How to improve your SEO Click Through Rate [CTR]

How to improve your SEO Click Through Rate [CTR]

How to improve your SEO Click Through Rate (CTR)

Why is increasing the CTR of your pages that appear in search engines so important? Here are three reasons why you should focus your efforts on CTR:

  • Get a larger percentage of customers that are in the market for your product or service
  • Increase your return on investment in SEO
  • Get your website higher up on search engine pages

In this article, we will give you our proven strategies to increase CTRs of your content 

  1. What is Click Through Rate (CTR)?
  2. Why use pictures in your pages so that your website stands out in Google
  3. Why is contrast so important?
  4. How does colour impact results?
  5. Use special characters or prices in your descriptions
  6. Use rich snippets

1 - What is Click Through Rate (CTR)?

The click-through rate is the percentage of times your web page will get clicked in search engine results pages compared to other pages that are displayed at the same time.

It's also a great way to  measure how relevant your title and descriptions of your content are to the intent of the people that are searching for your content.

To increase the CTR of your content is not as simple as it sounds, but there are some easy wins you can start to apply to your content today that will start to build a better return on your SEO efforts

2 - Why use pictures in your pages so that your website stands out in Google

Using pictures in your webpages will increase CTR
Using pictures in your webpages will increase CTR

Let’s  study the picture above, there are 6 men all wearing the same clothing, however one stands out. Why does he stand out to you?

Stop and think about this for a moment, he is not looking at you, are you more likely to want to know more about him or the others that all look the same?

Let me be very clear with this: if your titles and descriptions in search engine results pages do not intrigue your audience and potential customers, you might as well go and do something else with your life.

Standing out online is a measure of success for the way Google and other search engines rank your content. But this comes with a word of caution, remember to use pictures that are relevant to the intent. 

Displyaing pictures in search engine SERPS pages increases CTR
The RACER marketing website displaying a picture in mobile search

For example, above you will see a screenshot of our website as it is displayed in mobile search in Google Mobile view. The picture shows a hand of a person holding a mobile phone, with a picture of websites that are mobile friendly.

This is important because the intent of our customers is to buy a new website, and one of the most important things is building websites that are built for mobile first. 

There would be no point showing our logo or pictures of our team at this stage of the customer journey.

3 - Why is contrast so important?

In the real world, we use contrast to simply distinguish different objects from each other. 

However, on the internet, contrast is important because it allows you to clearly guide the attention of viewers who visit your website directly to the products and services you offer.

Nothing will distract and put off a potential customer more than content that's hard to read. If it can't be read quickly and clearly,  viewers move on to the next thing and potentially onto a competitor's website. 

4 - How does colour impact results?

How colour can impact your CTR in SEO
Does the man in green stand out to you?

Early man first learned to use red ochre to mark cave walls in order to demonstrate thoughts and ideas and ever since, colour has been used as a powerful form of communication.

TIP: Scientific studies have suggested that people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing. And up to 90% of that initial assessment is based purely on colour.

Memory retention and memory recall are also enhanced by colour, which makes it incredibly  important when it comes to making products and brands more memorable.

Used correctly, colour - with the help of good typography, can be one of the most important aspects of a websites user experience - ensuring the palette is correct at the start of the project is the key priority

Colours should ideally be limited to two or three so as to not complicate the design and overwhelm users. Colour palettes usually fall into one of these categories:

Monochromatic - when hues, or tints, from a single colour are used.

Analogous - utilising colours which sit next to each other on the colour wheel.

Complementary - this is created from two colours opposite each other on the colour wheel. These work really well where a high level of contrast is required.

Split-complementary - like complementary which uses the opposite colour, this palette uses two opposite colours.

Triadic - this is created from three colours which are evenly spaced around the colour wheel. 

Tetradic - also known as the rectangle uses four colours. This allows for plenty of variation within the design.

5 - Use special characters or prices in your descriptions

Our own inhouse research has found that when you start to use special characters within your titles it increases clicks throughs from search engines - 

TIP : Use them sparingly as it can appear to be spammy and that will have a negative impact.

We have found that including pricing within the title of a webpage complete with the currency symbol in the title can increase CTRs. 

How does this work psychologically? As much as we advise our clients that a buying decision is never governed by price, we can’t ignore the fact that people want to know what something is going to cost before they invest time looking at your product or service.

Imagine that in a busy market place, all your competitors do not display pricing, but suddenly you do? What would happen in a busy market? Customers would come over to find out more about your service and this principle is exactly the same online.

Displaying currency symbols can increase CTRs.  

6 - Use rich snippets

There is no method to guarantee an image thumbnail appearing in Google search results for your web page as the exact factors are determined by Google and at their discretion. But there are some measures you can take to increase the likelihood of it happening.

Check the quality of your Google My Business information - this is what appears in a Knowledge Panel on the right-hand side of the results page when someone searches for your business. Ensure that the information is accurate, you have a logo, some photos and a link to your website.

The image chosen will likely be the first acceptable image on the page, so make sure this is relevant to the page content and that you’re following best practice for images on the web. Optimize the image by reducing its dimensions until it’s no larger than required for the context, and reduce the quality on Save. Unless it’s a full-width image it’s unlikely it needs to be more than 250kb.

Give your image an alt tag that accurately describes the image - this is essential for those using screen readers but will also make it easier for Google to index.

Consider implementing structured data markup on your page. Although not essential for getting an image to appear in search results, structured data will help Google more easily understand the content of the page and may improve its quality score.

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