It feels great to see your website ranking on the first page for your primary keyword. Making your website stick to the first page is challenging. You won’t like seeing your website slipping off the first page.
Once you achieve that magical first spot in search results, the next big challenge begins – maintaining a decent organic click-through rate (CTR).
This really matters, otherwise you can kiss that #1 spot goodbye!
If your website is ranking at first position and it isn’t getting enough clicks, Google will push your website down the SERPs because people don’t like clicking your website.
Technically, organic CTR and ranking are codependent. It means as you move up the SERPs, CTR will increase and as your website’s organic CTR increases, your website will rank higher.
If your website is ranking at the 4th position but it gets higher CTR than the results above, your website will be pushed up because people love your web page.
Improving organic CTR is a great way to improve ranking.
Variables That Impact Organic CTR
Here are 5 factors that impact organic CTR and how you can tweak these to achieve expected results.
The title is the first thing that people see. This is what makes or breaks a click. It is the most prominent text on a search engine results page.
A well-written title has the potential to significantly improve CTR. Here are a few tips on writing titles that persuade people to click.
- Using a number, statistics, percentage, or a digit in title boosts CTR.
- Clear and accurate titles perform better. A study by HubSpot revealed that using words like interview, podcast, infographic, etc. improves title performance by 38%.
- Keep it short. Titles with eight words get 21% higher CTR than their counterparts.
- Use power words to create an emotional hook with the readers.
Rich snippets or schema markup is a crucial component that makes your search result stand out from the crowd.
Here is an example of how rich snippet can boost CTR. Though this recipe is at the fourth spot but it provides a lot of additional information that other results don’t.
This is what makes searchers click a result. A Dutch car insurance website increased its organic CTR by a whopping 28% with the help of rich snippets.
Title isn’t the only thing that drives clicks, description is what’s read next.
A good title with a poor meta description won’t work. A great title supported by an awesome description will drive clicks.
Google can choose to show your meta description or it can choose its own more relevant description from the article body. This means you cannot rely solely on meta description, you have to make content awesome too because Google can show any piece of content (that it thinks is relevant and will boost CTR) as a description.
Here are a few best practices for writing great meta descriptions that won’t disappoint you.
- Google recently increased the length of meta description from 160 to 320 characters. Keep it well under 320 characters.
- Use a powerful CTA in the description inviting readers to click the search result.
- Keep it descriptive. Try describing the actual content. Better yet, use a short summary of the page content as meta description.
- It’s better to use your primary keyword in the meta description as it will appear bold in search results page. This will make it prominent.
URL is up next that is clearly visible. It is seen and read.
The following URL doesn’t make much sense.
This URL is readable and makes sense.
Ugly URLs don’t look pleasing and can hurt CTR. Therefore, make them tidy, here is how.
- Use descriptive URLs that are readable.
- Maintain a clear folder structure on your website. This will help you with creating simple and clean URLs.
- Keep them short. Too long URLs don’t look decent.
The way how your website appears in the searches makes a whole lot of difference on whether people will click it or pass it. This has to do a lot with the formatting of the title, meta description, rich snippets, and other variables.
A formatting mistake doesn’t just ruin your CTR but it hurts your brand reputation. You don’t expect to see something like this from HubSpot.
Here is what you should do to keep your search results visually pleasing.
- Capitalize title.
- Proofread title, meta description, and rich snippet for typos.
- Be consistent with formatting.
- Proofread and edit entire page because you don’t want Google to use a poorly formatted piece of content as the meta description.
Being on the first page isn’t challenging but what you do to maintain your first-page ranking is what matters. You can lose your first place in a couple days due to poor CTR.
Don’t let searchers ignore your website. Make it count.