How to get the most clicks on your search result without being placed at the top of the SERPs
Why does the user click on a search result? Or let me put it another way: Why would someone want to click on your page? The answer often has to do with ranking. In this article, we want to explain How to get the most clicks on your search result without being placed at the top of the SERPs.
“If my page is higher, I will also get more clicks!” That’s true, but it’s only half the story. Placement in the first position of search results is not the only factor that plays a role in your click rate (CTR) because there are other factors.
You don’t even have to appear in the first place to get a lot of clicks. Here are the reasons why.
Why SERP rankings don’t have that big an impact on CTR after all
I want to clarify from the start: Yes, number 1 will affect your traffic. There is a relationship between positioning on Google and click-through rate. The graphic above shows that the click rate is dropping because the SERP ranking is dropping.
The search result in the first position gets the most traffic (20.5%) and position number nine the least (5.52%), whereby an upward trend can be observed again in position ten (7.95%). The numbers tell me one thing: you always get clicks when you appear on the first page of search results, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be number one.
You can still achieve excellent results in the fifth or ninth position. You get a decent CTR if you appear somewhere on the first page. You can even count on clicks on the second page. So it’s not the ranking. You have to make the most of your scale. Now I’ll show you how to achieve a reasonable click rate without a high order.
1. Compare your click-through rate with the average click-through rate in your industry
You won’t be successful if you don’t even know what success looks like, so you must compare your CTR to the average click-through rate in your industry. Although many factors influence your click-through rate (the graphic above should only be a rough guide), it gives you a first impression of your situation.
If you run an online shop (1.66% organic click rate), you cannot expect to get the click rate of a dating website (3.4%). You need to adjust your goals and expectations accordingly.
Considering your industry, is a 1 percentage point increase in click-through rate realistic, or maybe 0.5% would be more natural?
The orientation of your website, i.e., B2B or B2C, also plays a role. According to a study by IMN, B2B pages achieve a higher CTR than B2C pages because they are usually placed higher up, but they do worse on page two or three of the search results. The study also showed that brand name searches resulted in a higher click-through rate.
But what does that mean for your company now? Well, it always depends on your industry. It would help if you had realistic expectations for your CTR, then set goals and review your results to make necessary changes.
2. Create relevant content to get clicks
Once you’ve set a realistic goal, you’ll need to revise your content to meet that goal. Google says the decisive factor in CTR is always relevant to the searching user. When more people click on the mark, the search result gets more clicks (and is consequently ranked higher). The user behavior and the intention of the user are decisive here.
Why do some results get more clicks than others?
There are three reasons for this:
- Is the content informative?
- Is the content promising (is it worth it for the user to click on the result)?
- Is the content visually appealing and compelling?
Here are the search results for the search query “PPC Ads Examples”:
If you wanted to know how a good PPC ad should be constructed, which of the above results would you likely click on? Why? Because you want to see examples, and the third search result promises measures. Maybe I’ll click on the first result because the title also promises “real examples …”.
But the first result is less relevant if I don’t want to create a PPC ad. As a website operator, you have to pay attention to this because the headline of your page influences your click rate, but I will go into this in more detail below.
The user decides which content is most relevant. To improve your click-through rate, tailor your content to your users’ search queries. The title of your page needs to be informative and keep the promise you make in the title.
3. Find the right words
You have to show the user your content is relevant before clicking. The title of your search result must answer a question or otherwise attract the user’s attention.
Here are the search results for the search query “How to collect more email addresses”: The results are excellent (which is why they are on the first page), but the following caught my eye.
The first result stands out because it is peculiar. Not only does it promise you can collect more email addresses, but it is also 1,000. It sounds pretty realistic, and since it appears at number one, the click would probably be worthwhile.
With the other results below, I notice two things:
- The practical guide (I like how-tos, so I immediately know what to expect when I click on this result.)
- The Industry-Specific Beginner’s Guide (E-commerce)
The second example is, of course, only relevant if I run a trading company, but a beginner’s guide might still be worthwhile if I’m still a beginner.
Many of these results come from well-known companies. Knowing the website would make you likelier to click on the mark. The key to success is choosing the correct text for the title (heading) and description.
According to ConversionXL, the headline should have five characteristics:
- It should contain a number (“1,000 new newsletter subscribers in 30 days”).
- It should contain five to nine words (or 16-18).
- She should create a positive or negative mood (“X mistakes you must not make under any circumstances”).
- It should consist of two parts (usually a heading and a sub-heading).
- It should make a clear value proposition (answer the search query or provide a solution).
Siege Media says you should use SEO title tags to get better CTRs.
The title tag is part of the source code and looks like this:
<title>Title Tags: How to Improve CTR by 20%+ – Siege Media</title>
When creating your title tags, the following things must be taken into account:
- The name of your website must appear
- It has to be convincing and should answer the user’s question
- It should include SEO keywords or your competitor’s keywords
If you meet these three requirements, you will have a great title tag that will likely achieve better click-through rates and be placed higher. You can test your headlines with CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer and determine which would be more popular. But the A / B test always has to be carried out. But it would help if you always took enough time when writing your headings and titles because this is the only way to get more clicks.
4. Refine other elements
Apart from the relevance of the content and the choice of your headline, other elements influence the click rate.
1. The date of publication
If you show the publication date, it is good for Google’s ranking. It is also suitable for the user. The title of the first search result is convincing, but I cannot be sure that the information is up-to-date because no publication date is shown.
With the second result, at least I know when it was released. I can even restrict my search by date if I only want to see the latest search results. With this setting, I only see content published or updated in the last year.
The two results above from the first example are no longer displayed, and the new results may be less attractive than those of the first search, but at least they are up to date, and the click could be worthwhile.
2. Republish old content
If your content is still relevant and should be displayed for search queries with a restriction by date, you can republish it with a new date. All you have to do is update the date and publish the page again. Now the date is up to date again. If your website was created with WordPress and used the Yoast SEO plugin, you must tick “Show date in snippet preview.”
3. Create AMP pages
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a Google project. These pages load faster on mobile devices. Your site will also get the AMP stamp in the SERPs on mobile devices.
The AMP stamp can also be displayed on the page itself if desired. I’ve heard rumors that Google will soon launch a new content discovery feature for AMP pages. You don’t have to have the AMP stamp, but it could be worth it if this new snippet is introduced.
You can test the AMP function and see what your results would look like in the SERPs. To do this, open the page g.co/amp demo on your mobile phone and search for your website. If you want to set up AMP, you can start here.
4. Add rich snippets
You may be automatically placed in a snippet if your content answers a specific question, perhaps in the form of a text section, a list, or a table. These snippets are also called rich snippets. Google gets the information automatically and shows it as a highlighted snippet.
In the example below, you can see that the information in the snippet does not always come from the first organic search result. If your page appears on the first page of search results, it could be eligible for the rich snippet.
You can increase your chances by using “question keywords” and creating accurate, relevant, and structured content. You can use Moz’s Keyword Explorer for this.
You can filter your results by source so that only questions are displayed. You have to structure your content well because the headings and sub-headings of your articles influence whether it is shown in the highlighted snippet. To appear in the rich snippet, you can do the following:
- Use the WP Rich Snippets plugin (Premium and Robust).
- Use the All In One Schema Rich Snippets Plugin (free, but with restrictions).
- Use the “Data Highlighter” feature of the Google Search Console.
Around 15% of search queries are displayed in the answer box, so if your page appears on the first page of the search results, your content could also be shown there.
5. Replace ugly permalinks
Ugly permalinks are not SEO-friendly. What’s a nasty permalink? An “ugly” link is a link made up of numbers, not words or keywords, for example:
A “nice” permalink looks like this:
Friendly permalinks are better for SEO and users. I trust these sites. d. Usually more. So you should always revise your new article’s link to look nice.
If you want to republish an old article and discover that it has an ugly permalink, you’ll need to update it too. This is a lengthy process but essential to improve your rankings and click-through rates, so you should make an effort.
In addition, the heading of your page and the link should always contain a keyword, if possible. This way, you can improve your SEO.
5. Place advertisements
It’s true. Most people prefer to click on organic search results rather than ads. The SERPs’ first five organic search results get 67.60% of the total clicks. However, that doesn’t mean that advertising is pointless. Some studies show that advertisements achieve great results, especially with search queries with high brand affinity.
Advertising works particularly well when you target users who have not found what they want in the organic results. It’s only worth it if you have enough budget to advertise because you must make a reasonable bid and enough “demand” for your PPC ad. If you want to know what CTR could be achieved, check it out on WordStream.
It’s not easy to get a high click-through rate with a PPC ad, but I wanted to mention this strategy anyway because it is an alternative to organic traffic. You can optimize your ads to cost less and achieve better click-through rates.
Optimizing your PPC ads may not be as effective as optimizing your organic results, but you can use it to target users who already know your brand. Alternatively, you could advertise on Facebook or another social network.
While this does not directly impact your organic click rate, it brings more traffic and makes your brand better known, ensuring better rankings (and leads to a better organic click rate, etc.). If your organic click-through rate leaves something to be desired, you can place a few ads and see how users react.
Users always click on the content that seems most relevant to them. Placing your site at the top of the SERPs will impact your click-through rate, but it’s not the main factor. You don’t have to be ranked number one to get clicks.
Your content needs to be well-worded and answer the search user’s question. With a well-worded headline, you increase your chances of more clicks. It’s pretty simple but easier said than done. The best chance of success is to revise and optimize your content.
That means doing keyword research to answer users’ questions and adapting the headline to answer the user’s questions. Format your content to be displayed in the highlighted snippet at the top of the results page. Your page doesn’t even have to appear in the first position. And if all else fails, you can always advertise. Be patient. Organic traffic takes time. You can’t give up so quickly.
What strategies did you use to improve your organic CTR? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your business online. Start increasing your website traffic by optimizing your content, engaging with your audience on social media, and implementing targeted SEO strategies.