Five hacks to enhance your organic CTR and rankings in SERPs

  • January 28, 2021
  • Misc
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30-second summary:

  • Issues with increasing your website’s natural traffic might be credited to low natural CTRs.
  • Creative title tags assists your website develop a favorable impression.
  • Limit your meta description to under 160 characters to prevent truncation.
  • A well-optimized, keyword-rich URL can increase natural CTRs by 45%.
  • Leverage the power of abundant outcomes to take SERP realty from your rivals.

Appearing in Google online search engine results pages (SERPs) is an essential for any company aiming to enhance their online existence and increase their market share. But if your objective is to grow your site traffic or boost sales, simply appearing on the very first page isn’t enough. With Google gradually altering from an online search engine into a response engine, a growing number of search users are finishing their search without leaving the SERPs. To win in today’s zero-click period, it’s ended up being vital for companies to inhabit more realty in SERPs and be more aesthetically engaging to browse users. If your site is having little luck with increasing its natural traffic, your problems might be credited to low natural click-through-rates (CTR). Improving click-through efficiency is a necessary element of making sure long-lasting online success, both on and off Google. 

So what can you do to enhance your website’s natural CTR?

Whether you run an e-commerce store, run a cooking blog site, or handle your customer’s website, these 5 well-tested CTR improving strategies will favorably increase your natural CTRs, driving more targeted traffic to your website.

And the very best part? All of these strategies are quickly actionable and are all within your control.

Let’s get going.

1. Get imaginative with your title tags

A conventional natural SERP listing has 3 primary aspects:

Headline: A blue clickable link that signifies the title of the page.

Description: A quick bit of what contents can be discovered on the page.

URL: The web address of a particular web resource.

Your search listing’s title tag (the heading) has considerable significance to both the online search engine and its users. As an HTML aspect, online search engine utilize your title tag to comprehend much better the info included within the page.

Search visitors, on the other hand, utilize the title tag discovered in SERPs to make an impression about your company. Because it’s shown in a popular blue color, how you craft your title tag can be a make-or-break consider its clickability, affecting natural CTR.

But search results page aren’t the only locations where title tags are utilized. Because the <title> tag aspect is discovered in your page’s HTML code, your title is likewise shown at the top of your web internet browser’s tab and when your material is shared throughout social networks networks.

So how should you compose title tags to make them alluring to browse visitors?

Here are 5 basics to use to your title tag writing

Aim for a title tag length of 35-55 characters

According to research study carried out by Backlinko, title tags between 15 and 40 characters have the greatest CTR. A title this brief, nevertheless, can offer an obstacle – how do you fit your keywords in and make the title tag engaging? 

In my experience, the sweet area for a title tag is 35-55 characters in length. A length because variety keeps the title tag brief and punchy and ensures it does not truncate in search results, which generally happens at around 60 characters or 600 pixels.  

Use tools like SERP Simulator and SERP Preview Tool to check title tag length.

Place your primary keyword closer to the beginning

Frontloading your title tag with your target keyword increases that keyword’s prominence, giving more weight to its importance. Plus, most users typically only see the first two words of any given headline. Placing your keyword at the beginning helps to make the keyword more obvious, and thus appear more relevant to users scanning the SERPs.

Never keyword stuff

While keyword placement is essential, avoid titles that are just filled with irrelevant keywords or variations of your target keyword. Title tags stuffed full of keywords are unappealing to search users and are CTR killers.  

Add emphasis on capitalization

Capitalizing the first letter of every word in your title tag is general copywriting best practice. To make your title tag stand out even more and add emphasis to high-impact words, consider capitalizing the occasional odd word.

Minimize the use of stop words

Stop words like “a”, “the”, “on”, “or”, and, “etc.”, can add unnecessary length to your already restricted character limit. To better position your title tag, use high impact, power words like best, exclusive, insane, and so on.

Once you’ve mastered the art of title-tag writing, it’s time to move on to the next step.

2. Meta descriptions

The snippet below the headline in the SERPs is commonly (but not always) pulled from your page’s meta description. In addition, an HTML element, the purpose of a meta description is to summarize a web page’s content.

And like your page title tag, a well-written meta description can positively influence CTRs. 

These 155 characters can influence 43% of search users to click on your site. And with nine out of ten search users clicking on organic search results vs paid advertisement, meta descriptions are your opportunity to draw some attention to your site.

How to write the perfect meta description

When it comes to writing the most compelling meta description for search results, start by researching SERPs. Having oversight on what your competitors are doing will help you better assess what descriptions are click-worthy among your target audience.

Here’s a quick checklist you can use to ensure your meta description is highly clickable:

  • Stick to Google’s optimal length

To optimize your meta description, be sure to keep the page’s summary under 160 characters and 130 characters for mobile searches. 

  • Add your most important keywords

Be sure to include your target keyword(s) in the description so they get highlighted in bold within search results.

To further create snippets that entice search users to click, avoid generic descriptions as much as possible.

  • Don’t duplicate descriptions 

The pages of your site should have unique meta descriptions. Duplicating descriptions can cause Google to penalize your site.

  • Include a call-to-action
  • To add value to your description and entice more clicks, write your description with advertising in mind. 

If you have a lot of pages on your site, just focus on optimizing the most important pages. Why is this you would ask? 

Because Google ignores the meta description tag for 63% of queries. Focussing your efforts on pages getting little SERP visibility is not worth the time, especially when Google’s descriptions perform equally well, and sometimes better than custom descriptions.

Now that title tags and meta descriptions have been addressed, it’s time to turn our attention to URLs.

3. Use descriptive URLs

The third element of a traditional search listing is your page URL. And studies have shown that a well-optimized, keyword-rich URL can increase organic CTRs by 45%.

After all, when it comes to URLs in search results, wouldn’t you prefer to click on example.com/blog/ten-tips-for-seo-success rather than example.com/index.php?=5754225=t44=?p=987?

So what are the steps necessary to craft click-worthy SEO-friendly URLs?

The first step is to include the exact keyword you’d like to target in your URL.

When writing out your URL, avoid using special characters, stop words, and numbers. Special characters like the ampersand or “&” and numbers are best suited for your page title tag or header tag. Be sure also to only use lowercase letters and hyphens to separate words rather than underscores.

Lastly, keep your URL length brief. Some studies have shown there is a correlation between shorter URLs and higher rankings. The average URL length of top-ten ranking pages is 66 characters.

Now that you grasp the basic SERP strategies to increase CTR performance let’s take a look at two advanced techniques you can start using on your site.

4. Turn your title tag donkeys into CTR unicorns

While it may be tempting to simply write a title tag and forget it, to get the very best results from your organic listing, you need to constantly optimize your title tags. As Larry Kim shows, this requires testing new variations and measuring their performance. 

The best way to fully optimize your title tags is to determine your site’s worst performers. These title tags we’ll call your donkeys. The best way to assess which title tags are underperforming is by going to Google Search Console and downloading your query data.

Once you have your query data, plot a graph that compares your Click-Through-Rates vs. Average Position for any queries you rank for in organic search. Add a trend line to your graph.

Now that you have your graph, target the keywords below the graph’s curve. These are your site’s biggest donkeys, the pages with the highest number of impressions but deliver lower than expected CTR for their ranking position.

To maximize your efforts, rather than testing new title tags and comparing their performance over time, consider doing some Google Ads “blitz testing.”

Blitz testing requires you to create a set of ads for the page you’re optimizing and testing at least 10 different headlines. 10 headlines are the bare minimum for blitz testing because it gives you a better chance at finding the headline that resonates best with your audience.

When you find your statistical unicorn from the Google Ads test, use that headline as your title tag on your re-optimized page.

The last hack we’ll be looking at will not only bring more visibility to your listing, but it has also been shown to bring in 2.7x more traffic from organic search.

5. Rich results

Leveraging the power of rich snippets allows your listing to occupy more SERP real estate and improve the visual elements of your SERP result, helping your site increase its organic CTR while satisfying search intent.

To experience success with rich snippets from organic search, it pays to know the most common schema types. While there are dozens of different rich snippets available, not every single one can be adapted for your business. Some are event industry-specific like flight information.

The most common schema types that will work for the majority of businesses competing in the SERPs include:

  • Review snippets: Displays a star and numeric rating below the meta description.
  • Recipe rich data snippet: Provides a step-by-step overview of a specific recipe.
  • How-To snippets: Provides step-by-step instructions for a specific task.
  • Sitelinks: Adds navigational links to key pages on your site below the meta description.
  • Search box snippet: Displays your site’s internal search box within SERPs.
  • Product snippet: Displays product information (price, reviews, stock availability) in SERPs.
  • Video snippet: Displays video information (thumbnail URL, upload date, transcript, etc.) in SERPs.
  • FAQ snippet: Presents commonly-asked questions and answers in the search results page.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the type of rich snippets available to you, follow this seven-step process to publish structured data onto your site:

  • Visit Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
  • Select the snippet type you’d like to create.
  • Paste your URL or HTML source to the markup helper.
  • Highlight the page elements you want to be included in the structured data.
  • Click the Create HTML button.
  • Copy and paste your generated structured data onto your page HTML.
  • Preview and test your new rich snippet in Google’s Rich Results Test.

Once you run your test, your schema markup will create a report that states the eligibility of your rich snippet. The information will also show any issues or warnings that will need to be fixed before your page can be published.

It should be noted, though, that having validated structured data in your page’s code doesn’t automatically guarantee that your browse listing will display a rich snippet. Google will always provide the search user with the finest search experience which, at times, may not require a rich snippet.

Now it’s your turn

By using the strategies above, your site can start to experience more organic traffic. This can significantly contribute to greater overall online success and, ultimately, increased site conversions. What’s more, the strategies provided here increase site traffic without creating more content or building more links.

With organic click-through-rates currently on the decline, adapting these tips and tactics to your website will allow your brand to remain competitive in the current zero-click search landscape.

And the best part? All of the strategies mentioned here can likewise be used by any company, no matter SEO experience or marketing budget plan.

Karl Tablante is Inbound Marketing Manager at SEO Sherpa.

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