Compared to conversions, click-through rates (CTR) don’t seem nearly as important. Clicks don’t make you any money—at least, not directly.
However, if customers don’t click, they can’t convert. So click-through ends up being essential to your overall business. No clicks = no conversions. If you haven’t been focusing on getting people to click, it’s time to change.
Larry Kim and Brian Dean created a great infographic titled “The Ridiculously Smart Guide to Boosting Your Organic Click-Through Rates.” We’ll share it in a bit, but before we do, we want to ensure you know just how important organic CTR is to your business.
How You Can Increase Your OrganicClick-Through to Make More Conversions
Increasing organic click-through is all about appealing to the users. You need to grab their attention and make your page stand out more than any other. And nothing will do that better than your headline.
You know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, users judge web pages by their headlines all the time. Think about it: the headline is the first thing users will see when Google delivers their query results. And based on how interesting it is to them, they’ll either click on it wanting to learn more or ignore it in favor of something more engaging.
If you don’t attract users from your headline, you don’t have much hope of them seeing your content. That means you have practically no chance they’ll convert.
The effectiveness of your headline can increase organic click-through. So you have to make it good.
Sounds simple, right? It’s not. Thankfully, this infographic has 11 hacks that can boost your organic CTR. We’ve summarized the points below.
1. Modify Your Lowest-Converting Content.
Why work more for yourself when you can work with what’s already there? You can use Google Analytics to view your organic CTR against your organic ranking. From there, it’s just focusing on your lowest-ranking pages while leaving the highest ones alone.
2. Ditch the Keywords in Your Titles.
If used poorly, keywords can stick out in a headline like a festering, oozing sore. Sorry for the nasty imagery, but we feel it’s appropriate for how grievous this outdated SEO tactic has become.
Don’t get us wrong—you can still use keywords in your titles. If a user searches for that query, keywords will still signal to Google that your page is relevant. However, stuffing them into the title, forcing them to fit when you could say something more interesting—if you’ve been using keywords that way, you’re better off just getting rid of them altogether.
3. Use “Emotion” Words.
Try focusing the words in your headlines to evoke an emotional response (Fear, Anger, Joy, etc.) rather than the same old SEO tactics (like keywords).
4. Write using a user persona.
Want to get into the heads of your readers? Try writing your headline from their perspective. By choosing a specific sentiment (Bearer of Bad News, the Feel Good Friend, etc.) for your headline, you relate to users’ hopes and fears and try to answer their questions.
5. Use Numbered List-Type Headlines.
People like lists. No, research has shown that using numbers increases CTR by 36%. (Source: Conductor) It’s partly why BuzzFeed gets so much traction—readers know how long an article will be if a number is included. They’ll click if they feel they know how long an article will take to readjust from the title.
6. Format Your Title to Engage Your Users.
Getting users interested in your headlines could be as easy as following a simple format:
- Format-List, Quiz, Infographic, Facts, Strategies
- Hook – Amazing, Insane, Powerful, Unreal, Shocking, etc.
- Content-Type – Images, Quotes, Pictures, Facts, Strategies
- Your Subject – Love, Cats, Fitness, Health, Marketing, etc.
Ex.: “5 Unreal SEO Strategies to Survive Google Algorithm Updates”
7. Add Emotional Words and Phrases to Your Description Tags.
“Secret.” “Premium.” “Discover.” “Thrilled.” Words like these break up the monotonous way many companies write. Using them in your description tags can elevate your copy and grab readers before they realize what’s happening.
8. Get Descriptive with URLs.
In the online world, there’s little uglier than a URL. Automated URLs look as unappealing as rotting fruit, but when you put a bit of care into them, they can look quite lovely to readers. Plus, the added bonus is having Google bold part of it if it matches the user’s search query. A study by Microsoft found that descriptive URLs get 25% more clicks than “generic” ones.
9. Change Up Your Headline Styles.
Two last tips have been about using emotional words and user personas to grab readers’ attention. You can apply those same rules to create multiple headlines, ensuring you’ll always have something fresh to show them.
10. Test Your Headlines with AdWords.
With all this talk about headlines and how they look to users, you probably want some assurance that Google will, you know, show them. How often have you written a great headline to find out Google butchers it in the search results? The good news is you can type it into AdWords as an Expanded Text Ad to see how it looks before you post it.
11. Use Facebook to Test Your Headlines.
Many of the same engagement strategies listed here work just as well on Facebook as on Google’s search results. Boost your social engagement and drive users to your site with an eye-catching headline.
Additionally, pages with high CTR can provide the following benefits:
- Higher search results ranking
- Higher conversion rates
These are correlations you can’t ignore. Especially considering you don’t have to expend much effort on most of these suggestions. At least, not when compared to the work required for an entire SEO campaign. When you look at it that way, the return seems pretty high. A low amount of effort for a high gain, low risk, high reward—what’s not to like?
Getting your customers to click isn’t impossible. With a good deal of testing, you should be able to craft headlines that do more than interest prospective customers but convert them.
Thanks to Larry Kim and Brian Dean for putting together this informative guide. We hope you use it to attract more customers to your pages.