As online marketers we’re always looking to increase the number of sales to our clients’ websites. Our first thought is often to increase the conversion rate of the current traffic before then looking to increase the traffic levels.
This is the stage where many will do keyword research and build links to specific keywords in a bid to rank higher in Google. That’s all well and good, but those rankings aren’t worth a great deal if the click-through rate (CTR) is low.
One way to increase traffic without building links is to improve your CTR and here are five proven methods to do just that:
- Improve Your Headlines
The first line of text most users will look at after conducting a search is the headline of your page. And good headlines attract users to click on your website.
If you can produce a compelling headline then you stand an excellent chance of improving your CTR. Keyword research is useful – having the keywords that in your headline users are searching to find your page is always helpful.
Testing different headlines will help you determine which is sending the most and relevant tracking. Google Search Console gives you some traffic figures for keywords and their CTRs, whilst you can see conversion data in Google Analytics.
Don’t make your headlines deceiving just to improve click-through rate. After all, you’ll want users that are going to convert once they get to your website. And a higher bounce rate can lower your ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages because Google is always looking to give its users the best results – it won’t consider yours to be the best if the bounce rate is higher than similar results.
If you insist on having your brand name on every page title – put it at the end of your headline.
- Improve Your Meta Descriptions
Two lines of text that may make all the difference in a user choosing to read your website and your competitors either side is the meta description. This part of your page should not be underestimated as it can make all the difference in increase your traffic.
I recommend using as much of these two lines as you can as this will give you more space to sell yourself. An enticing meta description helps to increase your CTR. An additional 1% click-through rate by changing your meta description could make all the difference to your bottom line.
Examples of improving your meta description may be including a sale your website is currently running, some emojis or a phone number to stand out, or provide them with an answer to a question. Testing a few different descriptions on popular pages is always a worthwhile test.
Google continues to put the search text in bold if it matches any of your meta description so keep in mind to include your popular search terms in your meta descriptions where possible.
- Rich Snippets
Now-a-days Rich Snippets can be found among search results all the time. These give you further space to promote your website within Google’s results, as well as standing out from the headlines and descriptions to help attract the user to click on your result.
Rich Snippets can also help increase trust before your user has even clicked on your result – such as showing customer star ratings.
The above search result has used Rich Snippets to include a photo of the product, the users’ average rating, the time it takes to cook the recipe and the number of calories.
Also on the first page is a recipe from Cookpad but they haven’t marked-up any of their content. You’ll see there is no image, any ratings or any of the information below the URL, so personally, I’d be more tempted to click on food.com’s result ahead of cookpad.com.
- URL Optimisation
Make sure your URLs are user-friendly not to deter any potential visitors. The URL stands out in the Google’s search results because it’s the only green text, and is between the headline and meta description.
Google themselves say “A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible”.
URLs with long numbers could put a user off from clicking on your website, whilst separating words with hyphens makes it quicker and easier for one to read.
Google also recommends use of a hyphen between words: “We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.”
- Numbers in the Page Title
Numbered lists are very popular on the internet. These are more common among blog posts rather than static pages, but if it’s possible to include a number at the start of your page title it’s certainly worth trialling to see if these work for you.
List content can be easier to create attention-grabbing headlines which naturally encourages click-throughs. You’re also promising them what they can expect when they land on your page.
A numbered post also helps you demonstrate your expertise in your subject which can help build authority. Receptional have it all figured out with their Brighton SEO conference posts:
Regardless of your brand or what industry you are in, there’s always room to improve your current performance. By increasing your organic click-through rate by just 1% could make all the difference on your traffic levels and bottom line.