Ways to Improve the CTR of Organic Search Listings
Google uses hundreds of different factors to determine a website’s ranking, ranging from backlink quantity and quality of domain age, content and brand name mentions. However, one of the lesser-known ranking signals used by the Google is click-through rate (CTR).
The more people who click your listing, the higher your site or page will rank for the searched keyword. So, how do you encourage users to click your listing?
Don’t Split Test
With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you can boost click-through rate by performing an A/B split test of two separate ad copy variations. After allowing the two ads to run for a given length of time, delete the underperformer and add a new one.
Unfortunately, webmasters don’t have the luxury of split testing with their organic search listings. While there’s a rule prohibiting webmasters from split testing, it’s poor practice because changing your listing may lower your search ranking.
Use a Compelling, Relevant Title
The single most influential element over an organic listing’s CTR is the title tag. In most cases, Google, as well as other search engines, display the page’s title tag as the listing’s title.
So if you’re hoping to attract more clicks, use a compelling title tag that’s relevant to its corresponding content. Also, keep in mind that title tags are typically truncated after 60 characters, so keep your titles under this limit for maximum search engine visibility.
Use a Custom Meta Description
In addition to a compelling title tag, you should also give your website a custom meta description that entices users to click. Normally, Google will pull the first sentence or two of text from a webpage to use in the description for its search listing.
This practice isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not optimized to yield the highest CTR, either. A better approach is to give each and every page on your website a unique, custom meta description that “teases” what the page is about while encouraging users to click. Meta descriptions can be longer than title tags, with search engines typically displaying up to 160 characters for this element.
Focus on Content
How can content lead to more clicks on your organic search listing? Well, it plays an indirect role in CTR by encouraging higher search rankings.
Unique, high-quality content will increase your site’s search ranking, and when your site ranks higher, it receives more clicks. Google even confirmed on its Webmaster blog that publishing high-quality content is the single most important thing that a webmaster can do.
These are just a few simple ways to boost the CTR of your organic search listings.
Have anything else that you would like to add? Let us know in the comments section below!