Click Through Rate or CTR is the relationship between Clicks and Impressions. That is, out of the number of times your search result or ad is shown to a user, how often is it actually clicked and not ignored? This metric is one of the key benchmarks for your online marketing toolset so understanding this is critical to online success. To get you started, here are a few basic concepts to keep handy.
A High Click Through Rate is the Goal! Everybody talks about ranking high in Google and it is a big focus for a lot of websites. What they are really after, whether they realize it or not, is a high Click Through Rate.
Every time someone performs a search and your webpage is displayed it counts as impression. Obviously you would want to maximize the number of clicks you get for every time your result is displayed. Top spots in search tend to get clicked more often.
Lower CTR’s generally indicate you are stretching the meaning or bidding on the wrong keywords. For this reason, it’s not unusual for keywords with broader meanings to lead to lower CTR’s. A low CTR might indicate vague copywriting or a weak association to the keyword. Getting more specific is always the best solution.
Don’t Compete – Differentiate! One of the biggest errors I see committed by SEO’s and website owners is to focus so much on getting their most competitive keywords into their titles and descriptions that they forget that actual people are the ones doing the searching. Boring copy will almost certainly lead to lower CTR’s. Lower CTR’s can hurt rankings both Paid and Organically.
Which sheep sticks out to you the most?
Look at how your result can stand out from your competition by being different, while still including only the most relevant keywords.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! The highest CTR’s often come from having all elements in place and not just focusing on “if only I can write the perfectly optimized title.” Build the authority of the webpage by becoming the expert on your topic. Network and build links. Offer interesting and compelling headlines.
Don’t try to rank for more than one main idea or concept per page. The more diluted your copy or message, the more diluted your CTR. If it’s so important just make a new webpage devoted to that particular concept.
Example: If someone is searching for “blue widgets” both Google, and the Person, want to find the best page on “blue widgets – hand crafted by blue gnomes” and not “red widgets, blue widgets, green widgets, purple widgets – widget depot.” The first title is not only focused solely on “blue widgets,” (therefore increasing the likelihood of higher rankings) but also suggests imagery like this….
While the second, not only appears to be less relevant and lower quality (leading to lower rankings) but may suggest imagery like this…
...not so appealing is it?
I hope these tips help you craft more compelling copy and increase your CTR! Remember that CTR is not everything and it is just a measurement of a larger overall picture. Anything we missed? Let us know in comments below!