Despite the many changes in the SEO world in the recent past, many still think ranking high in the SERPs is all that really matters. They have forgotten that it is this understanding that led to the various blackhat SEO tactics like linkspam, keyword stuffing, cloaking etc. which the algorithm updates are trying to push out of the market. And so, continuing in these dead SEO tactics now that Google has zero tolerance for any appearance of blackhat SEO is simply suicidal, to say the least!
You must understand that Google has renewed its emphasis on quality and not just quantity. Whether it is your content, site design or linking structure, the emphasis right now is quality. White hat SEO tactics are now more important than ever. Any attempt to trick the search engines because you want some cheap ranking, will ultimately harm your website.
One truth you must learn to live with right now is that ranking high in the SERPs without any corresponding CTR could do more damage than good. In fact, the latest developments make it imperative that increasing your CTR is more important than achieving some high rankings.
It is now clear these days that Google will reward your page with higher rankings if more people click on your search listings. This is because Google takes those clicks as an indication that your page is relevant to what people are looking for. A high rank without clicks on the other hand simply tells Google that that page listing is not what people are looking for. And so, to encourage the one with more clicks, Google simply rewards it with higher rankings while the one without clicks is “demoted!”
This clearly shows that increasing your CTR is a sure way of helping your site to rise in the SERPs. In this post therefore, I want to give you a few ways to increase your CTR.
4 Simple Ways on How to Increase Your CTR
1. Clean And Enticing Page Titles
Page titles have always been very crucial when it comes to ranking in the SERPs. But beyond just ranking you need to work on your page titles these days to drive more clicks on your search listings. Your page title should be able to encourage the searcher to click on it when she sees your listings. To achieve this, the title should contain the keyword phrase the searcher is using to search and also contain some benefits. Do a thorough research on what people are actually looking for and optimize your page titles to encourage more clicks.
2. Optimized URLs
You must understand that your page URL is another area that the search engines look when ranking your site. But beyond ranking high in the SERPs a short, clean and keyword optimized page URL will also help in driving CTR. If you are using the wordpress blogging platform, using the custom permalink structure will greatly help. However, understand also that the wordpress software has a way of taking the whole page title and putting it in the URL. You may therefore need to manually enter a short url optimized with your main keyword instead of the very long ones that will be truncated by the search engines.
3. Meta Description
It is true that the description meta tag is no longer relevant as far as search engine ranking is concerned. However, instead of allowing the search engines to automatically generate a description for your page listing, it is advisable to write a thought-provoking description that will encourage the searcher to click on your listing. One simple trick it to write a description that reads like a classified ad!
4. Google Authorship
Many SEOs have proven the fact that having an image of a real person in your search engine listings will always trump the listing that have none. It is important therefore to implement Google authorship (rel=author) on your site. If you are running an ecommerce site using microformatting and rich snippets is a good way of also encouraging more clicks. Microformatting makes specific product-level data more accessible and easier for Google to index, helping search engines infer what searchers can naturally infer on their own. This allows Google to more easily identify and display the business name, product’s make or model, the brand, price, etc. So, implementing rich snippets to either show authorship or specific product information in search listings is a good way of improving CTR.
Getting a high rank is definitely important in search engine marketing however, beyond looking for a 1st or 2nd position in the SERPs, work on your search engine marketing strategy to increase CTR. As more and more people click on your listings the search engines will reward you with higher rankings. And using the above simple tactics you can easily improve your site CTR.
Over to you: How much of changes have you introduced into your search engine marketing strategy lately? Are you still simply depending on keyword optimization or you have learned to move along with the new updates introduced by Google? Share with us in your comments below.