Quick and Easy Ways to Increase CTR in Search Results (and Attract More Visitors)
Are you tired of getting low traffic and clicks to your website? Have you searched online to find ways to increase the traffic to your website, implemented them, and seen no result? The core reason behind what you are experiencing is low organic CTR (click-through rate).
Ranking on Google search results is just one part (a smaller part of the puzzle). The real deal is to have users click on your links and visit your website. Even if you end up on Google SERP, only a few searchers click on your link, you will have low traffic.
As a business, having a low CTR diminishes the impact of your business. Your business will experience fewer leads, poor sales, and end up affecting your search result rank that you worked so hard to build.
I know this because I spend a lot of time working with my SEO clients to improve their CTR.
The best way to escape this undesirable position is to increase your CTR in search results. In this article, you will learn quick and easy hacks to increase your CTR in search results and attract more visitors to your site.
8 Quick and Easy Ways to Increase CTR in Search Results (and Attract More Visitors)
Organic search traffic is one of the hottest things chased by marketing teams and businesses after social media management tools. Companies today are putting in lots of investment into ranking for a target keyword or search phrase on the first page of Google SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Some are even pushing extra to rank in the featured snippets and videos.
The reason behind this is the rich impact ranking for organic searches can have on businesses. According to Brightedge, 51% of website traffic is from organic searches, and over 40% of online revenue is generated from organic traffic.
As a business owner, you want to eat a slice of that juicy online cake. Simply ranking in the top three positions for a keyword or phrase will see your traffic, conversion, and sales statistics grow positively. Ranking alone will not get your results, you have to ensure people click on your website.
Source: The Online Advertising Guide
A low click-through rate left unattended will result in you falling down the Google SERP till you are buried deep in a place where no human ventures to. Here are the quickest and easiest ways to increase your CTR organically in search results.
Identify Your Lowest Organic CTR Content
The quickest and easiest way to increase your CTR in search results is to audit your existing web content. Check the click-through statistics for each of your content from your website hosting platform. If this statistic is not available, you can visit the Google Search Console to get a comprehensive analysis of your site traffic.
Arrange them accordingly from the ones with the lowest organic CTR to the ones with the highest CTR. Pay special attention to the lowest organic CTR content. These are the contents you have to improve.
If you have web content with a high CTR, you can compare why that content is recording impressive results and not having the same results.
Simply identifying your lowest-performing content makes it easier to find solutions to improve your site’s overall click-through rate.
Fix Keyword Cannibalization
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is that they overuse keywords in their landing pages and website content. This act is called keyword cannibalization.
When you practice keyword cannibalization, you are self-sabotaging your efforts to increase your click-through rates. It means that traffic coming to your website for that keyword will be spread among your pages with similar keywords. You are, in effect, competing with yourself.
You can fix keyword cannibalization by building a more diverse keyword list instead of using few similar keywords for a lot of your posts. To do this, you need to know the best practices to perform keyword research for SEO.
If your click-through rate is low and not improving, you can check your pages and posts to see if keyword cannibalization affects your CTR in Google search result pages.
Instead of using similar keywords for many posts, focus on ranking for that keyword on a single post or page so that all your traffic in the search result for the keyword goes to that page.
For example, instead of using the keyword’ best eCommerce platforms‘ in your post, you can use other keyword alternatives such as ‘Shopify competitors.’ This simple tweak will boost your click-through rates in search results.
Craft Attention-Grabbing Headlines
With more and more content finding its way to the web daily, the biggest challenge many businesses and individuals face is how to craft content that attracts a high CTR.
Nowadays, the average searcher’s patience is short. With up to thousands of information available on a single search term, users can afford to skip pages that do not impress them.
To prevent this from happening, you have to craft attention-grabbing headlines. When a user searches a search term on Google or any other search engine, the first thing they see is your headlines.
Your headlines can either make them click on your link or scroll past it for better options. A bad headline is one of the top reasons why your CTR is low.
Another example of an attention-grabbing headline is ‘Web Hosting Trend in 2021 You Should Know.’
Your goal while writing your headlines should be to hook the reader to want to know more. The best headlines kindle interests, curiosity and reveal authority. There are several ways to improve existing headlines or even write brand new ones.
#1 Avoid Heavy Title Tags
Avoid writing headlines that your readers can not easily understand. If your headline is difficult to read, searchers will skip over your content and assume the article is just as complicated, even if it is not.
Heavy title tags are boring and do not impress your readers, rather it turns them off. Replace your heavy title tags with a simpler one. Be as concise as possible, and ensure that every word used is necessary and helps the overall headline appeal to searchers.
Apart from repelling visitors to your website, the search engine algorithm will rank your website or page lower than it would if you used a clear and concise title tag.
#2 Use Numbers
Adding numbers to your headlines can increase your click-through rates. BuzzFeed is a great place to get headline ideas. What you will notice about BuzzFeed posts is that they utilize numbers a lot, and it works all the time in attracting visitors to click on the link.
’16 Best Accounting Software‘ is an example of a headline or meta title that uses numbers.
#3 Use the Current Calendar Year
Adding the current calendar year to your headlines can help improve it. For example, if you add 2021 to your existing titled tag “10 Best Task Management Software,” the new headline will read “10 Best Task Management Software in 2021.”
When someone searches for the best task management software, Google will show them different options. Once they see that your title tag has the current year on it, they feel it is more relevant for them and click on it.
Brain Dean, SEO expert and founder of Backlinko, shared how he was able to increase his organic traffic by 652% within a week. A crucial part of attaining that success was by adding the current calendar year to his articles.
#4 Test and Retest Your Headlines
If you notice your CTR is going down, it is a sign to tweak the headline and test other variants to see if it will increase your click-through rates.
There are numerous ways to test your headlines; you can run them as PPC ads or test them for short durations on your website to see the results.
For example, if you want to rank for best AI chatbot platforms, you can test different variations of headlines like in the A/B testing such as ‘Top 5 AI Chatbots for Businesses’ or ‘Best Chatbot template examples for Companies.’
You can also use the Coschedule headline analyzer tool to test your headlines. It helps you analyze your headlines, score them and suggest areas where you can improve them.
Feel free to change your tiles as often as you want till you get ones that produce the CTR rate you desire.
Use Descriptive URLs
Descriptive URLs can help you increase your click-through rates in search results. Shorter URLs will get more clicks over long URLs.
Many website owners ignore this when optimizing their site for SEO. You can use the Linkio link-building software to optimize your off-page SEO.
By default, the URL assigned to your site is long. You can optimize the slug in a way that is SEO-friendly.
For example, https://www.founderjar.com/key-performance-indicator-kpi/ is a perfect example of a descriptive URL. From the URL, you can identify what the post is all about.
Optimize Your Meta Descriptions
Another place to check if you have a low click-through rate is your meta description. Poorly optimized meta descriptions will affect the number of visitors that visit your website. It is an essential part of on-page SEO and vital for ranking high on the Google SERP.
After the meta title, the meta description is the next place searchers look at when deciding sites to click on. A properly optimized meta description can increase your click-through rates. It is the tiny box under the meta title.
Ensure that your meta descriptions communicate what your post or page is about in an interesting way that will get visitors to click on your link.
The length of a typical meta description is about 155 characters. If you write more than 155 characters, the search engine will trim the excess, affecting the message you want to pass across to your target audience. Keep it short, clear, and interesting to get people to click on it.
Think of your meta description as if you are writing a short ad. You want to capture, pique interests, and get them to click on your link.
Use emotional or powerful words to get them to take action. You can also add numbers and a calendar year in your meta description to increase its appeal.
Your meta title (headline), meta descriptions, and URL are all the information that your target audience sees about your site when they search. Optimizing all three will increase your click-through rates.
There are two techniques you can utilize to write a great meta description. The first is to provide an answer to a question on your target audience’s mind.
The sole reason why users use search engines is that they need answers to their questions. If you can provide parts of the answer in your meta description, they will click on your site. Write your meta descriptions in a natural way and avoid stuffing keywords in them.
Use PPC Ads for Organic CTR
Can I use PPC Ads to improve my organic CTR? Yes, it is one of the most underutilized ways to do it. PPC Ads and organic CTR are two different terms. PPC Ads involves buying ad space on Google SERP, while organic CTR involves ranking naturally on Google SERP.
You can leverage PPC ads for organic CTR to quickly increase your low CTR. The first step is to identify a keyword that has a low click-through rate for you. Check that you already rank high on Google SERP for that keyword to leverage running a PPC ad for it.
Now you will rank top for paid ads and also organically. This simple hack will increase your CTR instantly and enable you to test different headlines and meta descriptions with both listings to find out which attracts a higher CTR.
Target the Featured Snippets Spot
The featured snippet spot is one of the quickest and easiest ways to increase your CTR in search results and attract more visitors. Ranking in Google SERP is becoming harder thanks to PPC Ads, featured snippets, and other infoboxes.
Writing your post to rank on the featured snippet spot is worth the effort. According to HubSpot, they experienced an over 114% increase in their click-through rates for their posts that appeared as featured snippets.
If HubSpot, which already ranks in the top pages for many keywords, can witness a spike in their click-through rate because of their appearance in featured snippets, your site can have a similar experience.
The first step to appearing on a featured snippet is to search for the keyword you want to rank for to check if there is already a featured snippet for it. If there is one, optimize your post according to the structure used.
There are four types of featured snippets: paragraphs, lists, tables, videos. If the featured snippet that appears for your keyword is in the form of a list, then add a list type of content to your post.
You can also add a summary between 40 to 50 words of your post and use the keyword or question asked as a heading to write a summary of your post under it. These are the rich text areas that Google picks up as featured snippets.
Improve Your Page Load Time
Your page load time should not affect your CTR since a click is the only factor that counts? That is only half of the story.
Although your CTR is strictly measured by clicks, having a slow page load time can indirectly affect your CTR. When people visit your website, and it takes time to load, they will quickly exit to find another faster page. You can’t blame them, we are all busy people.
If more people visit your site and keep leaving, it passes across a message to the Google algorithm that your site does not offer valuable information for users. Google will drop your site from its top search results and replace it with another.
Now that your site is no longer ranked high in Google SERP, your click-through rate will drop because people will frequently ignore other search results that are not among the top results.
You can carry out a website speed test to know how much time it takes for your page to load and optimize accordingly.
Ready to Increase Your CTR in Search Results?
Click-through rate is a vital website metric that shows you how many visitors are visiting your site. You cannot sell your products or services or build an audience if people are not clicking on your website. Your sales funnel is less effective with poor traffic caused by low CTR.
Before you can increase your CTR in search results, you first have to understand why you have low click-through rates. Some of the reasons are poor headlines, keyword cannibalization, poorly optimized meta titles, meta descriptions and URLs, and slow page load time.
Having a high SERP rank for your target keyword will bring you clicks, but if you do not optimize it properly, you can quickly lose your treasured position.
You can increase your CTR in search results by optimizing your meta titles, descriptions, and URL, appearing on featured snippets, using attention-grabbing headlines, using PPC ads for organic CTR, and fixing keyword cannibalization.
James is an SEO consultant based in London. Working with clients around the world to get more traffic from search.