CTR is just one more ranking factor that Google considers; luckily, CTR can be incentivized, manipulated and used to improve your position in the SERPs.
If you follow closely the news in the SEO world, you’ve surely heard lately about the importance of CTR for search engine optimization. It’s true, as they say in the industry, that it’s a bit of a “fad”… but it works! Why else would I make a post to talk about this topic? 😉
But, before I go on, I am going to show my solidarity with the first timers by making an introduction for total dummies 🙂 If this is not your case, you can skip it.
Índice de contenidos
What is CTR?
This stands for Click Through Ratio. The simplest definition of CTR is: the number of clicks a page receives when appearing in the SERPs (Search Engine Page Results).
The fact is that the CTR is considered a factor of what is being called “user response“, another concept that is sounding a lot lately, although its principles have been known by SEOs for quite some time.
In general, user response is the way in which the user interacts with our website. In the case of CTR, it is the percentage of times that a user clicks on our page when it appears in the search results that Google returns for their query.
A high CTR informs Google that a relevant number of users search for something, see our page, and click on the link. Therefore, it concludes that, apparently, our page seems to fit the user’s query or, in other words, that it is relevant for that keyword (or very similar variants).
The CTR is calculated in a very simple way: just divide the number of clicks by the number of total impressions in the SERPs.
As you can see, all this is easier to understand than the mechanism of a flyswatter 😉
But what is it that leads the user to determine which of the results appearing in the SERPs is worth clicking on?
How to boost CTR to improve your search engine rankings
What it is all about, then, is to make sure that our site gets as many clicks as possible when someone searches for keywords that interest us. This can be achieved in 3 different ways:
1. To attract the user’s attention
First of all, it must be clear that the best and easiest way to attract attention is to work a little on the content of the title and description tags. Informative content; eye-catching; optimized with keywords; and with a hook or two (for example, in the case of title, a list like “10 tips of…. or “Top 5 of…”). Let’s go… Basic on page SEO.
Another way to attract the user’s attention and get them to click on our page, prioritizing our result over the rest of those that appear in the SERPs is to include Unicode icons or Emojis, insert little stars, etc. (most of them are no longer shown, but some of them are) 😀
You may be thinking, “What a crock of shit, and that works? Well… yes, it works! The decision to click on one or the other result is much less rational than you might think. Impulsivity plays an important role, and including an eye-catching element can work as a treat for the user’s mind.
You can see an example of this type of resource at rodanet.com:
2. Incentivized CTR
When we talk about incentivizing CTR we mean asking a community to perform a search and click on our result.
You can do this if, for example, you have a blog with a decent audience, if you have created a good community around your social profiles, by asking your subscribers via email, etc.
The community’s response will depend on many factors. To ensure a good result you can, for example, set it up as an experiment: many of your followers would surely be willing to incentivize your CTR if in exchange for their click you offer them data on the results of this SEO action.
3. Resorting to bots
To a large extent, SEO is automation, and logically, there are already bots that generate searches with automatic clicks, and that usually use proxy servers so that the actions appear to be carried out by users from different geographical locations. Why? Because if you see a very high CTR with clicks always coming from the same region, it smells fishy!
How to do things right?
To boost the CTR, and for it to take effect, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Dose the clicks: it is unnatural for a result to get peaks of clicks at a given time, and Google could hunt you down. Diffuse them!
- Take into account the dwell time: clicking and leaving the page right away won’t help you much… Quite the contrary! Time spent on the page is another user response factor. The visit should be maintained for as long an interval as possible.
- Avoid an increase in the bounce rate: when a user visits a page and leaves, it is considered a “bounce”. A bounce rate that is too high is a negative point, and will negatively affect your SEO. Ideally, some visits should be accompanied by other clicks on links within the page.
- Accompany actions on CTR with other SEO techniques: as Chuiso explains in this post, CTR increases significantly with the first three search results, which take about 60% of user clicks. The remainder is divided among the links ranging from 4th to 10th place, and they are becoming increasingly scarce. If your page is not at least in the top 10 results, actions to boost CTR may be useless. So, first, try to get a good organic result, and then boost your CTR.
SEO is based on knowing how a search engine works, and applying common sense in every action. If you are trying to artificially influence the organic results and you suspect that Google can detect it, it surely will!
In that sense, human actions are preferable to bots, although bots, if configured and applied wisely, can also work, and save you time, money, etc. You choose!
Have you tried incentivizing, auto-incentivizing or manipulating the CTR of your site? Tell us about your experience in the comments! 😉
Sin asignación particular. Artículos redactados por el el equipo de Rodanet. Varias personas del equipo participan en crear los mejores artículos en cooperación y equipo 💪 Porque nos encanta trabajar en equipo 🔝