“There’s an old joke in the SEO world that if you’re looking for a good place to hide a dead body, the second page of Google is the best place.”
Famed marketing guru, Neil Patel, was onto something here. What he means is that the second page of Google is where good websites go to die. If you’re on the second page, anyone searching for your website’s services, products, or information, might end up on your competitor’s page and not yours. One of the main culprits could be because when your organic click-through rate (CTR) is down, it keeps you off of the first page of Google. So how do we change this? Boosting your website’s organic CTR and improving the online traffic of your site involves a lot of different strategies. With a little helping hand, you’ll be there in no time.
First, let’s learn a little bit more about what organic CTR is all about. The more we know about the subject, the more we can control the results.
So, what’s a click-through rate? We’re glad you asked.
CTR is the ratio of users who see an ad and click on a specific link that will take them to a page, email, or advertisement. It’s how website owners and advertisers keep track of the total number of users that visit their site or page. In turn, CTR allows you to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing while tracking how users are getting to your site.
Paid CTR vs. organic CTR
There’s a stark difference between your paid click-through rate and organic click-through rate. For both, the click-through rate tells you how people are getting to your site. But the difference between paid and organic CTR is whether or not you spent money on the advertisement that earned you the clicks in the first place. If they found their way to your site on their own, then it’s organic!
Paid CTR and organic CTR both have their place. But when your website’s organic CTR is looking good, your URL shows up on higher-ranking search pages. That’s what we want. It’s all about having copy on your website that makes people want to stop and spend a little time on your site. When your copy starts converting organic traffic at a high-rate, you’re more likely to make it to the front page of Google.
So, how can you tell if your copy is landing or not?
Follow the traffic
Sitting down and analyzing the data takes some time. But tracking how internet users are ending up on your site will pay off in the end.
Live tools like the ones from SEMRush and Moz will tell you how people are getting to your site. That means you can see all the different ways internet traffic gets to you and how your SEO plays into that. From HTTPS Results and Adwords to reviews, images, and Tweets, there are a lot of different avenues users can take. Your job entails opening up all those different pathways so more traffic can find its way to your site.
Google uses all of these different metrics to populate a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). How you do that comes down to what you’re willing to learn about your own organic CTR.
Pitch your website to Google
There’s no doubt that we live in a digital world. But for those of us who remember newspapers, they serve as a great analogy for Google’s search page results. From current events to crossword puzzles, flipping through the pages of a newspaper for information is a lot like searching Google. The most relevant news makes the front cover, and the least relevant stories get shuffled to the back. Often, readers skim the front headlines and toss the newspaper in the recycling bin. In that sense, Google can be a lot like the newspaper of the internet. The biggest difference? Readers get to choose what their front page might say based on their unique search terms.
If you’re not on Google’s front-page, catching the attention of internet explorers is that much harder. Whether users are steered away from a lack of results or find what they’re looking for somewhere else, it’s not a good sign for your organic CTR. Now how do you prove to Google that your website deserves a front-page ranking?
Ten strategies that will bump you to the front page
Whether you’re selling real estate, tax services, or custom homes, these key CTR strategies can bump you to the top of Google’s search rankings. It all starts with predicting what your potential customers are searching for and implementing SEO that follows best practices. Evaluating SERPs and honing in on what works for you will attract more organic search traffic to your site and increase click-through rates.
1. Long-tail keywords
Betting all your chips on a single keyword is a risky gamble. Everything hinges on users searching for that lone keyword and your business being synonymous with the term. In turn, this strategy also limits your results for vaguer searches.
For instance, take the word “agency.” When searching for Savy Agency on Google, you’re bound to find our URL at the top of Google. But search “agency,” and you’ll discover an extensive list beginning with the definition of the term at the top. That’s why we increase our organic search traffic through “keyword clustering.” By using multiple long-tail keywords like “full-service digital marketing agency” that are associated with short-tail keywords like “marketing” and “agency,” we convert more qualified click-throughs to our site.
2. Meta descriptions that resonate
Detailed and concise meta descriptions tell potential customers exactly what your page has to offer. Your SERP listing on Google highlights them under your site’s URL. They’re integral for users organically increasing the click-through rate on your website. Compelling meta descriptions are essential for drawing in potential customers. After all, first impressions on the internet are influential when conveying traffic.
Writing a solid meta description involves implementing your long-tail keywords and keeping things concise. Make sure your message is clear and to the point. According to a recent study by Microsoft on the human attention span, you have eight seconds to nail the message before a user moves onto something else.
3. Preview with Google Adwords
Adwords are the bread and butter of improving your rankings on Google Search. How Google Adwords does it is a different story. But if you’re hoping to improve your organic CTR, the Google Adwords Preview Tool is a great option. You can preview your ads and see how each idea will work, what your SERP will end up being, and if it’s generating clicks or not.
Try testing out how different headlines and meta descriptions work compared to others. If you want to improve your organic CTR, you’re going to have to analyze the data first.
4. Implement structured data
If you don’t have structured data, you may not even be a blip on customers’ radar, nevermind Google. Google searches for data with the right schema for their algorithms. In turn, their algorithms create infoboxes and place them at the top of users’ search pages if the data fit their keywords.
For instance, sites like Twitter, Wikipedia, and IMBD use structured data for easy search results. If you want your website to ever be in the same breath as those sites, structured data is an excellent place to start.
5. People love listicles
Thanks to news sites like Buzzfeed, listicles are everywhere. If you haven’t noticed yet, you’re reading a list on organic CTR strategies right now. Lists are simple, get to the point, and highlight the exact information users are searching for. Research shows—in the form of another listicle—that internet users, especially love lists that end in zero.
6. All blog posts should have images
Without images, your SEO suffers, and remember, SEO is critical for a high organic CTR. Users just aren’t attracted to sites without imagery. These images are vital for helping your SERP boost your site onto a higher page via Google Search. As the old adage goes, “Pictures are worth a thousand words.”
To circle back, Google’s infobox algorithms search for structured data with imagery. Without images, there’s less chance your content shows up during organic searches.
7. Use URLs that describe your post
Developing long-tail keywords in your web copy is one thing. Implementing those keywords in your URLs is another. It’s essential if you want to raise your search engine visibility.
Organic CTR cares about a lot of things. But the length, path, and categories your long-tail keywords fall under are instrumental.
8. Have a toast with Yoast!
If you haven’t heard of Yoast yet, this WordPress plugin optimizes your SEO throughout your entire site. Yoast will tell you how your SEO is doing and if you need to improve it. It will even provide some suggestions on how you can best optimize it. The quality of your SEO performance considerably influences the results of your organic CTR. If people are searching for your top keywords and organically finding their way onto your site, that’s a huge win for you. SEO performance is essential for scoring quality organic CTR results.
9. Socialize your content
Social media is a great place to start if you want to boost your CTR. In any form of marketing, eye-catching headlines are the first step towards drawing people in. Social media are a lot like headlines.
It’s no different when it comes to boosting your organic click-through rate. Apps like CoSchedule analyze your headlines and tell you how it could fare. But the real world is the only concrete way to tell.
Publish the same content with two different headlines across social media and use tools like Facebook Business Manager to see how their click-through rates vary. If one has better results, you have a greater sense of what works best for SERPs going forward.
10. Speed things up
If your site takes three seconds to load instead of one, it will increase your “bounce rate” by 32%. That means people will leave your site if the simple act of loading takes too much time out of their day.
Check your site speed with tools like the Pingdom Speed Test Tool and the GTmetrix analyzer.
What does it all mean
The internet will always continue to evolve. How we leverage our digital marketing strategies to optimize our websites will never stop changing. But improving click-through rates is vital for establishing a powerful web presence. As long as the internet is still around, humanity will continue spreading information. How you convert their clicks to your site is the next step for you.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. With the combination of structured data and long-tail keywords, using these ten strategies will get your site on the front page of Google in no time. In turn, you’ll be a shoo-in for higher organic click-through.