5 Ways to Stand Out in SERPs and Increase Organic CTRs

By Nate Dame

422737 / Pixabay

Higher rankings should lead to traffic increases, but what do you do when climbing rankings don’t deliver increased clicks? Ranking on page one for target keywords is a first step, but it remains essentially meaningless if users aren’t clicking on your result.

If you’re struggling with low organic click-through rates (CTRs), your site’s appearance in search results may not be standing out from the competition. It’s possible that they don’t cater to user intent, or they may simply be less exciting than the other results on the page.

One way to improve click-through rates is to optimize how your content displays on search engine results pages (SERPs). By creating search results that stand out on the page you can drive more traffic to your site, and the increased engagement may even earn you higher rankings.

Get Started by Identifying Underperforming Pages

The first step in optimizing search results is to find underperforming pages. This information can be found in Google Search Console by:

  • Expanding “Search Traffic”
  • Clicking on “Search Analytics”
  • Selecting the “Pages” radio button
  • Selecting the checkboxes for “CTR” and “Position”

search analytics ctrs
Focus on pages with average positions between one and 10, and then look at the CTR values for each. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide what CTRs are acceptable. One way to decide is to compare CTRs of different pieces of content that are ranked in the same position.

If five results appear in position one—three with CTRs of 30% and two with CTRs of 15%—the two pages with 15% CTR need to be optimized.

If there aren’t enough pages and data to make this determination by comparison, refer to average CTRs by position:

  • Position 1: ~30% CTR
  • Position 2: ~17% CTR
  • Position 3: ~12% CTR
  • Positions 4-6: ~5-10% CTRs
  • Positions 7-10: ~2-5% CTRs

Compile a list of pages with low CTRs. These are the pages with results that need to be optimized.

1. Craft Compelling SEO Page Titles

Back when Google served results mostly by matching character strings, it was crucial to include exact-match keywords in SEO titles. This led many sites to format titles like this: Search Engine Optimization | How to Optimize Your Site for Search. The titles were clear, but usually very boring and redundant.

Today, 53% of the top 20 search results use keywords in their SEO titles. Google is not dependent as it used to be on matching characters in title tags to serve results. Instead, it uses body text, sub headers, latent semantic indexing, and engagement signals to match results to queries.

And RankBrain is constantly reevaluating and adjusting which ranking factors are more important for which queries. Keywords are more important in some industries, and for some content topics, than others.

There are several best practices to consider when writing titles for search result display:

  • Check with RankBrain – Conduct a depersonalized search for targeted keywords, and study the SERPs to see if keyword matching is important. If the exact keyword appears in many or most of the titles in organic results, then RankBrain might be prioritizing it. If you see Go to the full article.

    Source:: Business 2 Community

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