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SEO 21 min read July 5, 2021

10 Tips For Increasing Click-Through Rate On Your Organic Search Results

types of visual content that boost your traffic
Natalia Kurinnaya
Content Marketing Manager at Inflow
If you want to get customers to your website, you can't just rely on Google to deem your content valuable and serve it up to readers in the search engine page results. On its face, your web content will look almost identical to other results, especially if you're an eCommerce brand selling popular products.
So, in a space where every search result is clamoring for a reader's attention, how do you get someone to click on your content instead of others'?

By using tested, optimized, and persuasive meta data.

Meta data is a searcher's sneak peek into your website. You'll need to use it wisely to capture potential customers and readers, but it's not always easy to figure out what works for your particular audience.

As an eCommerce digital marketing agency, boosting organic performance — including click-through rates in the search engine results page — is our specialty. In this blog, we'll share with you 10 strategies to get your customers' attention and start increasing your site conversion rates today.

Before you get started, take stock

Before you set your meta data tests loose on the world, you'll need to do a few things to ensure accurate results that can be extrapolated to your whole site.

Here's what we recommend:

Step 1: confirm your SEO strategy is working

Running optimization tests on your meta titles and descriptions won't do you much good if your SEO strategy is lackluster. Before your pages can show up first on the search engine results page (SERPs), your on-page content needs to be high-quality and optimized according to modern SEO copywriting standards.

This includes factors like:

  • proper keyword usage
  • informational, long-form content that answers a reader's questions
  • related external and internal links
  • and more.

Whether you're new to search engine optimization or just need a refresher, use an SEO copywriting guide to confirm your pages meet digital marketing standards. Remember: don't get too caught up in the small details of SEO. You're not writing for Google; you're writing for human beings.

Make sure that your site meets technical SEO standards, too. Use Google's Page Speed Insights to check your website for user experience and page speed, which are critical ranking factors for SEO and keeping customers and readers on your website.

Only after all these aspects are optimized (and working!) should you start testing meta data for organic click-through rate (CTR).

Step 2: settle on your strategy

Changing meta titles and descriptions without rhyme or reason will get you nowhere. To create long-lasting success and noticeable boosts to your click-through rates, you need to first develop a comprehensive strategy for your site.

This way, you'll have a smarter approach to implementing meta data changes, monitoring the effects, and repeating favorable results.
Figure out where to start
When figuring out which meta data to optimize first, we recommend one of two methods: by page performance and by keywords.

For the first option, start by sorting your highest-performing pages. Identify which pages have a relatively high impression rate and a low average CTR using Google Search Console. Create a priority list from those pages. (You could also take the same approach with your lowest-performing pages, if you want to test for more dramatic improvements.)

If you want to focus more on revenue and conversions than page sessions, you can organize your approach based on the keywords that are most valuable to your brand and industry. Make a list of web pages that target those keywords; those will be the first you'll want to optimize.

Similarly, you could look at long-tail keywords that, while not extremely profitable to your business, may have a better chance of higher CTR increases. These could be informational blog posts and other non-conversion-focused content.

Note: if you sort your priorities by keywords, make sure to fix any keyword cannibalization that may be spreading out your clicks and impacting your CTR.
Define your testing approach
While the strategies we list below are a good place to start, not all of them may work for your organic content. Every industry and website is unique; you'll need to implement a testing strategy to determine which strategies work best for you.

As self-proclaimed data junkies, we recommend testing click-through rate tips and theories on small subsets of your website before rolling them out across every page. That way, you can identify exactly which optimizations will work and prevent wasting your time (and watching your organic position tank) after an ill-informed optimization attempt.

There are a few ways you can run your tests:
Use the original method. For years, SEOs have been running optimization tests by implementing changes, watching organic CTR performance, and concluding results from what they see. If you've got a lot of time (and no money to invest in paid tools), this might be the route for you.
Use an SEO testing tool. An SEO testing tool or application can speed up the testing process and get you better results. Because SEO is so complex, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what changes cause a change in performance, so explore your options and find the tool that works best for you.
Use paid search ad copy. SEO testing often takes a few weeks or months for results. If you want a quicker and more efficient method, bring in your paid search experts. Look at the metrics from existing Google Ads campaigns; what PPC copy is driving the most clicks? You can experiment with the strategies below by running new copy in your paid search campaigns, or you can use it to confirm the theories you already have about your vertical and customer behavior.
To check the SEO performance of your site, you can use Serpstat Site Audit tool. Using this module, you can track such features as:

  • meta titles and descriptions
  • titles and headings
  • page speed
  • server parameters and certificates
  • redirects and links
  • multimedia
  • and more.
site audit

Step 3: always keep SEO in mind

To get a customer to click on your organic result over another, your copy will need to be heavily optimized toward action and conversion — in the copy, organization, and more.

While these strategies are important, they shouldn't come at the expense of solid SEO and keyword targeting tactics. You'll need SEO to rank in the SERPs in the first place; if you focus too much on conversion tactics, your organic ranking positions may suffer. You'll need a balanced approach to both SEO and conversion to see the CTR results you want.

Moral of the story: don't get so carried away with creative copywriting that you accidentally remove keywords and other important SEO strategies from your meta data.
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10 ways to boost Click-Through Rate on organic SERPs

Now, to what you're really here for: our recommended strategies for boosting click-through rates on your organic search results.

We've broken them into two parts:

  1. Strategies that tend to work well for every industry
  2. Strategies we especially recommend for eCommerce companies

This blog will assume you understand the basics of meta data and search results — but, if you need a refresher, check out this guide to analyzing SERP snippets.

General strategies for boosting CTR

Add as many keyword variations into the meta description as possible
Remember when we said SEO has to play a role in your meta data strategy? You'll already have your keyword research done for your on-page content, but don't forget to add keywords into your meta description, too.

While a meta description doesn't carry a lot of weight as a ranking factor, it does help searchers identify what they're looking for. Google will bold keywords in a meta description, which will help catch a reader's attention. So, the more keyword variations you can include (in a natural way), the more bolded words there will be — and the more likely a searcher will click on your link.
10 Tips For Increasing Click-Through Rate On Your Organic Search Results 16261788464554
You can collect the semantic core using the Keyword Analysis module. The tool will help you find:

  • synonyms;
  • similar keywords;
  • search suggestions;
  • top pages by keyword;
  • competitors by keyword.
keyword collection
Use power and emotional words
Bolded keywords may initially get a searcher's attention, but it will be your copy that keeps that attention — and eventually motivates them to click.

Draw in your readers with words that reflect urgency and importance. Phrases like "Get it now," "Act fast," and "Only on our website" will intrigue a searcher and introduce a fear of missing out on your content.

You can also incorporate a call-to-action into your meta description or title, especially if you can offer something to your reader, like a free download.
10 Tips For Increasing Click-Through Rate On Your Organic Search Results 16261788464555
Incorporate the calendar date
People are often looking for the most up-to-date content when searching Google. Use your meta data to indicate that your content is the newest in a few ways:
Add the calendar year into roundup posts. Searchers will often be drawn to search results with the year in the meta title. What's more exciting: "The Best Wireless Headphones" or "The Best Wireless Headphones of 2021"? If you have existing roundup blog posts or category pages, make sure they're still accurate — and then add the calendar year to the title to make it stand out.
Add auto-generated (or updated) publication dates. We're seeing more websites add auto-generated publication dates into their meta descriptions. This gives the impression the content was published the same day a reader searches Google. We anticipate Google catching onto this trend sooner rather than later, but the tactic appears to be working, based on how these links tend to climb in the SERPs.
10 Tips For Increasing Click-Through Rate On Your Organic Search Results 16261788464555
Adding a new date to your meta description should only be step one in your optimization strategy. You need to keep your on-page content updated, too, to prevent users from bouncing away from your site when your content isn't as fresh as your meta data promised.
Be creative with your meta titles
When you target certain keywords in content, odds are that most of the other pages in the SERPs will be fairly similar to yours. You'll need to use your meta title to stand out from the crowd.

Don't just settle for boring text. Consider using unusual characters like [brackets], percentage signs (%), and numbers. Some sites are even experimenting with emojis in their meta titles; depending on how well it plays with your brand and content, you might do the same.
10 Tips For Increasing Click-Through Rate On Your Organic Search Results 16261788464555
Whatever characters you choose to use, make sure your titles are succinct and clear. Avoid click-bait titles (they often lead to a high bounce rate), and don't keyword stuff your titles. Both Google and readers can tell if you do, and it looks spammy in the SERPs.
Optimize your content for featured snippets
While the visibility of Google's featured snippets can be volatile, there's no denying that they work in getting a searcher's attention. In fact, when content ranks for SERP features like "People Also Ask" and "How to," clicks have proven to increase by as much as 114%.

We recommend trying to target these featured snippets (where it makes sense to do so). Start by looking at which featured snippets are currently being shown for the search phrase your content is targeting. See if you can easily edit your on-page content to fit one of those featured snippets.

You can't simply change your meta title for this; you'll likely need to do some reorganizing of your on-page content to improve your chances of grabbing these featured spots. (Use this visual guide to get started.)

Only optimize for these snippets if it makes sense. Don't try to force a featured snippet for the sake of your click-through rate; the best content will win out every time.
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eCommerce-specific strategies for boosting CTR

Look at what your competitors are doing
The best way to save time and be more efficient with your CTR optimizations? Emulate what your competitors are doing in the SERPs.

Remember, every industry is different, and customers have different purchase cycles depending on what they are buying. When you look at the SERPs for your targeted keywords and products, you'll see what motivates those customers — because the most successful results will be at the top of the first page.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What kind of content is most commonly found?
  • What kind of content is ranking highest?
  • What conversion tactics are your competitors using to grab readers' attention?

Once you identify what's working for your competitors, consider implementing the same strategies into your testing and optimization.
Use "Top" and "Best" in your meta titles
Customers always want to make sure they're choosing the best option for their budget and needs. Buying cycles vary wildly, but most will research products before settling on one. Help them through the process with product guides — and make sure they're attractively titled. If you've got "best" or "top" in your meta title, you can bet your CTR will increase.
10 Tips For Increasing Click-Through Rate On Your Organic Search Results 16261788464556
This approach even works where you'd least expect it. As an experiment, we've applied this tactic to our client's category pages (in response to what others in the industry were doing). Even though our "Top 10 Best" meta title led to a category page with more than 10 products, this small change has increased click-through rate and conversions for that page.

Like the date strategy mentioned above, we advise that you monitor performance if you implement this meta data optimization. While it's working for competitors now, Google may eventually recognize the contradictions between meta data and on-page content. If your organic traffic and clicks start to drop, it might be time to reevaluate this strategy.
Incorporate store promotions
Every customer loves a good sale. If you run frequent promotions or discounts on your site, consider adding those details into your meta description. You can also add long-term selling propositions, like "free shipping" or "free samples."

Take Amazon Prime. Prime is known for its free shipping, so Amazon's SEOs made sure to highlight that (as well as other discounts) in all the meta data for Prime-related content:
10 Tips For Increasing Click-Through Rate On Your Organic Search Results 16261788464556
Before you add promotions and sales to your meta data, remember that SEO is a long game. It may take a while for your optimized meta descriptions to start ranking high enough for searcher attention. Make sure that any promotions or sales you highlight in your meta descriptions remain accurate for a long period of time.
Use as much product detail as possible
When someone is looking to buy a product online, they want to know everything they can before purchase. Use the space in your meta data to not only describe your product as attractively as possible (remember the action words mentioned above!) but to also preemptively answer their biggest questions. This is especially pertinent for product pages when searchers are looking for particular colors, styles, and sizes of products.
10 Tips For Increasing Click-Through Rate On Your Organic Search Results 16261788464556
Giving your customer product information up front (as much as your character limit will allow) will motivate them to click on your link over others and push them closer toward a final purchase.
Add social proof
Reviews and social proof are at an all-time high for motivating purchases. In fact, 84% of consumers have made a purchase based on an influencer's recommendation, and customers are interacting 50% more with reviews than they were pre-pandemic.

User-generated content is a requirement for your product, category, and blog pages — but it can also be creatively incorporated into your meta data. Consider using phrases like:

  • "Recommended by Experts"
  • "# Reviews of [Product Name]"
  • "Industry-recommended"

You can also add customer quotes and reviews in your meta descriptions, as long as your SEO strategy doesn't suffer for doing so.

Improving CTR takes time — so start your strategy now

You can have the best on-page optimized website content in the world — but if your meta data fails to catch a person's attention in search engine results, no one will ever get to your webpage to read it.

Optimizing your meta data for a higher click-through rate should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. But, like with most aspects of SEO, doing it right will take some serious research and testing, not to mention the time required to roll it out and see changes.

Before jumping in headfirst, we recommend starting slow. Pick a few pages to start optimizing and see how effective the strategies mentioned above are. Remember: Every industry is different, so it may take some time to find out what works for your business — but, when you do, it will be well worth the effort.

If you're still struggling to see results from your CTR or larger SEO strategy, reach out to a team of professional SEO marketers for a personalized approach and the best chance of success.

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