To some of you, this may seem like an odd question. I mean, surely if you have optimised a page for a keyword and it ranks in position #1, then you are doing good SEO, right?
Well, this all depends if searchers are clicking your search snippet. If they are ignoring it or favouring your competitors, then your search snippet is not click-through rate (CTR) optimised.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, CTR refers to the number of times a searcher clicks a result divided by the number of impressions or times the ad is shown.
If you have worked in PPC, the importance of optimising your CTR is a no brainer.
Firstly, it increases clicks to your site. Secondly, it can deliver a higher quality score – meaning your ad will rank higher and you will pay less for each click. The PPC expert will optimise an ad’s headline, description and display URL to persuade the searcher to click their ads, before trying to outbid the competition – or outrank them on price alone.
The problem in SEO is that this logic is often reversed where optimising CTRs are almost always secondary to achieving top ranking positions.
In this post, we will explore three key ways to approach optimising your search snippet for both rankings and CTRs.
Title tags appear within search results, on tabs within your browser, and within external links on social media.
They offer searchers, search engines and social users information about the topic of a page.
Along with other on page factors – such as content, internal links, URLs and image alt text – keyword targeting within the title can have a positive, short term influence on rankings.
However, titles are the major influencer in attracting or repelling searchers from clicking your search snippet, so it’s important to keep them user friendly & compelling rather than stuffing them with keywords in an attempt to gear top ranking positions.
Follow these best practices when creating your titles:
Meta Description Tags
Meta descriptions are your second line of attack. A well-crafted meta description acts to grab searchers’ attention and motivate them to click through to your content.
You also have about three times more space to work with than within your title, so use each character to your advantage.
Also keep in mind about meta descriptions is that they have no bearing on search rankings – their sole purpose is to enhance your CTR. So, once again, stuffing them with keywords or lifting the first line of text from your landing page will not crack it.
Follow these best practices when creating your meta descriptions:
These days, optimising your URL for targeted keywords is regarded as having a relatively low impact on organic rankings, but the visible URL in your search snippet still plays an important role in influencing clicks to your website.
Follow these best practices when optimising your URLs:
It’s very tempting to throw all of your time and energy into gearing top ranking positions. But don’t forget to optimise the CTR of your search snippet, as you could be losing out on heaps of qualified traffic. In this post we have outlined some best practices for titles, meta descriptions and URLs to keep you rankings and reaping the traffic rewards.