When they work on their sites and SEO, most people focus on ranking as high as possible. They think that as soon as they get to the first page of Google, all their traffic problems will go away. However, it doesn't work that way. If you want to get more people to click on your site and buy from you, you need to learn how to improve your organic click-through rate.
CTR is a popular acronym these days, and you may often hear SEOs talking about it and how it's one of the characteristics of a successful business website. But that doesn't mean much to you if you don't know what CTR is in the first place. Thus, let's start with that.
What Is Click-Through Rate?
The organic click-through rate is the percentage of users who click on your link in the SERPs.
For example, let's say that Google displays your page a hundred times in search results for a specific keyword. If, during those displays, seven users click on your link and read your article, you have a click-through rate of 7%.
Google's algorithm will look at your CTR and use it as a ranking metric. A high rate means that users like what you're offering, so Google will push your page. And, of course, if your CTR is low, you can expect to drop a few places in the search results.
Check Your CTR
As a site owner, you can see which of your pages have a high click-through rate and which ones don't do as well. Naturally, you'll want to look at what you did with the good pages and replicate it when writing new content. And for the flawed pages - you'll want to work to improve them.
The easiest way to see your CTRs is through your Google Search Console. Here's what you need to do:
Once you log in, switch to the Performance tab.
At the top right, you'll see your average CTR.
Click on the checkbox to add it to your report as a metric.
Next to your average CTR tab, you'll see the Average position tab.
Click on its checkbox to add it to your report as a metric.
Scroll down to the detailed report section.
Click on the Queries tab, and you'll see your clicks, impressions, CTR, and position for each keyword you rank for.
You can click on any of the columns to sort the results by them.
If you switch to the Pages tab, you'll see the same metrics for each page on your site instead of keywords.
And now that you're familiar with all the basics, we can get into how you can improve your organic click-through rate.
Work on Your Keywords
Keywords are the heart of SEO. These are the queries users type in to find your content, and you need to get them right.
However, people often make mistakes when researching keywords simply because they don't know what to look for. One of the most common pitfalls with this is going for general keywords since they have a higher search volume. But a higher search volume makes things far more competitive, which is terrible for your CTR.
If you want to see results, go for long-tail keywords. These are more specific and highly targeted but often lead to conversions. In essence, you'll make sure that people who find your pages want to read them.
Improve Your SEO Title and Meta Descriptions
The only elements of your site that people will see on the SERPs are your SEO title and meta description. Hence, you need these two to work for you. You want them to get users' attention and encourage them to click on the link.
Always use your exact keyword in the title, but be sure to spice things a little on top of it. Add some power words to the mix, and don't be afraid of making things a bit clickbaity. And for the meta description, use an open look to seal the deal.
Take Advantage of Structured Data
Structured data will let you show the essential details about your business before people even visit your site. You can select the info you think it's crucial (address, contact info, working hours, reviews) and ask Google to use it as your structured data.
It'll make it visible on the search result pages, so people will know right away what your business is all about. It's a great trick if you're trying to market a new website, as it'll provide proof that you're a legitimate company.
Optimize Your URLs
The URL to your page is clearly visible on the SERPs, and optimizing it can significantly impact your CTR. One way to do it is to make it as descriptive as possible. If people read the link itself, they should understand what they'll find on the page behind it.
That said, be careful not to make it too long. No one wants to read your full SEO title in the URL, so don't put it there. Instead, focus on writing a URL slug that's clean, easy to read, and understandable.
Improve Your Site Loading Speeds
At first glance, a slow-loading site shouldn't affect your click-through rate. No matter how fast or slow your website is, people will click on the link, right?
Yes, but they won't stick around to see the content. As soon as users see that the page isn't loading up, they'll bounce back to search and move on to the next site. That'll negatively impact your CTR, and you'll sink on the SERPs.
To check if your site is slow, you can use Google's Page Speed Insights. In general, if it takes more than three seconds to load, you won't get a passing mark, but you'll get some tips on how you can boost your page speed right from Google.
Now you have all the tricks you'll need to improve your organic click-through rate. But keep in mind that getting people to click on your page is just a tiny part of the puzzle. The next thing is to make them stick around, and for that, you can find more tips on our blog.