There was a time when most digital marketers only cared about keyword rankings and they would stuff their articles with their keywords despite what Google’s best practice suggestions were.
As marketers we had to do whatever it took to get to the top three positions on the Google ranking page because we knew that the breakdown pretty much said that the first position got 43% of the results, the second position got 31% of the results, and the third position got 23% of the results.
Knowing this led us to care so much about how to get our content raking in those top three positions.
However, we might finally be starting to see a shift in the way that marketers should be handling their responsibilities. We have seen through a couple of tests from some high-level marketers and big teams that show that it might not all be about the highest ranking anymore.
It seems like a growing amount of emphasis is being thrown on click through rate. If you can get this click through rate down to a science you and your company have an excellent shot at being extremely successful on Google.
So What is Click Through Rate?
CTR or click through rate refers to how often your results come up on any given page which is your impressions, multiplied by how many times your actual title an article get clicked. We all know that there are over 200 ranking factors from the Google search engine’s.
But what we have started to notice recently is that rankings might not be all they were cracked up to be.
We’ve seen that when some articles are in the third position, they are actually receiving somewhere around 40% of the clicks while the second position article only receives 22% of the clicks.
This literally goes against everything we were ever taught about marketing and about the Google search engine results pages.
How come people are scrolling more and clicking on low results when back in the day they would literally not want to scroll at all and would rely heavily on either the first second or third result?
I would say it is a culture shift. This culture shift mixed with the maturity of the Internet and the high-level of adoption from around the world which has led people to trust Google and the Internet Moore has lead people to scroll through the results more on their own and make their own decisions about what results they trust.
Click Through Rate, Before Rankings?
We have started to see that for some of these marketers who are focusing on their click through rate before their rankings their rankings will actually go up later.
Any marketer that has been doing this for years will hear that and it will be like music to their ears.
That’s because anybody that has worked with SEO and digital marketing for a long time will tell you that improving testing and optimizing titles and meta-descriptions in order to have a better click through rate will take up much less time and effort then to go through all the hoops that you have to jump through to increase your rankings on Google.
First there is backlinks, which we know are getting harder and harder to secure because webmasters aren’t just giving out links.
How to Increase CTR
Now let’s go over some tactical advice on how exactly we can raise our click through rate on the results pages. If our business can get this done the right way I promise that you will see an exponential rise in search traffic.
So the data that has been coming in around the correlation between click through rate and your rankings show something extremely interesting.
This result shows that your ranking is actually in the power of your own hands. This data has shown that if you have higher than average click through rate your result ranking will begin to rise.
However on the other side of the coin, if our result is receiving lower than average click through rate our position in ranking can actually plumber.
Anyone that trust their skills and talent as a marketer will take the chance and will gladly welcome the opportunity to either live or die on their own merit.
It’s like Gary Vaynerchuk says live or die by your own sword, don’t die on somebody else’s sword.
On the topic of Gary Vaynerchuk let’s go over the number one thing that I like that he talks about.
For those of you who don’t know Gary, he is all about the brand.
It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in, this is something we all can take value from. Let’s dive into my favorite philosophy that Gary Vaynerchuk
We all know Gary, but for the few that don’t let me just tell you one of his main things that he talks about. Gary built a huge company called Vaynermedia that does roughly $150 million in revenue.
He did this by understanding where the users attention is that and by being able to put the right content with the right context in front of their faces at the right time. He did this not only by building up a personal brand on YouTube on Twitter and Instagram, but he also works with a lot of influencers and does a lot of speaking events.
The main reason however that a lot of these Fortune 1000 companies want to work with his digital marketing agency, is not for the great work that they’ve done but for the chance to work with Gary.
People want to work with Gary because of the personal brand that he’s been able to work up. And that’s really what we need to focus on here is developing a brand and brand awareness. Gary often likes to talk about the long game and having patients.
The reason he thought he saw is on this is because he knows that it’s all about providing value first, that’s exactly how I like to think about things. When it comes to building a brand it’s much different than just selling a product.
You are selling not only an experience but how are your service is going to treat people, about The quality of work that people receive, about how long it’s gonna take you to do what you do.
Basically, when it comes to brands and brand building it isn’t transactional.
You have to continually put in the work in the value to not only keep growing your brand but to keep up with the brand image on a continual basis.
So how does brand come into the equation when it comes to click through rate?
Well, let me tell you a little bit about what word stream found out.
1. Utilize the Power of a Brand
This number blows my mind.
But word stream found that when people are aware of your brand they are twice as likely to click on your ads.
And that’s crazy you know what we’re trying to do as marketers is to have the most amount of people click on our ads visit our website and check out our products and services.
So if without spending a little bit more money if we have a strong brand of fall back on we will automatically receive a higher click through rate because searchers often times fall back on a familiar brand that not only do they know from they might’ve heard have but one that they have either worked with or checked out on their own.
So where it does take more effort to build a brand in the short-term, doing so will lead you to cheaper conversions in the long run and more customers searching your branded name.
And one thing that is a pro tip is that in 2018 one of the strongest ranking factors that you need to be aware of is branded searches.
Google is putting a heavyweight into those brands that people are searching their name a lot. This makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
Google is providing a service to its customers, and its service is providing the customer with the best search result possible in the shortest amount of time.
So yes they do have all these ranking factors that email will help them give you some of the best results possible, but sometimes they just need to rely on things that they can trust in certain brands build up enough credibility overtime that Google feels comfortable just sending a searcher to their website as a result.
Having a brand to stand behind will definitely lead you to a higher click through rate which is your goal.
But what do you do if you’re just starting out and you don’t really have a huge brand to stand behind her you still want to have high thought they’re right having a brand to stand behind will definitely lead you to a higher click through rate which is your goal?
What do you do if you’re just starting out and you don’t really have a huge brand or stand behind her you still want to have high click-through rate?
2. Triple Down On Your Strengths
One thing that I take from Eric Siu of single grain and from the marketing school podcast that he has with the ruler of online marketing Neil Patel, is optimizing your good/great pages first.
This might sound counter-intuitive to a lot of folks because you want to bring up your weaknesses why would you spend the most time on what you’re already doing well?
One thing that I think is very smart to do is to triple down on your strengths and this is no different when it comes to optimizing your content for click through rate.
Everyone knows the 80/20 rule right?
The 80/20 rule says that 20% of your efforts will result in 80% of your rewards.
This means that yes it is good to bring up new content and focus on having fresh things for the search engines and for your readers but please do not forget about what got you here and what’s actually driving business because that is what we really care about.
Whenever I take on a new client this is exactly the thing I do first. In SEO, a general rule of thumb is that it usually takes anywhere from 6 to 12 months before you see any meaningful results from it.
However, what I like to do is optimize the click through rate on some of the already high-ranking articles to really start to drive some quick scores and move the revenue up long before this 6 to 12-month benchmark.
The thing is you can use one of my favorite tools called search console from Google to learn exactly how your articles are doing and what search Queries people are using to find certain articles from your website.
What I like to look for is the articles in the search console that have the highest number of impressions which means that a lot of people are at least seeing it as a result on their results page but a low click through rate because these are a prime candidate for an article that has room to improve.
Now that you have the candidates that are most prime to be optimized and increase their click through rate how do we actually do that?
This is a disclaimer that I one hundred percent took this tab and click through rate hack from Brian Dean over at Backlinko. But that is because it works and I do not mind giving another great marketer credit where credit is due.
Just because I did not come up with the hack myself doesn’t mean I want to deprive you guys of the chance to use it.
This is gonna sound simple but the data backups how powerful it can be. Add brackets and parentheses to the end of your Titles.
Hubspot and Brian Dean did a study a couple years ago that showed that out of 3.3 million headlines they found the brackets outperformed bracketless titles by over 33%.
That’s a crazy amount of upside for the smallest bit of work on our end as marketers. Even Brian Dean himself uses brackets in almost all of the titles.
Another tip that I grabbed off of Backlinko (but also have used it for years just don’t want anyone thinking I’m stealing ideas to pass off as my own) is using Numbers on your posts.
Many people have actually talked about the benefits of using Numbers in your posts and not just any numbers people like it when you’re really specific. You’ll see you guys like Neil Patel have a title that says how to increase click through rate by 4732.37%.
He makes a case that you are more likely to click on a title like this than one that just says improve your click through rate here.
Another great click through rate tactic that we can use is focusing on improving our meta-descriptions.
This along with our title tags are the main two things including the brand that we actually can use to influence a searchers mind on where to click on the results pages.
If you go to any results page you will have added the top and then for all the results, there will be a title with a short description of what is on that webpage.
This is where our meta-description is and how we can influence someone to come to our website. The best ways to figure out what works on a meta-description is to look at what our competitors are using in their ad words meta-descriptions for similar services or information.
Marketers put a lot of time in optimization into their ad words campaigns.
Marketers do countless tests to determine which wording and specific words will get a searcher to take the action that they are looking for.
I’m not saying to directly rip off what these people are using and put it into your meta-description but this will give you a great idea on if you’re way off from the industry norm or not
3. Optimize Title Tags Using Title Tag Tactic #2
Yes, I just made that the header for the section because I wanted to use alliteration and sound cool.
I know, I don’t think it worked either. But back to the tactic that I want to discuss.
This is an old tactic that writers have used for hundreds of years and it really is simple like most of the things I talk about. You want to be using emotion in our titles.
We don’t want to be that website with the bland title tag that has nothing new to it no flare no reason for me to go out of my way to click on it.
Yes, using Numbers is great and a great marriage description will also help, but adding in some emotion to your titles can really set you apart from the other results on the page.
What I mean by emotion is use words that make readers stop and think about your title. If you can get them to stop and read your title, there’s a much higher chance of them clicking that result, thus increasing your CTR.
This article might have many tactical and technical term is involved but really these are all things that most business owners can not only understand but begin to implement into their digital strategy as well.
Don’t get left behind focusing all your time and effort on your rankings when into thousand 18 there is a very high emphasis on click through rate.
Be one of the first businesses to really nail this and I promise you’ll have a great year.
For those looking for help with content marketing, who want to speak to a professional to find out more, contact us today for a free consultation. PoofNewSales is a content marketing agency based in Manchester, NH. We work with clients from around the US to help generate more organic search traffic using the power of content marketing.