If you want to keep up with Google’s new algorithms and updates, strengthen your SEO and get a better position than your competitors, you should pay special attention to the CTR or click-through rate of users in Google results. In previous articles, we mentioned the Rank Brain algorithm and its effect on SEO, which is the essential tool for Google to influence the CTR on the ranking results. In the article “An Ultimate Guide to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)” we introduce CTR. In this article on the smart strategy blog, we first try to dive deep into CTR and then teach you techniques to increase your click-through rate.
What is CTR?
Before defining it more precisely, we need to know what CTR stands for. This phrase is a combination of three words Click Through Rate. When users search on Google, they see different results. Viewing the results list, they decide which one to click on. The Click-through rate is the percentage of users who click on your site link in search results.
The CTR value is different for each keyword and each page. So, for example, your CTR maybe 10% for an SEO training phrase but 18% for a professional SEO training phrase, and both would lead to one page of the site.
Click-through rate information can be found in the Google Search Console tool. The Performance section provides detailed information about your site, display statistics per word, number of clicks, and CTR.
What is Impression?
Impression means your presence in search results. Each time a user searches for a phrase on Google, an impression is recorded for all the effects on the page. Even if you are in special boxes such as map view or image display, an impression will be considered for you.
Your impression will not be recorded if you are at the bottom of the second page of Google results, but the user does not refer to this page. However, if the user enters the second page, even if he does not scroll to the bottom of the page to see your result, you will be impressed.
One of our most essential SEO concerns is determining the exact amount of search volume. Various tools such as keyword planner and kwfinder are used to do this, but none can announce the same number. When we reach the first page of Google in a target phrase, with each user search, it is displayed in the results, and as a result, the Impression statistics of our site will be precisely equal to the number of searches of that word.
For this reason, reaching the first page of Google, in addition to helping us attract more audience, also provides access to valuable resources such as the number of word searches and the variety of search terms.
Average CTR based on Google rankings
Each rank in Google results has a certain percentage of user clicks. Therefore, the highest CTR is usually related to the first position on Google ranking, close to 32% on desktops and 24% on mobiles. Note that this is a global average for all terms and sites. As a result, you may be ranked first in Google, but your CTR is more than 80% or even less than 20%.
The chart below shows desktop versions’ average CTR number for ranking Google results in November 2021.
In recent years, Google has introduced various tools such as Google Maps, news display, rich snippets, etc. However, each takes up space on the SERP. In addition, Google ads should be added to this list because it affects the ranking position and click-through rate.
Statistics show that Google’s rank value has fallen by 37% in just two years. That is, if two years ago you were ranked 1st, you would attract almost 50% of users, but today this number has decreased to nearly 32%. In contrast, of course, Google search statistics have grown significantly, and the number of searches has increased much more than two years ago.
How to increase your click-through rate and CTR
When a user sees your site link in search results, they take a short time to decide if the site fits their needs and decide whether to click on it or not. Therefore, you have seen the image below to create several suitable spaces that positively affect the audience’s mind in this short time.
Page title in search results
The title of each page of your site is determined by the title tag in the page header.
The average space available for a title in search results is 70 characters, which allows you to use catchy phrases. Some words are famous in the web space and represent a specific concept to the user. Typically, more users click on the page title when they see these phrases.
Attractive phrases vary depending on your business type and the search’s target audience. To achieve the most beautiful words, we suggest that you first design different titles and use them at weekly intervals. Then, examining the click-through rate of users in these intervals shows you which words were most attractive to users.
Optimizing the display of meta descriptions in search results
The meta description is displayed just below the title and gives you a larger space with a smaller font. The average number of characters shown in the description section is 168 characters. Still, depending on the search term and the page’s content, Google may display shorter or even longer text to users.
When writing a meta description, try to give them a detailed description of the page’s content and encourage them to read the full text using attractive sentences. For example, if you write “with special gift” or “with instructional video” in your product description, your chances of being selected by the user will increase.
Using standard markup or Schema
You have probably seen sites searching Google results that show additional information to the user along with the title and description.
The most famous example of standard notation is the scoring system, in which the faces of yellow stars are displayed in search results. This tool will help get the user’s attention and improve your CTR. But, of course, markup is not limited to the display of stars, and different models can be used depending on the type of content.
Does increasing CTR affect SEO?
Yes, increasing your click-through rate will affect your Google results ranking. Of course, there are different points of view among SEO experts about this effect, but all those who work in this field believe that increasing the CTR rate is one of our most important tasks to improve SEO. Google will improve your work using the Rank Brain algorithm when your click-through rate is higher than your position.
Increase site CTR using robots
One of the first things that come to the mind of SEO experts is to create unrealistic clicks for the site. If the click rate can affect Google rankings, we can design robots that search for the phrase we want with different IPs and click on our site. This raises our CTR dramatically.
Fortunately (or perhaps, unfortunately), this technique will not only not improve your position but may also cause you to lose your current position. Google has sophisticated and robust algorithms for detecting robots from the user, allowing them to see this behavior quickly. Information such as geolocation, Google account history, previous searches, etc., are not definable to a robot.
This article from Smart Strategy introduced CTR, how it works, how to use it optimally, and how it affects SEO. If you have any questions on this topic, you can contact us or request a free proposal from our SEO services.