We want to drive lots more traffic from search engines, right? But what if you couldn’t receive significant organic traffic even your web pages are ranking on the first spot for certain keywords in Google?
Well, actually it is not a good sign as a webmaster’s point of view and a very bad practice in an experienced SEO’s point of view. In the previous few years, I found one special ranking factor which majority of search engines, especially Google uses to measure the keyword rankings of particular web pages.
If you are weak at that point, you will not be able to drive lots of traffic, also search engines will not rank your posts for other related keywords which are also known as secondary keywords.
In this today’s blog post, I will reveal what is that so special ranking factor and how you can utilize it to increase your search traffic fast.
Yes, very fast.
In a previous post on How I increased my website traffic by 20.95% within just 28 days, I shared a few SEO tips and tricks to increase organic traffic insanely. One of those SEO strategies I explained there is today post’s concept. Can you guess what is it?
It’s Click Through Rate.
Click Though Rate or CTR (in shortened form) is one of the crucial parts of search engine optimization which many bloggers neglect. If you’re very convincing about search engine optimization, so you should pay your close attention to CTR. By studying the variables of CTR, you can handle click through rates very easily and then after it is very, very easy to increase search traffic and rank for more keywords without building manual backlinks.
What is the Click Through Rate?
Hey, chamal, so far you talked much more about CTR. I don’t understand this SEO stuff. Actually, what’s Click Through rate?
For your understand, here is the demonstration of CTR.
Click through rate is the percentage of the number of clicks against impressions.
Ex: If a web page which is optimized for a certain keyword showed at SERP 100 times and got 10 clicks, so the organic CTR for the given keyword is 10%.
If a keyword showed 11256 times and keyword-optimized webpage got 2348 clicks, so the click through rate is 20.86%. That means for every 100 impressions (hits), web page receives averagely 21 visits.
Now you know CTR is a very good SEO metric to measure search engine ranking effectiveness of keywords for a given web page. But there are lots more to talk about Click Through rate and how to optimize CTR to increase website traffic fast within a few hours (more about that later!).
Why You Should Optimize Click Through Rate?
Before we discuss about how to increase CTR, I think it’s good to find out how CTR affect to overall website traffic. And what you can get more by improving the CTR rate.
As you already know that you can determine the keyword effectiveness by studying Click through rate. Even CTR is looking like a small SEO metric, Google uses CTR as a ranking factor.
Think it as this way. What Google determines if one of your blog posts ranks on the first spot of Google SERP for “A” keyword phrase, but has a lower CTR rate? Let’s assume that CTR is a one figure number (ex: 4%). Will Google remain the keyword position same again?
Not any way, right? That’s why organic click through rate is really important when it comes to search engine optimization. If you can’t get a better CTR rate for blog posts, Google will not like to rank posts on higher positions.
Here are two reasons why Google have to decrease the search engine ranking positions due to the click through rate.
- You use irrelevant keywords: This is one of biggest reasons why your precious blog post doesn’t rank on #1 for a given keyword especially on Google. If your blog post is all about Tumblr SEO optimization (example), if your post has irrelevant keywords such as WordPress SEO, Blogger SEO tips, internet marketing trends for Tumblr etc, Tumblr SEO optimization post may not rank on #1 page, even there is not high keywords competition. The general rule of thumb is you should add relevant keywords within the post content when writing the post. As above example, keywords such as SEO for Tumblr, is Tumblr good for SEO will rank for the particular web page. Use these On-Page Topic targeting keyword research tools to find relevant keywords for your next blog posts.
- Your blog post title performs poorly: Another reason for getting a lower CTR. If post title can’t get the attention of people and can’t indicate that the web page answer the questions they are searching for, post title will get a lower click through rate.
As a blogger and an SEO, you should pay your close attention to the click through rate and optimize pages for higher CTRs. Whether it be a product listing ad or organic result, you should improve click through rate.
How to Increase Click Through Rate: The 9 Easy and quick steps to increase CTR
These tips are for web organic results, not for image results and Pay per click advertising. If you want to learn how to increase image CTR, then read this guide: How to Increase Image Traffic Effectively
There are a few ways to increase CTR. Here are a few effective ways to increase CTR and drive more traffic.
Use optimal Word Count for post titles
Google shows only 60 characters of blog post titles. More than 60 words will be cut off from the search result pages and will be added a few dots. As you can see in below image, the web page’s meta title exceeds 60 character count, so Google has to cut off extra works from the search listing.
And this SEO Podcast from iTunes fits the 60 character count, so rank it higher and get more clicks.
Personally, I have experienced that by optimizing the page title for search engines and search engine visitors, we can increase CTR. But you should make sure that you added the target primary keyword into the post title.
As an example, this post ranks for “Blogger contact form” keyword on the first spot.
And the click-through rate of Blogger contact form keyword is 51%.
I use different tools to craft search engine friendly blog post titles. If you’re on WordPress, you can use Yoast SEO WordPress plugin to craft a good headline. But for other bloggers whose blogging platform is not WordPress, here is a great technique to make good SEO-friendly headlines quickly.
Step #1: Go to SEOMOFO Google snippet optimizer page and enter the post title and post URL. Also, you can add meta description and enable rich snippet text (ex: reviews).
Step #2: Use the keyword highlight feature and test how Google search result page looks like when someone enters your target keyword.
Step #3: Enable organic search results under Google SERP simulator and find a way how you can stand out from others (get the people’s attention). This is where you have to create an enticing headline. Follow these SEO tips on this infographic to create a perfect headline for your blog posts. Also, you can use this tool to generate blog post titles.
8 out of 10 people read the post title first and 2 out of 10 reads the rest. So you should make sure your short SEO-friendly titles perform perfectly both on social media and search engine results pages.
Use Relevant Keywords
I explained above how irrelevant keywords can decrease overall CTR of web pages and other keywords. You should use relevant keywords that actually your web page is about. If your blog post is about Premium WordPress themes, don’t overuse “free WordPress themes” keyword phrase as a keyword on the content. This will generate an extra few impressions, but will not get clicks, so decrease the click through rate. Even got clicks they are not targeted and relevant traffic, so no conversions.
I use different SEO tools to find best keywords for blog posts. One type of keyword research tools is on-page Topic targeting tools. Here are few of best SEO tools to find relevant keywords.
- Long Tail Pro: Find relevant long tail keywords which are low competitive.
- SEMrush competitor keywords research tool: I use SEMrush to find keywords which my competitors are using. Read my detailed guide on how to check competitor keywords with SEMrush and SEMrush tool review to learn more about SEMrush SEO tools.
- Google autocomplete: Another very good method to find on-page relevant keywords. Learn how to find secondary keywords using Google autocomplete over here.
Whenever you use keywords within your blog posts or comments section, make sure they are relevant keywords and increase the prominence of primary keyword, not decrease the primary keyword’s influence.
How to find negative/irrelevant keywords which decrease CTR?
Here are a few ways to find irrelevant keywords in your blog posts.
- Find already ranking keywords with Google Search Console: Google Search Console allows you to find keywords which make impressions and drive traffic to your blog posts. Analyze keyword report and find whether there is any irrelevant keyword which make any impression for your blog posts in SERP but not clicks.
- Analyze Comment Section for irrelevant keywords: Comments section is a gold-mine to generate tons of untapped target keywords for blog posts. It’s just because the comments section includes user-generated content. If your blog system doesn’t have a spam filter and automatically approves spam comments, so you should analyze web pages to find spam comments which add up irrelevant keywords.
- Audit web pages with SEMrush: By using SEMrush siteaudit tool, you can find which keywords which drive traffic to your blog posts and how they perform. You need to have an account to use SEMrush siteaudit tool. I recommend you to have a SEMrush Pro account. So you can audit your and competitors’ websites very easily. Learn more about SEMrush over here and click here to read my SEMrush review.
Undoubtedly, using irrelevant keywords will make a major impact to decrease the CTR rate so fast and so decrease search engine rankings and eventually decrease the search traffic. Use above SEO keyword research tools such as Long Tail Pro and SEMrush competitor analysis tool to find relevant keywords.
11th position is better than 10th position
Recent studies have shown that people scroll down the page and navigate through each search result page. However, typically top search results (above the fold) get more clicks relatively than others. This SERP chart shows the click through rates of keyword positions.
So before trying to rank intended keyword on 10th position (bottom of 1st page), make sure you can increase the keyword ranking position of the certain keyword. In other words ensure your target post can rank at least within the first five results. 11th position gets more clicks than 10th position.
This is another reason why many web pages get a lower CTR rate with the time. In my previous post, I talked much more about the importance of blog post update or blog post revision. It does not only help for people, but also search engines will identify that you update blog posts regularly. This eventually results in increasing website traffic.
Here is the Google.com SERP snapshot for “SEO optimization Tumblr” keyword phrase. Fields such as search engine optimization (SEO), internet marketing and blogging evolve in everyday. So people want new, fresh content. What worked six or ten years ago not work right today and may not work on tomorrow. That’s the effect of change.
So if someone entered SEO optimization Tumblr keyword phrase into the Google search box, his intention is to get the latest SEO tips for Tumblr blogs. Not two or three years old SEO strategies. So many of those people who search this keyword could click on the new post as possible. Ask it yourself, what result do you would like to read, the old ones or new ones?
Branded Keywords in Title
If your website is a popular brand, so people might search to find your brand on search engines.
Ex: “brand” + income (smart passive income monthly income), “brand” + plugins use (QuickSprout plugins use)
As an example, Plat Flynn shares podcasts in every month on his blog smart passive income. Therefore, many people search on Google to find latest podcast made by Pat Flynn.
You can find your brand keyword using Google autosugget and Google autocomplete tools. Then check monthly search volume using the Google adwords tool. By creating relevant posts related to the branded keywords, you can easily rank on the first page and increase organic click through rate.
Create a user-intended, enticing headline
Obviously, more than 70% of click through rate depends upon the page title regardless the keyword position. If you can’t craft an enticing headline, people won’t click on the links. Take a look at this Google SERP listing. It gives a promise to the people and prominently show the primary keywords. Importantly the page title is less than 60 word count. So no any important word cut off from the SERP.
Here’s another example. Look how the page title indicates what the page is all about.
Page title is one of the most important ingredients on your blog post. It doesn’t matter how good your post is, how much quality your post is. If the post title sucks, can’t convince why people should click on it, your posts’ click through rate will drop.
How to Create a Good SEO-Friendly Enticing Page Title
There are numerous ways to craft a good title for your blog posts. The number is not a limit. As usually “How-to” guides (ex: How to Keyword Research With Google Keyword Planner) and numbered list posts (ex: 20 Effective Tips to Reduce Bounce Rate of Your Website) work pretty well on SERPs.
The key here is to get the attention of search users. If the post title can provide the information they were expecting just before searching the keyword, surely the post would attract yet another high quality “warm” visitor.
You may not be able to create the best page title in the first place. However, testing is the best way to find the optimal page title for your blog post. I was able to increase the page traffic by 20% right after changing the post title of Payoneer Virtual Bank Account blog post. Read more about it over here.
Laser Targeted Posts
I have experienced that by creating single posts for multiple purposes, we couldn’t drive same traffic if we could write separate posts. Here is this example in details.
A few months earlier, I had written a post on “How to Install Google Analytics on Blogger and Tumblr”. I thought after receiving a few backlinks from Tumblr blogs, this post would rank on Google first page and also would rank for keywords such as Google analytics blogger. The result?
It did!. But the downside of covering lots more about a broad topic is that the lower click through rate than a normal click through rate. Here is a portion of Google webmaster tools, search query report.
572 impressions, 35 clicks, 6% CTR, 4.2 avg. position ?
Is there any good reason to have a lower click through rate even the post ranks above the fold of first SERP? On the other side, Opening a virtual bank account free tutorial have 34% click through rate even its average rank is 5.6.
Not only for “Google analytics Tumblr” keyword, but also for other keywords, this post takes lower CTRs.
If you write on a laser-targeted topic and adding a few on-topic targeting keywords (secondary keywords), you can drive more web traffic fast and hopefully increase CTR. That’s why increase Alexa traffic rank and SEMrush coupon code posts have higher CTRs for every keyword they are ranking for.
Utilize Rich Snippets
Search engines have various ways to display search results. One time Google introduced Google authorship and removed it from Google SERP later due to the decrease of CTRs of Adwords ads. Then removed video snippets for smaller video sites. But there are a few more available.
If you write reviews, you can use schema.org reviews markups to provide information about the review. Here’s the Google SERP appearance of SEMrush review post.
These extra features will not only increase traffic to website fast, but also increase click through rates quickly.
Make use of Meta Description
The days are now gone where you were able to increase search engine rankings by adding a few keywords into the meta keyword tag and meta description tags. But, after Google disclosed that they no moreover use meta keywords tags and shouldn’t add meta description tag too, people neglected the importance of meta description tag.
Yes, meta description tag doesn’t help increase search engine rankings. But You can use the meta description tag to include a few words (less than 150 words) and encourage search visitors to click on your page title.
Remember, every click adds up to click through rate. So make use of meta description and add a considerable call to action.
You don’t actually need to write thousands of blog posts to increase website traffic. You can multiply existing traffic just by enhancing published posts. The important thing here is that you should understand the keyword intent. (What searchers think before, when and after entering the keyword into Google search box)
After improving on-page SEO performance of blog posts, you can increase website traffic fast without worrying about link building or any other aspect. The post title is one of the most important parts of a web page. By optimizing the page title and other ingredients for search engines, you can increase click through rate.
So what are other ways to increase website traffic? Does actually CTRs help in increasing search engine rankings? Share your views in the comments.