Google has drastically changed the way search results looked on first page of SERP. Search for a keyword now retrieves several elements in addition to age old organic text-based results on the page. Hit a keyword search and you can see results in form of images, videos, maps, featured snippets, people also asked for boxes, and sometimes podcasts.
Steps to Increase CTR through SERP
Furthermore, Google placed in paid listings on top of organic listings. Such incremental changes in search results hit Click-through rate (CTR) adversely.
With all these changes in place, Google makes sure to fulfill user needs on search pages itself. It results in steep decline in the number of clicks on organic listings since users get desired answer on the search page. Still there are ways to increase CTR.
1. Optimize Website for Featured Snippets
Top spot in organic search listing is no more the first preference for marketers and digital marketing firms. Instead the focus has been shifted to Position Zero. It’s estimated that approx. 15% of search queries have featured snippets. Search engine giant Google fetches data from the top 10 results and displays it as a featured snippet.
Thus, blogs / websites that are ranking in top positions have opportunity to be seen in featured snippets. It significantly enhances the website visibility.
Google has a reason behind introducing featured snippets. The search engine major wants to provide users a direct and crisp answer to a search query he enters. A website that offers the answer has a bright chance of getting featured on position zero.
2. Make Efforts to Improve Rankings
Websites with top three positions in organic search listings have added advantage. Backlink conducted a study that revealed a number of stunning facts. Study said that a website that moves one spot up can see 30% increase in CTR. The amount of increase in CTR depends upon current position and the position your website have moved to.
It was interesting to observe however that impact in CTR was different from position to position. For example, a jump from 10th to 7th didn’t have the same impact as a jump from 2nd to 1st position. It concluded that marketers should focus on capturing top three positions instead of any first page spot for better CTR.
3. Impress with Headlines
Headline is the first thing readers spot on your listing. You have seconds to get a buyer or lose a prospect. Take enough time to write an attention-grabbing headline that attracts readers. Make sure to include emotional and sentimental quotient in your headline to improve CTR at scale. It’s believed that a headline that instigates emotional string can increase click-through rate by 7%.
Choose Meta Description and URL Wisely
An organic listing consists of a Title, URL and a Meta description. Like title, URL and Meta description too have a major impact on your CTR. While writing Meta description and URL, include your primary keywords into it.
Adding keywords in these elements increase click through rate by almost 50%. Meta descriptions should be written in active voice and must have call to action signals for Immediate attention. Adding call to action to Meta results in 6% more chances of listings getting clicked.
4. Run Targeted PPC Ads
PPC ads can helpful if you want instant results without waiting for organic listings. Paid ads are expensive yet deliver quick results. A successful paid ad campaign requires a thoughtful strategy. Run ads using branded keywords to attract targeted traffic.
It spikes up CTR and turns your visitors into high paying customers. PPC ads are displayed on top of the organic results. To get them ranked and clicked, choose the right ad type according to your industry and business niche.
5. Optimize images and videos
Google has now started showing images, videos, and featured snippets above organic results. And the trend of showing these visual elements in SERP is growing rapidly. You can therefore optimize your post images and videos so that they can appear in ranking on these SERPs.
Images and videos can be optimized using standard SEO practices. Include targeted keywords in your post videos, images, description and alternate text to turn them more effective. A good optimization practice is to put image and video in page section where it matches the user intent the most. In addition, use plugins to reduce the size of images and videos and add caption to images.
6. Show Up Your Social Media Channel in Knowledge Panels
Your social media channels play a vital role in your business promotion. You can increase CTR significantly if your social media channels appear in knowledge panels. Knowledge panels are the section that search engines use to showcase all your business information in an organized way. Add your social media accounts in this listing to let users contact you directly from search engine results pages.
7. Optimize For Google My Business
Google My Business page is a great go getter if you want to increase CTR manifold. If you haven’t yet got one, get it now. Create a Google My business page having all the necessary details in place. If it’s well optimized, your listing will show up for location-based searches, branded searches, or service-related searches when a user runs a search.
GMB is a great way to collect review and feedback from customers. It instills next levels of trust for your products and services among your customers. More positive ratings and reviews compels users to click on your business links and proceed further into a mutual business engagement.