Proven Ways to Increase Your CTR in Google Search Results

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Securing a high organic search ranking is the dream of every website. It means that Google has found your website one of the most relevant sources of information about your target keyword or CTR topic.

Google SEO remains one of the top sources for generating traffic for websites. According to Hubspot, over 700,000 search queries are done on Google every second, and 5.8 billion searches in 24 hours.

If your website makes the first page of Google, you are instantly guaranteed a steady flow of organic traffic, right? Not quite.

Your high organic search ranking is only a success factor if you can combine it with a high click-through rate (CTR). If few people click on your site despite its high organic search ranking, Google will eventually drop your site for others with higher CTRs.

Improving your organic CTR by a single percentage will boost your SEO ranking. You do not have to build new links, add new content, or become an SEO expert before you can get more traffic to your website. You just need to avoid making SEO mistakes in the process.

In this article, you will learn five proven ways to increase your CTR in Google search results.

Let’s get started.

5 Proven Ways to Increase Your CTR in Google Search Results

1.   Check Search Intent

The average CTR for many websites is 3-5%, which means roughly 5 out of 100 devices that view your website on Google SERP (Search Engine Result Page) click on it. Your goal should be to increase your CTR in Google search results above 5%.

Google search results

One of the proven ways to do this is to use search intent. If you are experiencing a low CTR, the likeliest suspect is that your title tags and descriptions are not relevant to what your audience is searching for.

There are three classifications of search intent: informational, transactional, and navigational.

  • Informational – The search is purely about finding information.
  • Navigational – The search is targeted at finding a particular brand.
  • Transactional – The search is targeted at making a purchase.

When someone enters a search query on Google, and Google produces results based on its understanding of the search, searchers still scrutinize it. They scroll through the different options looking to determine which websites contain the information needed.

If what visitors see about your site or pages on Google SERPs is not relevant to their search, they will scroll past to find a better-optimized site for their content. Ensure that your content is a perfect match for what your audience is searching for.

Making your pages relevant for visitors’ search intent is the number one way to boost your click-through rate in google searches. Conduct research on your target audience’s search intent.

For example, if someone searches on Google for ‘best webinar tips,’ the search intent is clear: they are looking for webinar tips.

If your meta title reads ‘What is a Webinar?’, it is a wrong match for visitors’ search intent. Your target audience most likely is familiar with the meaning of webinars; they are not looking for a beginner guide to webinars.

What their search intent suggests is that they want proven webinar tips that they can use and get results. If you correctly understand your audience’s search intent and optimize your web page accordingly, your CTR will increase naturally.

Nobody wants to scroll past a web page that directly addresses their search query. You can optimize your web page by including the search term ‘webinar tips’ to your page’s title tag and description.

If you have difficulties understanding the search intent behind your audience’s Google searches, put yourself in your audience’s shoes for a minute. Head over to Google and type in your target keyword into the search box.

Check out what sites are currently ranking highest, check their title tags and descriptions. These sites are right up there because people are clicking on them. Breeze through their content, and optimize your page accordingly.

For example, our target keyword is ‘best wedding photographers in the UK.’ The top-ranked sites for our keyword are listing the best wedding photographers in the UK. If our title tag reads ‘Who are wedding photographers?’ or ‘How to find the best wedding photographers,’ it will not increase our CTR.

The search intent is clear; our target audience wants information about UK’s best wedding photographers.

2.   Improve Your SEO or Meta Title

Your SEO or meta title tags are the first thing your audience sees when using Google to make a search query. Using a creative and catchy SEO title that appeals to your audience will improve your organic click-through rate.

For example, if your audience searches on Google for ‘best tips to double your website traffic,’ they will scan through the meta title tags for the best titles. Below is a meta title from the Google search result your audience will likely click.

Why? Because it is simple, catchy, and relevant to their search query.

Your title tag determines whether or not you have a high CTR or low CTR. You can use certain best practices to boost your title tag’s appeal and increase your click-through rate.

A.   Keep Your Title Tag Below 60 Characters

Ensure that your title tag is the right link for Google searches; that way, essential parts of your messages will not be truncated.

According to Moz, Google will only display the first 50-60 characters of your title tag.

B.   Use Power Words

There are power words that you can use in your title tags that will increase your CTRs. These are words that get your readers interested and ready to click your link. Words like unique, top, best, amazing, proven, and more, the list of power words is endless. 

C.   Use Descriptive Titles

Good descriptive titles that address your audience’s search intent will get more clicks than bland titles. Employ creativity here to hit that chord with your audience and get them to click on your title.

D.   Use Emotional Titles

Conveying emotions through your SEO title is a proven way of increasing your click-through rate. When used correctly, emotions can spur visitors to click on your titles. The typical emotions you want to convey with your titles include interest, optimism, anticipation, and fear.

Although emotional titles can increase your CTR, you need to research your prospects’ pain points to use them well. Wrong emotions triggered can affect your CTR.

E.   Use “How To” Titles

‘How to’ titles are a proven meta title tag strategy that improves click-through rates. The word ‘how to’ invokes curiosity and makes your audience want to know more about the title.

The ‘how to’ title above appeals to those that want to sell on Amazon but have no idea how.

F.    Use Question Titles

Long-tail question titles can improve your click-through rate. You can ask a question in the title tag that will generate curiosity in your audience. Ask interesting questions that are of interest to them. To know the answer, they have to click on your link.

Use questions that your target audience will type in the Google search bar. This simple adjustment will draw users in and make them want to click because they believe the answer they need is on your page.

G.   Use Social Proof

Using social proof in your title tags will bump up your CTR. People trust authority sources more than sources with an unknown authority.

When someone searches for ‘SEO tips’ on Google, part of their decision process is to find an authoritative source they can learn from. Posts coming from SEO gurus such as Neil Patel, Backlinko, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Moz will get more clicks than those from unpopular sites.

If you do not have name recognition, you can still make the audience click on your website link using social proof words in your headlines. Words like experts, gurus, pros, industry-recommended, mentioning authority names and sources can do the trick for you and cause your CTR to rise.

H.   CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

Best Free Headline Analyzer to Increase Click-through Rate (CTR)

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer helps you test your title tags and headlines for their impact on SEO, driving traffic, and searches.The software analyzes your title tags and gives them a score.

Scores above 70 mean your title is properly optimized for conversions. Below 70 means your title tag is weak and likely to attract a low click-through rate.

I.      Use Dates and Numbers

Title tags with numbers are one of the most popular title tag formats on the internet. There is a reason why it is so popular; it is a proven way to get clicks to your website.

People are attracted to title tags that contain numbers in them. Odd numbers especially have a more profound effect at influencing searchers to click on your title in the Google search results.

Adding dates to your title tags and meta descriptions will also boost your click-through rates. Use the current year in your titles to give your article a more recent feel. For example, if your audience is searching for quarantine cleaning habits, they will be more attracted to a result that combines number and date (current).

Pro Tip: Updating your meta titles to the current year will improve your click-through rate. People feel the more recent the information is, the more relevant it is for their needs.

J.    Add Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

This tip works best for sites hosted on eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or Wix.

Using your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), such as free shipping, cheap, quality, and buy, can increase your click-through rates.

When your audience has a transactional intent, using these eCommerce USPs can get them to click on your site. For example, if someone searches for ‘cheap iPhone accessories in the UK’ and your meta title includes the word cheap, they will click on your site because it matches their intent.

3.   Improve Your Meta Descriptions

The meta title is not the only place your online searchers check when looking for a site that fits their search query. Below the meta title or title tag is a small block of text called the meta description.

Many websites on the internet, like the one above, do not bother writing effective meta descriptions. If you look at the example above, you will see no meta description for the page.

When you publish a page without a clear meta description, Google will cut the article’s first few words to fit in as meta descriptions. That explains why the title is repeated in the meta description, and there are published and modified dates there.

Writing effective meta descriptions will increase your click-through rates. Meta descriptions are an opportunity to tell your audience more about the content in your site beyond the word length the title tag allows.

The above example is the correct way to write effective meta descriptions. Use the meta description space to offer your audience insight into the content of your page. You can include exciting information and use an ellipsis to stir up the desire to read more.

According to Moz, meta descriptions should not be more than 155-160 characters. Anything more than that, and Google truncates it.

4.   Target Featured Snippets

The rules for ranking on Google are changing continuously. If you do not follow the latest trends, your website that once generated a high CTR can suddenly experience low CTR because of a single Google algorithm change.

The featured snippet is one of those Google changes that is affecting CTR. It is a short snippet of text that appears on Google searches before the organic website results.

Ranking as number one organically on Google for your search term (keywords) is not enough. Featured Snippets, Google Adwords, and the People Also Ask (PAA) box are all above you. Searchers have to scroll down a bit before they get to your page. Many times, they will find the information they need in the prior sections.

If you are experiencing low CTR even when you rank on Google SERP, the presence of featured snippets is a major reason why.

Source: Ahrefs

When there are no featured snippets in the Google SERP, 26% of total clicks go to the #1 URL. With featured snippets, the number drops to 19.6%. Featured snippets account for 8.6% of total clicks.

Hubspot saw an average increase in click-through rate of over 114% when it ranked in the Featured Snippets!

Getting a featured snippet for your target keywords will immediately boost your CTR. Featured snippets come in different forms: the definitive box, the table, the ordered list, and the unordered list.

If you already rank for a search term that has a featured snippet, you have a high chance of getting the featured snippet if you optimize your page for it. According to Getstat, 70% of featured snippet URLs are from sites not currently occupying the #1 position but on the first page of Google SERP.

Not all searches will bring out featured snippets. When optimizing for it, find SERPs with a featured snippet and optimize for it. They are your best chances for getting the #0 featured snippet spot.

5.   Localize Your Content

The focus of Google search results is increasingly favoring local content over global content. As Google works to provide users with the best search experience, they produce suggestions based on their location.

For example, a Canadian and American in their respective countries can search for restaurants and get two different search result pages. Both will find restaurants close to them.

According to Google, 46% of searches have local intent. Local eCommerce stores and businesses miss out on a huge opportunity to grow their CTR if they do not optimize it for local searches.

Source: TopSEOs

According to Moz, proximity has become the top search factor for local intent searches. If a customer wants to fix a leaking pipe in Texas, she will search for ‘leaking pipe repair’ or ‘plumber in Texas.’

Apart from optimizing your keywords to include the search terms, you also have to register your business with Google to put your business on its map.

Register for Google My Business if you want Google to index your website or business service for local search.

When you register for Google My Business, you get the opportunity to rank for Google’s Local 3-pack in your location. The Local 3-pack is Google’s three top business locations for local searches.

Optimizing your website for local intent searches will increase your CTR in Google search results.

6.   Video SEO

Text is not the only content that ranks on Google SERP; videos also find their way, especially for search results that need visual explanations.

Most of the videos on Google SERP come from YouTube. If you have an active channel on Youtube, you can create video content for Google searches.

Video contents are always above the number one organic search result. You can use Renderforest to create videos and infographics.

According to Hubspot, 72% of customers prefer to learn how to use a product with video. Optimizing your content for Video SEO will improve your CTR.

If you sell iPhone accessories on your online store, you can create video demonstrations of how to set up and use your products.

Ready to Increase Your CTR in Google Search Results?

The average click-through rate online is between 2%-5%. However, if you want to increase your eCommerce sales conversions or traffic to your website, your click-through rate is the solution.

There are many sources for generating traffic to your website, but generating clicks from organic Google search results will improve your conversions. Google searches are intent-based, which means that if someone searches for ‘cheapest tricycles for kids,’ he has plans to buy one.

Ranking in the first page of Google search results is good and will bring you some clicks to your site, but the gains are lost if you do not optimize your meta titles and descriptions.

Increase your click-through rate in Google search results with contents that match users’ search intent, optimized meta titles and descriptions, ranking for featured snippets, and localizing your content via Google My Business.

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