Google doesn’t disclose whether organic CTR (Click-Through-Rate) – calculated as “Clicks/Impressions*100” – directly impacts SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings or not.
But, it’s now common knowledge that user engagement is a crucial ranking signal for search engine algorithms. If a page has a high CTR, Google is likely to perceive it as a better solution to a specific search query. After all, why would people be clicking on a link in search results if it doesn’t solve a problem?
Low CTR is most likely to be the underlying reason if your website doesn’t attract traffic despite ranking in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
How to Track Website CTR?
You can use Google Search Console to track the website CTR (Clicks/Impressions for Google Search Clicks).
Besides the CTR, website performance data from Google Search Console provides valuable information on various search queries that generated impressions for your website URLs in organic search results, the total number of impressions for different search queries, the total number of clicks on different website URLs, and the average position of website URLs in the SERPs.
Which Website URLs Should You Focus on for Improving CTR?
Based on the data available in Google Search Console, you need to pick articles, landing pages, etc. having CTR less than 5%. For your focus keyword, pay attention to two groups of website URLs that –
1. Rank in the top 3 positions in the SERPs
2. Rank between 4th and 10th positions in the SERPs
If some website URLs have been ranking in the top 3 positions and have been there for at least three months, do not edit them at all.
These are high-performing pages that managed to hold on to their ranking. So, it’s risky to alter them in any manner.
For the remaining pages, you can follow the guidelines listed below.
1. Create a Winning Title
The page title is the first thing that users see when a page ranks in the SERPs.
So, make sure to write a concise and crisp title that draws attention and encourages users to click on it. Your title, however, shouldn’t be misleading or deceptive.
In the video shown below, Matt Cutts (former Google employee) has answered the question – Should I tweak my titles and descriptions to improve my CTR?
Some of the best practices for writing engaging page titles are:
1.1. When possible, include numbers in page titles.
Image Source: Screenshot
1.2. Create emotional versions of the page title
Emotional hooks such as ‘amazing,’ ‘awesome,’ ‘insane,’ ‘shocking,’ ‘ultimate,’ etc. can dramatically increase website CTR.
Just make sure you deliver on what you promise.
1.3. Page titles should match search intent
If your page title satisfies the needs of the target audience, its more likely to get clicked on.
1.4. Avoid stuffing too many keywords in page titles
Boring titles don’t inspire high CTRs.
2. Powerful Meta-Description
Meta-descriptions aren’t just considered by the ranking algorithm; they can also be used to drive user engagement.
Some of the best practices for writing powerful meta-descriptions are:
2.1. Place the target keyword at least once within the meta-description
Users are more likely to click on the link if they find the keyword they searched for, in the meta-description.
2.2. Create intent-based descriptions that satisfy the needs of the user
For instance, if a user wants to know about ‘refrigerators under $300,’ write a description that conveys exactly that.
2.3. Make users ask for more by generating curiosity in your meta-descriptions
2.4. Persuade users to click on the link by presenting an interesting fact, argument, or question
Needless to mention, you need to deliver what you promise in the meta-description. If you don’t do that, the user will bounce off your website.
3. Create Descriptive URLs
Besides the page title and meta-description, users can also see the page URL in search results. The best practices for creating descriptive URLs for increasing CTR are:
3.1. Create a human-friendly URL
For example, example.com/website-ctr-explained is better than example.com/?p=452654
3.2. Keep the URL as short as possible
For example, example.com/improve-website-ctr-guide is better than example.com/expert-advice-on-how-to-improve-your-website-ctr-within-a-month-or-two
3.3. Use the target keyword in page URL
4. Use Rich Snippets
Google generates rich snippets on the basis of HTML schema tags. Some of the common examples of Google’s rich snippets include reviews, price, currency, recipes, videos, etc.
Image Source: Screenshot
With rich snippets, it is possible to match search intent more closely. This is the reason why rich snippets help increase website CTR.
Rich snippets allow you to show more information to the user (in addition to your SEO title, meta-description, and URL).
After editing your existing pages, wait for at least one month (until the articles get re-indexed) to see a positive change in your website’s CTR. It is advisable to follow these guidelines for new articles and landing pages as well.