This scenario might be familiar. You have invested your time, effort, and resources into creating and launching an amazing website, but no one seems to be visiting it.
You keep on wondering what might be wrong. You have checked to ensure everything is in order, made a few tweaks, but over time there is still no improvement.
In this case, the problem could be that you are receiving little or no organic search traffic, which in turn means a low organic click-through rate (CTR).
Click-through rate is a popular metric used to measure the performance of a variety of different marketing campaigns.
However, there is a debate in the optimization field over the impact of organic CTR on page rankings.
A study has shown that on average, pages that surpass the expected CTR are more likely to have higher rankings and vice versa.
The basis for this conclusion was that a high CTR is a strong indication to Google that your content aligns with searchers’ queries or at least is basically what they are searching for. This should be enough reason for your result to receive a bump in ranking, as Google’s top priority is to surface content that satisfies search intent.
Therefore, it is safe to say that optimizing and improving your organic CTR is important for two reasons.
First, it will most likely lead to an increase in your page organic ranking (research has shown that higher-ranking pages have higher organic CTR’s and are 10 times more likely to receive a click from searchers)
Second, if more searchers click on your search result, your page will receive more organic traffic.
For you to get noticed by Google, you need to improve your organic click-through rate (CTR) and we have covered the basics in this article.
Having sustainable, organic traffic is absolutely vital for small business SEO, so being able to leverage these tactics in your favour will help you drive more people to your site.
Below we will discuss the definition of organic click-through rate, the factors that impact it, and the various ways to improve your organic click-through rate (CTR).
This, of course, is in a bid to bring in more traffic and receive a possible boost in your page’s ranking. Let’s get started.
What Is Organic CTR?
Organic Click-through rate is a popular term in online marketing; however, many people do not understand what it is or represents. This term refers to the percentage of web users that click on a search result or page on an organic result listing. Organic click-through-rate typically comprises the number of clicks a website receives from a variety of different sources like social media, email messaging, directories, and so on.
The purpose of the organic click-through rate (CTR) is to measure the total number of clicks against the total number of impressions.
For instance, If a certain website receives a total number of 2000 impressions and 500 clicks in a month, the organic click-through rate (CTR) would be:
CTR= (500÷ 2000= 0.25 × 100= 25%.)
A high organic click-through rate means that your website is receiving a high number of organic traffic.
Why Organic CTR Is Important
Organic click-through rate is a vital metric of your website’s performance. It is commonly used to measure the success of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts as well as the value of your SERP ranking.
By determining your website’s SERP value, you can implement the right SEO techniques that will enhance your current performance.
Your Organic click-through also enables you to predict how much traffic your website may lose or gain at certain SERP rankings. As such, you remain proactive by drawing up a budget and formulating a plan for action that will result in continuous positive results.
Factors that Impact Your CTR
Now that you understand what click-through rate (CTR) is, how it is calculated, and its importance, it is time to look at the various factors that can make it increase or decrease. By knowing what these factors are, it will be much easier for you to take decisive action.
- News Cycle
News Cycle is a series of top news articles and reports on a specific trending topic or events making headlines. The news cycle usually dominates the top position of organic listing because Google focuses on surfacing to users what it deems as “significant and original reporting”.
This is one of the major reasons why a news cycle can impede your organic click-through rate.
Unfortunately, this factor is not within your direct control. The only possible way around it is for you to wait until the articles become less relevant and the news cycle ends.
- Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are also known as “answer boxes” are a selected search result that appears on top of Google’s organic search results. It serves to answer a user’s query right away without delay.
Featured snippets can hinder organic CTR of other search results on the organic listing because the searcher is less likely to scroll down.
This will lead to a steady decline in the organic CTR of other search results even though they are also in top-ranking positions.
If your blog seeks to provide an answer on a specific subject, be sure to fulfil the necessary ranking criteria for a featured snippet.
- Branded Keywords
Branded keywords typically have a higher organic click-through rate than non-branded keywords. This is because searchers are usually looking for a specific brand or website when searching. And as Google focuses on providing searchers with exactly what they are looking for, brands that optimize their branded keywords will be in a better position to receive more clicks from search queries using a branded term.
7 Guaranteed Ways To Improve Your CTR
The process of improving your organic click-through rate (CTR) is important more than ever, as Google’s Algorithm continues to evolve. These continuous changes and updates seem to be eroding organic traffic and clicks, especially due to paid ads, Google featured snippets, regular SERP updates, and so on. This is alarming particularly for websites that depend heavily on organic search traffic to grow. While it has become rather difficult to present definitive practices on how to improve your organic CTR, we have come up with some effective steps below you could take.
1. Track and Measure your Current Organic CTR
Tracking and measuring your current organic CTR is a crucial first step to improve your overall result.
This process enables you to identify and rectify the possible issues affecting the total number of clicks your website receives.
Through the Google search console (GSC), you can obtain a detailed report on your website’s overall organic CTR.
This report contains information on the total number of clicks, impressions, and average click-through rate (CTR) of each page on your website.
With this information, you can easily identify pages with high or low click-through rates (CTRs). Thereafter, you can proceed to re-evaluate and optimize those pages with low click-through rates (CTR).
2. Write an Enticing Meta Description
A meta description is a short snippet (of up to 160 characters) that is shown under your pages URL and summarizes your content to searchers on a SERP.
In practical terms, this short text informs searchers on what to expect when they click the link to your page.
Proper optimization of your meta description provides you with an incredible opportunity to generate more clicks than other pages with a poorly written description.
By writing a descriptive, compelling, and informative meta description, you can generate more clicks from searchers, thereby increasing your organic click-through rate (CTR) and traffic.
Here’s one of our meta descriptions we used for writing good blog posts for SEO, that uses a keyphrase that we wanted to target for this specific blog post in the meta description, that informs the reader what the article is about before they click on it.
3. Use Long-tail Keywords
Proper keyword optimization plays an important role in increasing the click-through rate for both organic and paid search listings. Hence, the use of long-tail keywords can improve your organic click-through rate.
Long-tail keywords are highly specific keywords that are longer than generic keywords.
This step involves the use of very specific terms instead of single keywords that searchers use frequently in a search query.
Incorporating long-tail keywords in your web content can increase your organic rankings because they are less competitive and very specific to a searcher’s query. Since organic ranking and click-through rates are co-dependent variables, you can be certain of positive results both ways.
You must carry out adequate research on a long-tail keyword before incorporating it into your web content.
There are several tools like SE Ranking, and Rank tracker that can help simplify your long-tail keyword research. These tools can suggest long-tail keywords for your desired topic and also provide additional information like the search volume, cost per click (for Google Ads), SEO difficulty, etc. for each of them.
4. Simplify and Optimize your URL
Research has shown that short URLs tend to perform much better than long URLs in Google’s Organic search.
Users also prefer shorter URLs, as it is straightforward, less cumbersome, and understandable.
Additionally, according to Microsoft, descriptive URLs receive 25% more clicks than generic URLs.
Therefore, to increase your organic clicks, your URLs should be short, enticing, and briefly describe the content or topic of your page(s).
A URL that is long, devoid of keywords, and stuffed with superfluous elements like numbers, symbols, special characters, etc. can discourage users and make them less likely to click on it.
If you want to get noticed by searchers and receive more clicks, you must pay attention to your URLs structure and form.
This is the URL slug for our Google Adwords page. The slug describes exactly what the page is in great detail, and is short and concise with no mucking about.
Make sure that if you’re removing or permanently moving a page to a new URL, you use 301 and 302 redirects to ensure that your SEO isn’t adversely affected by these changes.
5. Implement Structured Data
Structured data or schema mark-up is a piece of code you write that provides Google’s crawlers with extra information about your page. This enables Google to understand the content of your page and how to display it on the organic search listing.
The Structured data Google displays, depends on the content of the page. For instance, the structured data for a recipe will include the cooking time, calories, and any other vital information a user would need.
Even though structured data is not a ranking factor, it has an impact on your organic click-through rate (CTR).
If you want to entice searchers and generate more clicks, you must improve the quality of your search result listing through the proper optimization of structured data.
The more informative, rich, and unique your search result appears the more likely a searcher will click through.
There are a dozen structured data tools like Yoast, Merkel’s Schema Markup Generator, Google Code lab, SNIP WordPress plugin, etc. that you can use to generate structured data for your specific content.
6. Add Images
The use of an informative and high-quality picture in your content is a powerful tool that can attract users, drive engagement, and result in higher click-through rates (CTR). Images have been found to result in higher click-through rates of up to 42% in emails.
Images have also been confirmed as vital to driving engagement across various social media platforms.
This proves that images are truly worth a thousand words as you can easily convey a message to your potential audience.
Ensure that the images you use are properly optimized, high quality, original, and relevant to your page. This can lead to a listing and favourable ranking on Google’s image section, which can result in more clicks from users scroll through the image section.
7. Create a Unique and Powerful Title
The title of your page in a SERP is a brief but detailed description of the entire content of your page. It usually appears on the top position, before the URL of your page, structured data, and meta description.
Due to its position, it is very much visible to searchers, and its description can influence their decision to click or not.
Therefore, to improve your click-through rate, you have to create a creative, captivating, and powerful title that urges a searcher to click.
There’s a wide range of title generators out there, but FatJoe has created one designed to give you some interesting blog titles. Put in your topic title and generate 100+ more if you haven’t found the one you’re looking for.
Click-through rate (CTR) from organic or paid search results is an integral component of your SEO strategy.
The purpose of optimizing your organic click-through rate (CTR) can be broadly divided into major reasons:
First, it satisfies one of your top priorities which is to ensure people click through and engage with your website via links listed on a SERP, email, social media platform(s), etc.
Second, since it appears that the click-through rate (CTR) is a possible ranking factor of Google’s algorithm, you place yourself in a position to increase your organic search ranking with an increase in your organic CTR.
In general, optimising and improving your CTR will result in profound results and, in turn, boost growth and higher returns on investment (ROI).