC ads and end up clicking on them. Your CTR is an excellent indicator of how well your keywords and ads perform. A more direct way to showcase what this means is by applying the CTR formula — clicks divided by impressions equals your CTR. For example, if out of 100 impressions you achieve 10 clicks, your click-through rate would be 10 percent.
But click-through rates are more than just simple math. In a few words, your CTR is one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use to determine the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns. You can think of it as a litmus test. A marketing campaign with a low CTR will not provide you with a successful return on your investment (ROI). Only potential customers who click through can progress through the rest of your campaign. Having a low CTR generally means something is not working and must be fixed – otherwise, your campaign won’t earn leads or increase revenue.
High impressions, paired with a high click-through rate and a high conversion rate, are the ultimate dream of any company. Impressions, clicks and conversions should all perform in unison when your organic or PPC campaign is working as intended – this includes targeting keywords, copy, landing pages and all the details in between.
Why Should You Care About Click-Through Rate?
Aside from increasing your conversions and revenue, having a high organic CTR is beneficial for improving your Google rankings overall. If your URL is frequently visited, the search engine algorithm we work so hard to understand will consider your page valuable and relevant to future searches containing your keywords, giving your site authority. This equates to more impressions, clicks, potential customers and even more conversions and revenue increases.
On the PPC side of things, maintaining a well-performing click-through rate will cause your Quality Score to rise, telling Google that you care about your quality and want to deliver the best ad experience you can to users. This can help you save on your cost-per-click rates to save your budget for something else and vastly increase your impressions.
10 Ways to Improve Your Organic & PPC CTR
Now that you have a better idea of CTRs and why they’re important, let’s take a look at some of the best practices you can use to improve your site’s CTR today.
1. Optimize for Featured Snippets
The number one spot on SERPs is no longer the most coveted position you can gain. Instead, the focus is shifting to “position zero” through featured snippets that appear above the first search result. These snippets are pulled from the top 10 search results, so if your blog or website is ranking on the first page, you have an excellent opportunity to boost your visibility.
To gain a featured snippet, you first have to understand its purpose. Search engines like Google display featured snippets to directly answer an inquiry based on search intent. If your content matches, you have a big chance of getting featured on the sought-after position zero. Featured snippets are also displayed for long-tail keywords or question-based searches. To rank on featured snippets, you should remain focused on offering short and precise answers to user queries while optimizing for long-tail keywords.
2. Detail Your Meta Descriptions
Another way to improve your CTR is to write compelling and detailed meta descriptions. When you search for something, you’ll notice that a small snippet of text will appear underneath your title tags. An effective meta description is more like an elevator pitch than a product description – you want to inform users what your page is about and convince them that you have the content and solutions they’re looking for.
Best SEO practices dictate that a compelling meta description contains a few of your keywords written as naturally as possible. Remember, keyword stuffing is not the goal. Write meta descriptions in an active voice and make them as actionable as possible. And, of course, don’t forget to add a call-to-action (CTA) to help convince users to click through to your content. Answer questions, use powerful and persuasive language and keep it as relevant and specific as possible.
3. Add Schema Markup
Schema markup is the name of a certain type of code. By putting it on a website, you can help search engines return results that are more informational and noticeable to users. Schema makes any featured snippets look better and more attractive. Once schema markup is added, it can more clearly define what particular text on your website actually means, enhancing snippets in the process.
You can use a couple of different types of schema markups to your advantage, and implementing the right one for your website can work wonders for your CTR.
4. Optimize Your Posts With Design Elements
Sure, including design elements such as images in your posts is a common practice, but you may not know that it can help improve your CTR. Incorporating images within your content is a great way to boost engagement and keep users interested in your posts. In addition to this, they can become an essential component to your content appearing in featured snippets and other information boxes on the SERPs.
But that’s not all. Images and a good design can help improve the chances of users clicking your URL when browsing the images section of the search results. You should always name your images correctly and add alt text to make the most impact.
5. Pay Attention to Your URL
Your page URL is one of the essential pieces of information that show up on SERPs. Because of this, it’s crucial to optimize it to help improve your click-through rate.
You can do this by making your URL as descriptive as possible by naturally including keywords. Not only will this reinforce the topic your post is about and give some real estate to your ads/links, but it will also help show users your content is relevant and should be clicked. Another tip you can put into practice is to keep your URL short. Long URLs full of random letters, equal signs and numbers look spammy — keeping it concise makes it more attractive and trustworthy.
6. Optimize Your Titles
Your title tag is another critical piece of information displayed on the SERPs, so you must take time to optimize it properly. There are plenty of differing opinions regarding formatting, but it’s always best to keep it simple. You have to remember that people usually skim their search results, looking for the most relevant link to their specific query. If your title remains simple and explains your page clearly, you’ll drive more clicks than you would with a drawn-out, long-winded explanation. Keeping titles clear from the beginning is especially important when you factor in how they look directly on SERPs. The end of your title tag may get cut-off, but if the opening is straightforward, to-the-point and keyword-rich (without being stuffed), you’ll drive more clicks.
Another tip for optimizing your CTR is to use branding to your advantage. If a business is an authority on a niche, some form of branding in the title gives users more confidence when clicking the URL. However, this can be pretty tricky when you put it into practice. It’s important you don’t frontload a brand name – the most critical piece of information should describe what’s on the page, not the company. Keep that to the back end of your title.
7. Use a Listicle Format
Have you noticed our article contains a numbered list? That’s right. We did it on purpose. People are naturally drawn to lists – they lay out information in an attractive, easy-to-digest way. Including them as part of your content strategy can help improve organic clicks.
Listicles are another way to increase your chances of appearing in a featured snippet, further boosting your opportunity for a good CTR. Google’s algorithm is good at understanding what types of content are most helpful to audiences – listicle-style featured snippets are among the most practical to users.
8. Optimize Your Site Speed
Google prioritizes page experience and web core vitals as ranking factors – having a fast website will get you higher up in SERPs for more impressions. More than that, if your website isn’t optimized for speed, people may click your link only to bounce off rather quickly if your website takes too long to load. This can drastically impact your CTR, especially on mobile devices. There are plenty of tools and services online to check your website speed for both mobile and desktop.
9. Take Advantage of Ad Extensions
For PPC, taking full advantage of ad extensions can add valuable real estate space to your links. There are many ad extensions to choose from, but some of the most common are sitelink extensions.
Adding sitelink descriptions to your ads allows you to put two extra lines of text under each sitelink heading, which is known to improve CTRs. By using this extension, your ad can stand out and push down other PPC ads in the SERPs.
You can also add other extensions, such as call extensions, promotion extensions, price extensions, location extensions and more. When you allow users to see more information right from the SERP, they will immediately be more drawn to your page.
10. Write Effective Ad Copy
What exactly makes for effective copy that gets results? It should be emotionally compelling, attractive and efficient. Some of the best ad copy speaks directly to readers and is empathetic to their needs. Compelling copy also stands out from your competitors and highlights unique selling points specific to your page. After all, if your copy is pretty much interchangeable with your competitors, then your CTR is probably going to suffer.
You may not get your ad copy right the first time around, which is perfectly fine. You can keep an eye on your CTR through Google Analytics and change it up over time if you see your numbers starting to drop. It’s good to take a look at some of your higher-performing ads to see what kind of language you use that seems to appeal to users. Never reuse your copy on multiple ads, but paying attention to the type of verbiage and language you use can help you better understand what compels your audience.
Drive-Up Your CTR & Improve Your Conversion Rates With OuterBox
Boosting your click-through rates is no easy task, but you don’t have to do it alone. Here at OuterBox, we understand the ins and outs of improving your organic and PPC click-through rate and keeping it at a healthy level. Our experienced team of PPC experts, SEO strategists and specialists, content writers and account managers can provide you with data-driven insights and results to boost conversions and revenue in your online marketing efforts. Talk with our PPC management experts to start your most compelling Google Ads campaign today. Or, reach out to learn more about our SEO services to boost your organic CTR. With experience in both organic and paid services, your strategy will be comprehensive and consistent to help build up your business and take full advantage of today’s digital landscape.