Google has never confirmed that click-through rates for your organic search results lead to higher site rankings in those results later.
However, there is a lot that Google hasn’t confirmed that we know to be true, and Google continues to be secretive about just how its algorithm operates.
Search marketing experts have conducted numerous tests to see how click-through rates may influence a site’s position in search, and they have concluded that the CTRs have an indirect influence on search results.
This makes sense. If your site appears high in search results but few people are clicking on the link, Google is going to interpret this as a sign that your page is an inappropriate result for that search term. Your page will then be demoted for that term.
The more clicks you get, the more relevant your page will seem, and the higher it is likely to appear in later search results.
Here are a few top tips for raising your organic CTRs so you can give your search ranking a boost:
Focus on Pages with Low CTRs First
You can easily discover which of your pages have low click-through rates by downloading your data from the Google search console.
You are specifically looking for the query data from your search console. Once you request the data, sort it so that you can figure out your average CTR and then identify the pages that need a little help.
You can then focus on finding ways to improve the click-through rate on the underperforming pages first. That way, you get the most impact for your efforts in the shortest amount of time.
Instead of spending a long time trying to make pages that are performing well do even better, you can put in less work to bring your below-average pages up to standard.
Combine Keywords and Emotional Appeals in Headlines
Headlines are the most powerful tools in your arsenal for improving click-through rates.
The headlines are what users will see first and what will convince them to read on or not. Your headlines need to include the right keywords to ensure that your page shows up in the right searches, but they also need to include an emotional appeal to engage the reader and make them click through to read more.
Emotional appeals are not limited to happiness, sadness, and anger. You can create an emotional appeal with an inspiring headline just as well as a funny one. You can create an emotional appeal by taking a controversial stance or even promising a solution to a deeply personal problem.
Any headline can take on an emotional appeal with the right skill. For example, a dry headline about roof maintenance can be turned into an emotional appeal about your family’s safety or about protecting the history your family shares.
Give Readers a Reason to Stay on the Page
If users are clicking through to your site but then leaving immediately, your CTR won’t help you much.
Google will see that you have been able to attract the visitors but not been able to keep them, which it will take to mean that you are not providing the content that matches the promise of the headline.
You must take steps to lower your bounce rate and to improve the visit times on your pages. You can do that by ensuring that you are writing quality content that delivers on what the headline claims. That means that if you promise to offer a solution, you must have that solution. If you promise to inspire, you must actually inspire.
The page layout will also entice people to stay longer. Make sure the page is attractive, includes plenty of photos and other visual elements, and is easy to scan with headers, bullet points, and other text markers.
Advertise on Social Media
Social media referrals will bump your traffic, which will bump your search ranking and help you get more organic CTRs.
Ads on social media are quite affordable, and you can generate a great deal of traffic with less than $100, depending on your keywords and your target audience. If you are advertising on Facebook, focus on retargeting ads that show to people who have already looked at your site and need encouragement to return again.
Social media marketing and advertising also helps to make people more familiar with your brand. The more familiar people are with your brand, the more likely they are to click through to your site when it appears in their search results.
You don’t need to do much to increase the CTRs on your organic search results, so taking these simple steps should get you results pretty quickly. With better CTRs, you’ll help to improve the quality signals around your site and start appearing higher in search results, helping you to get even more traffic and conversions.