A lot of efforts to boost your SEO may focus on your overall search ranking for particular keywords that matter to your business. But what are you doing to optimize your Google Search click-through rate?
Your search engine optimization should always keep your CTR in mind.
Granted, a high placement in search results can automatically boost your click-through rate.
For example, ranking as No. 1 generates a typical CTR of 39.6 percent, which is more than double the CTR for the second position (18.4 percent) and nearly four times the CTR for the third position (10.1 percent).
But what can you do to maximize your own CTR when you appear in Google Search results? The following are four tips to boost your click-through rate in Google Search.
Manage your publication dates
Depending on the topic of the search, internet users are often looking for the most up-to-date information. If your result appears to be eight years old, while the result below yours is only a few months old, you could be sending organic search traffic away from your website.
Evergreen content (which is relevant anytime of year and for a long period of time) is great, but you might notice the search traffic referrals dwindle overtime.
The key is to not only show published and updated dates on your existing content, but to also regularly circle around on your evergreen to thoroughly review and update the actual content itself. (Google will penalize sites for changing an updated date without actually updating the content.)
Aim for intent-based meta titles and descriptions
We won’t call this the oldest tip in the book, but it’s close. Regardless, your meta title and meta description do matter. These are what search engines show to internet users who come across you in results. In other words, they act as your first impression to compel users to click on your link.
Of course, call-to-action meta titles and detailed meta descriptions (with relevant keywords) will help boost your Google Search click-through rate. However, you should always aim to consider (and include) users’ intent.
One way to better understand intent involves logging into Google Search Console. Click on “Performance” and then “Search Results.” You can use the “URLs Containing” filter to find the particular pages and posts that you are optimizing for a higher Google Search click-through rate. By applying that filter, you should then see the search queries that are driving traffic to that page.
You can then use this intent-based data to adjust your meta titles and meta descriptions.
Optimize your URLs
While the overall look of your URL is not going to majorly impact your Google Search click-through rate, it does play a part in the overall look of your search result listing, which definitely impacts your CTR.
When optimizing your URLs, remember to:
- Be clear, concise and descriptive with your target keywords.
- Occasionally audit your URLs. You can use a free tool, such as WebSite Auditor.
Use structured schema markup
In the simplest sense, schema markup is a form of microdata. Once added to a webpage, it creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results. The enhanced description helps your result stand out from other classic-looking search results.
Rich snippets not only boost your search ranking, they also improve your Google Search click-through rate.
The CTR for some high-volume keywords has been seen to increase by more than 114 percent when the results appeared as featured rich snippets.
Some types of schema include:
- Local Business
Remember that your Google Search click-through rate is just one metric that you should be monitoring as part of your overall SEO strategy and larger digital marketing strategy. Test as much as you can and quickly pivot when something does not appear to be working.
Check out our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners.