Posted: by Allison
How to Improve Your Website’s Organic Click-Through Rate
The goal of most online retailers is to drive traffic to their websites in the hope of conversion. One method of accomplishing this is by optimizing your website’s page to promote the highest rate of conversion. Properly optimizing your web pages can turn your existing content into high-converting pages that form the cornerstone of your inbound marketing efforts. No matter how high your website pages rank in search results, it will all be for nothing if people don’t click on them.
You’re competing with thousands of other websites, so you’ll want to make sure your website stands out. To ensure you reap the full search engine optimization (SEO) benefits, you’ll need to go the extra mile. In today’s world, it’s not enough to only optimize your website for keywords anymore. You’ll also want to pay attention to your organic click-through rate too.
Here, we’ll cover what organic click-through rate is and how to optimize your website to bring more traffic to your site.
What is Organic Click-Through Rate?
Organic click-through rate (CTR) tells you how many people see your page on a search engine results page (SERP) and click on it. Essentially, this number reveals how compelling your content is to readers and how relevant it is to the search query.
Optimizing your organic CTR doesn’t just bring more traffic to your site, either. It helps you rank better in search engines too. Dozens of SEO experts have run experiments to determine the influence CTR has on your page rankings, and it turns out that pages with a higher-than-average CTR perform better in search results. This is precisely why it’s important to dedicate some time to optimize your pages for organic CTR every time you publish new content.
Like most other aspects of SEO, you want to strike a balance between optimizing for search engines and the people you want to attract. Although your ranking is ultimately how your clientele discovers you, writing for a specific target audience will bring them to your website.
How Do You Improve Your Organic CTR?
So now that you understand why optimizing your website is important for traffic, let’s discuss how you can accomplish this feat.
Create Relevant Content for Your Audience
When it comes to content, Google prioritizes relevance, and the reader experience above all else. With this in mind, you want to take a reader-first approach to your content creation efforts. If your content doesn’t engage your audience, no amount of effort will make them click on your website. However, you need in-depth knowledge about your target audience to execute this successfully.
A few questions to keep in mind when understanding your audience:
- Are there customer pain points you can use to your advantage?
- What issues does he/she struggle with?
- What are his personal and professional goals?
You’ll need this information to create content your target audience will find useful and informative.
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, start collecting that information first. In the case you have an engaged audience, you can even ask them directly by creating polls or questionnaires to send out to your list.
If you don’t have access to that kind of information, use tools like Answer the Public and Google Keyword Planner to find the most popular search terms for your industry and create content around them. Utilizing social media strategy to target your audience is another great route that costs you nothing. It’s important not to get too hung up on this stage. This is especially true if your target audience is broad.
Improve Your Page’s Search Ranking
If you’ve spent any time in the SEO world, it’s a well-known fact that almost all search traffic goes to the results on the first page of Google. But how is that traffic divided up between each search result? The answer may surprise you. Backlinko found that the top results get an average CTR of 31.7%, and these coveted spots get about ten times more traffic than the #10 spot.
Things are changing, however. You may have noticed more and more information boxes taking up space on search engine result pages or SERPs. These boxes, called featured snippets, decrease the amount of traffic going to those high-ranking search results. People find the information they need from these boxes, so they don’t click through to websites anymore. It’s a highly competitive landscape to be in, and the competition only grows by the day. To increase the chances of your audience seeing your website, you want to optimize both your new and existing content for relevant keywords.
When you first begin optimizing your existing content, focus on the pages that are already ranking high on SERPs. After all, it’ll be much easier to get pages that are ranked #2 or #5 up to the #1 spot than it is for pages that are ranked on the tenth page of Google. Gradual steps will be easier on you and simultaneously look more organic to Google. The bottom line is the more visible your website is, the better likelihood of high conversion rates.
Optimize Your Titles for Readers and Search Engines
Here, you’ll want to strike a balance between writing for people and writing for search engines. Titles are the first thing your readers see on a search results page, and Google’s crawlers use this to get information on what your page is about. Rarely is a customer going to click on a title that does not explicitly provide the information they are looking for. That’s why it’s your job to ensure your content best reflects the information within. This will also result in the best conversion rates.
Focus on showing what value your content will provide to your reader. But here’s the catch: you’ll want to do so in 60 characters or less. Why? Google cuts off anything after that, so your reader won’t be able to see it.
Add your target keyword or phrase towards the beginning of your title, and make your title as creative and compelling as possible. Consider using questions or how-to formats, because they imply that you can answer your reader’s burning questions or can walk them through processes they want to learn more about. The more you are transparent about your content, the more you reduce the risk of friendly fraud occurring or any misconceptions about your products.
Write Compelling Meta Descriptions
Although meta descriptions don’t factor in search engine rankings anymore, they still play a crucial part in getting your reader to click through to your website.
On any given SERP, meta descriptions are the little blurbs underneath the title and URL that describe what the page is about. Now that you have your reader’s attention with a captivating title, use this opportunity to entice them with information they don’t have yet. Or better yet, leave them hanging so they have to click through to learn more.
Think of it as a mini elevator pitch for your content. You only have 160 characters to sell your reader, and you want to get that point across as effectively as possible.
If you don’t write one, Google automatically pulls information from your content to create one. However, it only takes the words that come before and after your reader’s search term, so it may not make sense out of context. For the best conversion rates, you’ll want your audience to know exactly what they’re clicking on.
By creating a unique and compelling meta description, you give your reader the best impression possible of your content. Not to mention it takes practically no effort on your front.
Optimize Your Site Speed
For better or worse, the advent of the internet has spoiled us all. If a website takes more than a few seconds to load, we leave the site and look for another one that loads faster. Take a look at your website and see how long it takes to load. Do you find yourself getting impatient? If so, your visitors will do the same–which could seriously harm website conversion.
You’ve taken painstaking efforts to get your reader to your site. Don’t lose them at this crucial moment. Research by Google found that about 53% of people browsing on their smartphones will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load.
If you’re unsure how to check, use tools like Pingdom for more insights. Oftentimes, they’ll also give you information on the page elements that are slowing it down so you can optimize them as well.
If you’ve optimized for the other aspects above, reducing site speed will increase the chances of visitors staying on your site and making a purchase. If it comes down to it, you can always contact your website developer or web hosting platform. After all, none of your efforts to optimize will matter if you never succeed in website conversion.
Optimizing Your Website for the Highest Conversion Rates
Unlike paid ads, organic search results are a profitable way to increase site traffic without having to pay for it. On top of that, it pays dividends over time. By following SEO and organic CTR best practices, you only have to optimize a page once and traffic will continue to come in. Compare that to how much time you spend checking on your paid campaigns and optimizing them regularly.
So where do you go from here?
Start with a content audit to discover where your current content ranks in search results. Use this information to improve your highest-ranking pages for more organic traffic. Methodically go through each of the most popular pages on your site, and watch as your organic traffic increases. While optimizing your website with conversion rates in mind might be intimidating, you can go at your own pace.