Ranking for search engines is a great accomplishment, but increasing the click-through to your pages in search results is a different story. As marketers, it is easy to get distracted with all the marketing channels that demand your attention. This may lead you to overlook the simple tweaks and practices that can maximize organic traffic from search engines.
Modify the Title Tag
The title tag is the clickable phrase that gets listed in search results. Naturally, it is one of the main factors that can influence your target audience to click through to your page. Optimizing this alone can improve your CTR by more than 20%.
For this, you need to learn the best practices for crafting a compelling title tag. First of all, the ideal length of title tags is anywhere between 49-57 characters. This will make sure your page title shows correctly in Google’s search results.
Some companies get creative with “clickbait” phrases such as “what we found was shocking” and “that big companies do not want you to know.” These may get results. However, you should avoid writing title tags that are enticing but are also irrelevant to the content you are offering. This may lead to a high bounce rate and consequently, hurt your search engine rankings.
The key is to create a search-optimized title that’s highly intriguing at the same time. Pay attention to your word choices and focus on highlighting the advantages as well as the impact to the query. Lastly, don’t settle for a single headline and aim to split test two or more. After all, you can never really know if a head term is perfect for the job until it is proven to be.
Write a Meta Description
Aside from the title tag, the meta description is another content element that’s directly visible from SERPs. Meta descriptions have one job, and that is to let your target audience know what your post is about. It may not influence Google’s ranking algorithms, but writing an excellent description can give you more clicks even if you are not in the number one spot.
A meta description is 160 characters long. That is not a lot, but it should be more than enough to give users a concise and clear summary of the page. If you are using WordPress, you can easily include meta descriptions using a plugin like All in One SEO Pack and Yoast SEO.
A well-known strategy to writing a great meta description is to ask a question that your audience can relate to. Make sure it inspires urgency and emotions by focusing on their journey as well as the solution you are offering. Lastly, wrap up with a CTA that reassures your target audience. Let them know that they’ll find what they need by clicking to your site. You can learn more from this post on meta descriptions from The Sales Lion.
Structured Data Markup
Another way to invite more readers to your content is to utilize structured data markups or “rich snippets”. These can elaborate the content of a page further with the use of additional elements such as a list, star ratings, and categories. For example, a smoothie website can use structured data to present a recipe’s ratings and image on search results. Not only can this increase the CTR to your page by up to 50%, but it will also bring traffic that’s highly interested in what you have to offer.
Before you can incorporate structured data for your SEO, you must first understand the different markup formats and the best ways to use them. Remember that there are a variety of ways to use rich snippets of content in search engines to expose your brand. You can promote your latest articles at the “In the News” section, include a product specifications list, show your company on Google maps, and more.
As this requires a bit of technical work, be sure to utilize Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool before implementing structured data markups.
Modify the URL Structure
Yes – even your site URL has an impact on SEO. More specifically, it is the structure of URLs as well as domain names that can affect SEO.
When structuring URLs, remember that you should be straightforward and meaningful. By default, posts may have URLs with numbers, special characters, and dates. You need to modify this to make sense – add some keywords if you will. Remember that it should be readable to humans since you want to cater to people, not just web crawlers.
Additional factors such as breadcrumb navigation snippets can change the way your page is presented in SERPs. This gives the impression that there’s a lot more to discover on your site. In turn, this will help improve your authority as well as offer more navigation options to your target audience.
Max Your Rank
Last but not least, you need to prioritize increasing your SERP rankings if you want to maximize click-throughs. Keep in mind that there is a huge difference in traffic between the first three indexed sites and the rest of the results page. In fact, 60% of search traffic goes directly to the top three. So if you want to actually reap the full benefits of SEO, then you should aim for nothing less than the top spot.
If you’ve managed to chip away and reach the first page, then you are on the right track. The next step is to assess what the top three all have in common that you are lacking. Fortunately, you can take advantage of a competitor analysis tools. These should cover all aspects of their SEO such as target keywords, top-performing content, social media strategies, and so on.
SEO is indeed one of the most daunting challenges in digital marketing. It is also one of the biggest drivers of online traffic and revenue. This is why you need to implement strategies that will help you make the most out of your hard work. From here on out, learn to embrace challenges and pursue continuous growth.