8 Tips to improve your CTR
Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Optimizing your CTR
A high click-through rate is something that is often overlooked.
It’s something we usual put to one side to focus on the more “important” aspects of SEO.
But having a high CTR is essential for rankings.
There are many great benefits to why you should be optimizing your CTR.
And it’s not only useful for increasing your organic traffic, it’s also said to be rewarded by Google.
So having an optimized CTR is something to capitalize on.
What is CTR?
CTR stands for Click-Through Rate.
It’s the concept of how many clicks your Ad / SERP link gets to how many impressions it generates. Meaning the higher the percentage of clicks compared to the percentage of impressions, the higher the “Click-Through Rate”.
CTR is actually an incredibly important and useful metric for us SEO’s.
And with an ever-growing variety of metrics from Google, it’s safe to say this is one you can’t afford to miss.
A small part of your website rankings is based on the popularity of your site. The higher the popularity the more it is rewarded by Google.
If you tend to have a low click-through rate then search engines will deem your site to be less valuable and unpopular.
So how do we fix this?
1. Keyword Research
As with any useful SEO strategy, we will need to start with keyword research.
If you have ever read anything about keyword research you will know the importance of long-tail keywords.
Start by researching these and integrating them how you see fit. You may use different keywords from one platform to another, for example on an Ad in comparison to your title on the SERP’s.
When researching your keywords remember to take into account your sales funnel.
If your using more generic, broad terms such as “chocolates” your not going to be hitting that target audience you were hoping for.
Try using something a little more defined such as “mothers day chocolates”. Chances are, if someone is using a search term like so, then it’s safe to say they are looking for a product to buy.
Use your favourite keywords explorer to do the trick. (Personally i use Ahrefs)
Opposed to just researching or browsing around.
Having a more precise and focused keyword strategy is the path to success.
Targeting those who are actually looking for a product or service like yours will achieve you a much higher CTR.
In essence, your simply targeting those who are more likely walk through your door.
At this point, you may be sacrificing the number of impressions but you will attain a much higher CTR.
This principle of course works for both Ads and SERP titles and any other platform you are trying to improve your CTR on.
Take your time, research the perfect long-tail keyword, and focus your efforts on searchers who are most likely to click your link.
2. Identify your weakest link
In order to optimize your CTR, you will first need to identify your weakest link.
What I mean by that, is your page or content with the lowest CTR.
To identify this you can log in to Google Search Console and review each pages metrics such as clicks, impressions, CTR etc.
Once you have these, you will need to compare your CTR to your ranking position.
The ones below your average CTR are the ones that need focusing on the most.
Now that you have established your endangered pages, you’ll want to focus on these to improve your rankings.
3. Craft the perfect title
Having the perfect title for the SERP’s is an essential process in itself.
But when your focusing your efforts on improving your CTR, it couldn’t be more important.
We have established that having an appealing title and a heavily keyword researched one is mandatory for your CTR.
But there are also a lot of other factors to consider when Optimizing your Title Tag.
Make sure your products and services are clearly visible, there's nothing worse than a Title Tag that has no relation to the content it is linking to.
Get numerical by drawing your visitors in using number versions of your title i.e. – “21 tips to improve your CTR”
Use relatable words and hook your visitor in. Having an emotional grasp on a visitor is always a perfect way to increase your odds.
There are many aspects of a Title Tag to consider, but none of them are set in stone without vigorous testing.
Change your title, test it out, burn through as many as you can and see which one works best.
Use something unique each time, change it up, and record which one has the best effect on your CTR.
Remember, these don’t necessarily have to be tested on search results (ideally not), you can try out your headlines on social media. After all, it’s an insanely powerful tool.
4. Use Media
A lot of people tend to be off put by long text and giant descriptions.
It’s not something people have the time to read, especially when it’s displayed on an Ad.
You can however, use media as a tool.
It’s no secret that images and video increase the popularity of posts across social media, the same works for many other formats.
Something like so, would have a higher performance than simple text reading "How to set up google analytics"
It doesn't have to be fancy, or costly, just something that's enough to grab the attention of an impression.
You can use media in your weekly email blasts, or your Google Ads, these have been known to increase the CTR dramatically.
Make sure to be original, use your own content and even custom created infographics.
These all play a big part in your success.
In fact, it is said that 72% of marketers worldwide claim relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic.
5. Local SEO
Sometimes the difference between a person buying your product or moving to another business, is localization.
You may appear in a searchers region by complete accident, a search could be performed and you just happen to be near them, and ranked at the top.
But the likelihood of that actually happening is quite slim.
In order to improve your chances you must implement Local SEO.
Local SEO gives you the opportunity to appear in search results such as “drive repair near me” or “drive repair London”
It gives you the edge over other competitors, even if they ranked higher than you in your keywords.
6. Know your audience
Knowing your audience is the key to victory.
It sort of ties in with researching your keywords...but too a little more of a human degree.
When I say know your audience, i mean you will need to get inside their head.
Try and find out what your audience will search for.
The easiest way to do this is to think about how you would perform a search for your product.
Think about human language, the nature of their searches and how something is generally searched for in the real world.
It sounds simple, and is generally useless information, unless your improving your SEO.
Not all customers search using full sentences, and most use a selection of abbreviations or jargon.
Use this to your advantage when optimizing for clicks.
7. Check your competition
If you rank number 1 on Google, chances are you can skip this step.
But if you don’t, comparing against your competition is a necessity.
Check the first few pages of the SERPs for your desired keyword or phrase, and check this to your own.
For example: here are the first 5 pages for "Best SEO Tools"
Look at aspects such as URLs and Title Tags. Their description is also a great CTR element so make sure this is also optimized.
Once you have analysed your competition see what you’re doing wrong, but more importantly, what their doing right.
Write a convincing meta description and craft the perfect title using all you have learned.
But once you have finished, don’t forget to check your site for the human approach... is it something you would click on?
8. Optimize your website speed
Optimizing your site speed is something an SEO should be looking at indefinitely. But it’s also useful for your CTR.
Not only does site speed increase a users experience but it also affects your SERP position.
As mentioned Google rewards you for correct optimization but can also have a negative impact if the scale tips the other way.
A click doesn’t actually count if a site does not load, so bare this in mind when you’re optimizing your sites speed.
If a user clicks your page and it takes a long time to load, it’s no secret the visitor will return and look elsewhere; this will break your sites bounce rate along with its CTR, and the click won’t count.
As we know mobiles tend to struggle with the power to load pages as quick as a desktop computer for example, so make sure you optimize for mobile too.
After you have completed the steps above move your way over to the most crucial one of all.
I have mentioned above, testing out your different headlines on social media and comparing the results.
But in order for you to increase your CTR overall, you need to measure the entire process.
Ideally you will want to measure this every month to give a real idea of how your optimization is performing.
Delve in to your Google Search Console and compare your analytics from each change to the next.
See which is outperforming the rest and focus your efforts around that.
Hopefully, with careful optimization you will have improved your low CTR by now.
This however, doesn’t mean your Click-Through Rate battle has ended.
It should be a regular part of your SEO process and something to consider on a regular basis, especially if you are forever churning out new content.
As always, if you need any help or information, please don't hesitate to contact us!