Your SEO efforts are paying off in the form of higher search engine rankings, but for some reason, you’re still not getting the traffic you believe you should – what gives? The answer lies in a subtle aspect of SEO known as “organic CTR (click-through rate) optimization,” which is basically the practice of tweaking certain on-page factors in order to get more click-throughs from search engine users.
When done right, organic CTR optimization encourages a higher number of users to click through to your website. In fact, using organic CTR optimization is entirely possible for a website that ranks lower in the search engine results to receive more clicks than the sites above it! If you’re tired of leaving money (and potential leads) on the table, try these five tips to help you boost your organic CTR.
1. Create Attention-Grabbing Title Tags
The title tag for your web page is the text that appears above the address bar in your browser, and more often than not, is the text that shows up as the blue clickable link in search engine results. You’ve probably seen un-optimized title tags in search results before, such as a page entitled “Home” or something similarly generic. This is one of the most powerful tools you can use to attract the attention of searchers, so here’s how to optimize your title tags:
- Include your target keyword(s) somewhere in the text, preferably near the beginning.
- Analyze the most popular keywords and ideas associated with the particular query that you’re trying to target, and use them in your title tags. Simply plug your target keyword into Google Trends, and then take note of what appears in the “Related Topics” and “Related Queries” sections.
- Make the text in your title tag less than 65 total characters long.
2. Fill Out Meta Descriptions
The meta description can be found in the “<meta>” section of the HTML code in your web page (between the opening and closing “<head>” tags), and is typically the text that appears right beneath the URL of your web page in the search results.
As the name implies, the meta description is designed to describe what the web page is all about. If this area is blank, Google randomly pulls text from various sections of your web page, which may or may not accurately represent the bulk of the content on that page. This can have a negative effect on organic CTR rates, so you don’t want to leave this vitally important element up to chance.
Fill out your meta description with attention-grabbing text that accurately explains what visitors can expect to see on that web page, and include calls-to-action where possible to improve organic CTR rates.
3. Don’t Forget Image Tags!
Google’s search engine spiders are unable to serve up images for specific search queries without the help of the information found in image tags. That’s what the “alt” text (found inside of the “<img>” tag in your site’s HTML) is all about: It provides alternative text just in case the picture cannot be displayed, for the purpose of describing the image.
You should always fill out the “alt” element in your image tags with descriptive, keyword-targeted text, so Google has a way to properly index and categorize the images on your site.
4. Avoid Ugly URLs
URLs should be concise, easy to read and relevant to the user’s search query so that your web page will seem more inviting to searchers.
5. Optimize Your Landing Pages
Even if you boost your organic CTR by leaps and bounds, you still need to convert those clicks, and this is where landing page optimization becomes vitally important. Your landing pages need to load fast (an often overlooked but hugely important detail), be highly relevant to the user’s search query and include clear calls-to-action if you want to see interested visitors turn into paid customers.