On your SEO journey, you’re bound to run into several confusing scenarios. For example: Your website finally made it to the front page! Finally, after months of keyword research, UX optimization, and site health checkups, your business will start seeing traffic!
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. While SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) best practices are obviously geared towards search engines, it’s important to balance this with formatting that your potential visitors feel comfortable clicking.
Once you’ve reached that balance, SEO and CTR feed off of each other like a symbiotic snowball effect. The higher your CTR, the more likely Google will take note and boost your ranking, thus improving your SEO. In this article, we’ll discuss how to improve your organic CTR through simple adjustments to your SEO strategy.
Descriptive, Readable URLs
Something that you may not give much attention to is the formatting of your URLs. They’re just a bunch of nonsense, right? Nobody really reads them- so why bother optimizing?
Depending on how far you’ve come in your online marketing journey, you may see that as a dangerous mindset. Until a potential customer has committed to your business, even minuscule differences can sway them in the direction of your competitors.
Using one of our posts as an example, ask yourself: “Which one would I click on?”
Both of those links lead to the exact same article but I assure you a potential client would choose the first link 99 times out of 100. Use the following checklist to make sure your URL is optimal:
- Ensure it is readable.
- Include relevant keywords.
- Avoid special characters such as underscores.
- The shorter the URL, the better.
- Match the URL to the page title.
Optimized, but Sensible Page Titles
When optimizing page titles, it can sometimes feel like you’re getting dangerously close to entering the dark realm of clickbait. I don’t like clickbait. You don’t like clickbait. Your potential customers certainly don’t like clickbait.
Regardless of how chock full of quality content your page may be, most of the consumers you’re trying to attract won’t be able to bring themselves to click on a ridiculous, clickbait-y title.
Using another one of our articles as an example:
Notice how that second one almost immediately discredits any knowledge we may have on the subject? If you don’t trust it, neither will your customers.
Optimizing Your Meta Descriptions
While meta descriptions don’t influence your ranking directly, they are a tried and true method of increasing your click-through rate which, as we mentioned earlier, improves your ranking.
Meta descriptions are a great place to insert keywords while also providing a sneak peek at the page for your readers. A good meta description helps users know what the page is about, thus encouraging them to click on it.
The guidelines for the perfect meta description are easy to follow:
- They should have no fewer than 50 characters but no more than 160.
- Include the keyword for that page in the first few words.
- Make sure it’s unique to that page.
Sometimes just the page title is enough to attract users, but having a good meta description may just be the factor that reels them in.
Use Numbered Lists
Using numbers in your page titles can be a good way to convey either a brief or an in-depth look into a topic. For example, let’s say there are two people, Chris and Kelly, looking for good seasonal recipes. Kelly is planning on cooking a meal this evening so she’d like a short list that’s easy to skim through (The Top 10 Best Seasonal Recipes). Chris, on the other hand, doesn’t have to prepare anything until the end of the week and would like to explore all of his options (50+ of the Best Seasonal Recipes)
This is a great way to prevent readers from bouncing off of your page. If a reader is expecting a simple answer but is greeted with a novel, or looking for an in-depth answer only to find a paragraph or two, they’ll usually go right back to the search results until they find the level of detail that they’re comfortable with.
CTR & SEO Summary
As you can probably tell, most of these recommendations are pretty straightforward. With all of the SEO tips and “gurus” out there, it can feel like erring on the side of clickbait is the only way to make it in the wild world of digital marketing. Hopefully this article was able to clear some of that up for you.
If I had to sum up one of the most important pieces of SEO advice that we give our clients in a few words, it would be this:
Take a step back, act like you’ve never heard of your own business before, and ask yourself: Would I click on this?
Just about all of us use Google in our daily lives so we know the kind of things that we click on and the pages that we outright ignore. As long as you’re following your gut (and our recommendations) you’re well on your way to improving your CTR and SEO.
Connect with Us
Do you still have questions about how to boost your click-through rate? Whether you are a digital marketing professional or business owner, we would love to connect with you and pass along any tips that we can to help you reach your goals. Drop us a line or connect with us on our contact page and we would love to reach out for a conversation.