7 of the Best Tips to Boost Your Organic CTR

When you’re managing a website, you can get too focused on rankings. It’s easy to get caught up in the web of search rankings and forget everything else. But remember, high search rankings don’t mean anything unless users actually click on your link.

The organic click-through rate (CTR) is often used as a metric in PPC and email marketing campaigns. It is crucial because it can help you answer an important question.

Out of all those people who saw your email or link, how many were interested enough to click on it? It answers the same question, even for SEO campaigns. It can tell you how many people out of those who saw your search result, clicked on it.

How Can CTR Impact Your SEO?

In 2015, Google announced that Artificial Intelligence would play a major role in enhancing their search results. They announced the launch of their Machine Learning algorithm called RankBrain, which placed a special emphasis on user experience.

Whenever your website is crawled, Google gives you a quality score. Along with the quality of content, click-through rate is an important part of this score. If you have a higher click-through rate, Google understands that your content is valuable and relevant for users.

RankBrain learns and adapts its behavior based on human decisions. For an effective RankBrain SEO strategy, you need to focus on getting a high CTR.

Take for instance, Wikipedia, which has a very high CTR. Because of this, Wikipedia has established itself as a trustworthy website with the Google search engine. So, it isn’t really surprising that for most searches on Google, Wikipedia is the first result that pops up.

Clearly RankBrain affects search results. And if you want to optimize for RankBrain SEO, you can’t ignore your CTR.

Now that you understand how crucial your CTR is for your website, let’s delve deeper into the topic. Take a look at the following tips on how you can improve your website’s organic CTR:

1) Use the Right Keywords

With RankBrain taking over search results, you need to rethink how you write your content. The old trick of stuffing your copy with keywords will no longer yield good results. RankBrain is interested in broad concepts, not just keywords. It relates similar queries and clubs them into one single group.

So, the best way to look at keywords now is through concepts. For instance, say you’re writing a post about photography. While photography is your target keyword, you also need to look at its semantic keywords. Types of photography, photography tips, and photography courses are related keywords.

Simply put, use long as well as medium-tail keywords in your content. Even though you may be looking to target a specific keyword, focus on the broader concept. Try to use variations of the same keywords as well as other keywords related to it. This will ensure that you’re representing all the related search queries that a user might be looking for.

To get a better understanding of this, Moz compared organic CTR for head terms and long-tail keywords on SERPs. In their study, they compared 1000 keywords in the same niche. They found that long-tail terms got almost double the CTR as that of head terms for some data sets.

Boost Your Organic CTR

2) Write Good Titles

Your title is one of the most crucial elements that can help you boost your CTR. Not only does it help you with better rankings, but it can also engage your reader. A well-written title has the power to get the reader curious enough so that they want to read your article. It can instantly convey the value that your article can give to your reader.

Ideally, a headline should have 6-12 words. Anything longer than that is off-putting and confusing. While writing your title, you also need to make sure you’re cleverly adding a few relevant keywords. This can help you get the attention of search engines.

However, do not try to stuff your headlines with keywords just for the sake of it. Otherwise, it will be meaningless and confusing for readers.

Writing a good headline is a constant tussle between finding the right balance between creativity and rankings. What may seem to be SEO-friendly may not always seem engaging for the reader.

So, how can you write a title that is both appealing to search engines and readers? There are a few simple steps you need to follow.

First, write a title that is straightforward. Next, write another version of the title that is more enticing. After that, combine the two titles and remove the parts that seem irrelevant. The last step is to see if you can replace a few words in the title with relevant keywords.

If you still aren’t sure if the title you’ve written is good enough, you can use a headline analyzer. This way, you’ll appeal to search engines as well as your audiences. Always double check if your headline is enticing enough for the reader to click.

While keywords give you visibility, you can’t completely ignore the engagement factor. Use the headline analyzer by CoSchedule to write great headlines for your posts.

Boost Your Organic CTR

3) Focus on Meta Descriptions

To hold a reader’s attention and get them to click through, you need to give them a sneak peek of the kind of content that your article offers. Meta descriptions are meant for that purpose. Think of meta descriptions as a way to pitch your article’s theme to your readers before they read it.

They may not directly help you with SEO, but they can definitely help to boost your CTR. If you get the meta description right, you’ve earned yourself a potential visit on your website.

Your meta description should provide the reader with some context to the headline. Ideally, it should be descriptive and should be around 155 characters long.

Here’s what you should consider when creating meta descriptions:

a) Give Social Proof

Boost Your Organic CTR

Google introduced rich snippets to help users find relevant search results quickly. This allowed Google’s algorithms to highlight data that was embedded in the web page.

For instance, ecommerce marketers can display their product rating as a part of the rich snippet. For marketers, it’s also a chance to showcase their credibility to the users even before they click on their link.

Not only do rich snippets occupy more space on the search results pages, they are more eye-catching as well. This point was reiterated in a study conducted by Ahrefs. It showed that featured snippets in SERPs actually steal away clicks from the #1 ranking result. Another interesting finding was that most featured snippets are triggered by long-tail keywords.

b) Think From the Reader’s Perspective

As a webmaster, you have a complete understanding of your overall content. But Google users are looking for specific keywords or the answers to specific questions. So while writing your meta descriptions, you need to put yourself in the reader’s shoes.

What are the questions that your article answers? Communicate that in a compelling way in the meta description. But keep in mind that your main purpose is to get the reader to click on your link. So, you need to craft a description that effectively conveys the gist of the subject without giving out all of the details.

4) Pay Attention to Breadcrumbs

In the world of SEO, breadcrumbs have a special meaning. They refer to the position of a specific page within the website’s hierarchy. Say you’re looking for a new laptop from Best Buy. If you look at the URL, you will notice that it also shows sections inside the website.

In the case of a laptop, it shows Computers & Tablets as the main category. Under this the sub-category of Laptops is marked right after the main category. This is how breadcrumbs work.

Boost Your Organic CTR

For ecommerce websites, these are extremely important. They show a product’s placement in the overall site hierarchy. Every section in the path can be clicked by the user. It allows users to jump to different sections in a website directly from the SERPs.

Another function of breadcrumbs is to make it easier for Google to understand how a website is structured. Well-defined categories and sub-categories make it easier for crawlers to understand that all of your web pages are interlinked.

If breadcrumbs are laid out well, you have a better chance of ranking higher. This, in turn, can indirectly boost your CTR.

For the holiday season, it’s a good idea to create a separate section dedicated to seasonal content. For example, during Christmas season, you could add a special section for Christmas gifts. This can help to attract those users who are specifically looking for gifts during the holiday season.

5) Use Descriptive URLs

Another important factor that affects your SEO rankings is the URL of your content. URLs are like the building blocks of your website hierarchy and can help readers as well as crawlers discover your page. So you can’t afford to go wrong with them.

The worst part is that once your article is published, it’s tricky to change it again. Technically, you can change it, but it might affect your rankings.

Getting the URL structure right requires you to pay attention to accessibility and usability. By looking at your URL, users should be able to tell what your page is about. This means that you need to include only relevant words. You can do away with conjunctions and prepositions. They are unnecessary distractions.

Your URL should include the keywords that you are targeting. This makes it easier for search engines to discover you and for users to understand what you’re focusing on. The most important keywords should be placed near the root domain. However, avoid using the same keyword multiple times in a single URL. That can make it seem spammy.

To separate your keywords, use hyphens. Also, try to keep your URLs as short as possible. Technically, URLs can be as long as 2048 characters. Try to aim for a URL that is no longer than 100 characters. A shorter URL is clearer and more attractive to the user.

Of course, this isn’t always possible for ecommerce websites. When you have dozens of categories and products, you will naturally have longer URLs.

6) Use Attractive Images

Whenever you’re sharing your blog posts on social media, make sure you add attractive banner images. Attractive visuals can capture a viewer’s attention and prompt them to click on your link.

They can also make your content more memorable, relatable, and effective.

Make it a point to always use high-quality images. Blurry or pixelated images are an eyesore. They can make your content look rather slapdash.

But what if you don’t have high-quality images? There are plenty of websites that offer professional stock photos that can be used for free. Check Creative Commons, Flickr, and Unsplash to find good-quality photos taken by professionals.

7) Improve Your Page Loading Speed

One of the most important ranking factors for Google is page speed. Google wants to make sure users get the best experience. If your page loading speed is too slow, you might not even get ranked. If you don’t get ranked, then obviously, your CTR will suffer.

Not only on laptops and desktops, but page loading speed is also an important metric for mobile searches. In 2018, Google released data that showed that 53% of users abandon a website if their page takes more than 3 seconds to load.

So, how can you improve your page loading speed? Factors like heavy images, wrong themes, and heavy embedded media can cause your pages to slow down. You can use SEO tools like the PageSpeed Insights tool, Lighthouse, and TestMySite to get better insights into page loading speed.

Conclusion

A high click-through rate is crucial for the success of your SEO campaign. That’s because it is an important ranking factor in Google. This means that it can directly affect your search rankings. If you want to rank higher on the SERPs, you need to focus on boosting your organic CTR.

When any user sees your link or ad, you need to get them interested enough to engage with you. This is possible by optimizing your keywords, meta descriptions, titles, and URLs. At first, boosting your CTR may seem like a daunting task. But if you understand the basics of how your CTR works, you can get great results.

Are there any other ways to boost a CTR? Please share your suggestions in the comments section.

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