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 actually ends up being really important to your overall business. No clicks = no conversions. If you haven’t been focusing on getting people to click, then it’s time to make a change.
Larry Kim and Brian Dean put together 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 make absolutely sure you know just how important organic CTR is to your business.
How You Can Increase Your Organic Click Through to Make More Conversions
Increasing organic click through is all about appealing to the users. You need to grab their attention, 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 them the results of their query. And based on how interesting it is to them, they’ll either click on it wanting to learn more or will ignore it in favor of something more engaging.
Basically, 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 make more work for yourself when you can work with what’s already there? You can use Google Analytics to view how your organic CTR stacks up against your organic ranking. From there, it’s just a matter of 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 Sorry for the nasty imagery, but we feel it’s appropriate for how grievous this outdated SEO tactic has become.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. Keywords will still signal to Google that your page is relevant if a user searches for that query. 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 question.
5. Use Numbered List-Type Headlines.
People like lists. No, really—research has shown that using numbers increases CTR by 36%. (Source: Conductor) It’s partly why BuzzFeed gets so much traction—readers get an idea of how long an article will be if a number is included. If they feel they know how long an article will take to read just from the title, they’ll click.
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 even 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 nice to readers. Plus, there’s the added bonus of 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 of the previous tips have been about using emotion words and user personas to grab readers’ attentions. You can apply those same rules to come up with 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 really 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.
A lot of the same engagement strategies listed here work just as well on Facebook as they do on Google’s search results. Boost your social engagement and drive users back 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 a great deal of 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 amount of 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 just 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.