In 2014 marketers are flooded with different digital channels which are new and exciting to experiment with. However these can often distract from getting the SEO basics right – something which can deliver huge performance gains. A few simple tweeks could see traffic skyrocket. However, organic click throug rate (CTR) can be affected by several elements, so we’ll go through them below to make sure you are making the most of the factors which are in your control. Read on to find out how to boost organic CTR …
1. SERP Ranking
Marketers and business owners alike are after a spot on Google’s first page. But is there really a difference between a number 1 ranking and number 7? Yes, is the answer to that.
Studies report that 80% of people spend their time looking above the fold without ever scrolling, which typically includes positions 1-5. Therefore, results above the fold will be seen more often and there a greater chance of click throughs. A Google CTR study also indicates that 83% of organic clicks on page one go to the first 4 results. Meaning it is very important to be above the fold to receive impactful traffic gains.
- For eCommerce SEO strategies, focus on informational content, as these types of search queries are less cluttered in the SERPs and will have more chance of attracting users.
2. Title Tag
A page’s title is extremely important in influencing CTRs, so spend time carefully crafting these tags. See The Boston Calendar as an example of what they’ve done right below:
- The target keyword “boston calendar” is present at the beginning of the title tag which may help boost rankings but also grabs users attention.
- The title is at an appropriate length (below 65 characters) which means it won’t be truncated by Google.
- The words being searched for (the boston calendar) are present and therefore appear in bold.
- The title is consistent with the “voice” of the brand.
- “events that don’t suck” stands out, evokes emotion and provides some curiosity.
- When crafting your title tags, focus on character length, choice of words, and query match.
- For increasing CTR, try and make titles more enticing and/or relevant without removing your target keywords.
3. Meta Description
Meta descriptions help users understand what they’re going to get on your page if they click through. While they have no relation to rankings, they can certainly influence CTRs. They are very similar to PPC ad copy, and in this sense can be seen as free advertising. So you’d be silly not to make use of them! Let’s take a look at Wicked Wine Candles as an example of how they’ve done it right:
- The target keywords are present in the description and match the searched query, and are therefore bolded.
- It is at an appropriate length (below 160 characters) and so it not truncated by Google.
- The copy is consistent with the style and “voice” of the brand.
- The call-to-action includes an enticing promotional offer.
- When crafting your meta descriptions, focus on character length, word choice, query match, and a call-to-action.
- Change your descriptions in line with seasonal changes to keep them relevant, as well as adding any promotional offers.
- Test ad copy with PPC to find out what works best.
The introduction of rich snippet markup means webmasters can adjust their URL snippets to be more clean whilst still providing the right context to users, for example, the addition of breadcrumb navigation leveraged by semantic markup which gives the users additional clickable navigation options as seen below:
- When crafting your URLs, focus on folder structure, word choice, query match, and breadcrumb navigation snippets.
- Add dedicated sections to your site depending on seasonal changes which can be added to your main navigation (and therefore also displayed in the URL to match users intent at certain times of year).
5. Rich Snippets
Rich snippets are definitely here to stay and they can seriously increase your CTRs as they make your results stand out much more in the SERPs as well as providing users with more useful information.
As an example, the below Overstock.com page has been marked up with different types of product related structured markup including price of product, aggregated reviews, and breadcrumb navigation:
Authorship is another type of rich snippet which helps your content and brand stand out in the SERPs. Using an example of the one and only Matt Cutts, he has marked up his content which you can see below displays his Google+ picture and information:
- Markup any relevant pages of your site with structured data markup. For information on types of markup have a look here.