Click Through Rate - Mark ScheetsOver the past year or so, I have noticed a trend with the sites that I work on, and a common theme with these sites is that they all rank fairly well (first page) organically, but have a very low click through rate.

I have been doing a great deal of reading lately about how to improve organic click through rates and have learned that in order to improve organic click through rate, you need to write more user engaging titles and descriptions.

I decided to test a single page of one of the sites I have been working on lately and here are some of the steps I took and the results I found.

What is Click Through Rate and Why is it Important For SEO?

For those that are unaware of what click through rate is, it is simply the percentage of users who visit a web page.  More often than not, the first question after what it click through rate is usually “how do I calculate my organic click through rate?”

To calculate organic click through rate, you need to calculate clicks divided by the number of impressions (clicks/impressions=CTR%).  So for example, the click through rate of a page that had 1000 search impressions and 50 clicks would be 5%.

Click through rate is an important metric with paid search traffic due to costs, and not as often thought about with SEO.  More often than not, many SEO campaigns are about increasing site traffic. While I am not saying this is wrong, but click through rate plays a huge factor in this and is often overlooked.

When it comes to search engine optimization, improving organic click through rates is very important no matter what type of site you’re running. The more users you can get to your site, the more successful your campaign will be. That’s the goal right?

Using Google Search Console to Find Organic Click Through Rate

My first step I took in determining what page’s click through rate needed to be improved was by looking in Google Search Console.  While not 100% accurate, Google Search Console give you an idea of how well various pages of your site are performing, what keywords are getting impressions and clicks, and how they rank (again, not 100% accurate). To find this data within google search console, you would go to “Search Traffic” and select “Search Analytics”.

Google Search Console - Mark Scheets

When evaluating the performance of various keywords and pages, I like to look at a good date range (at least 60 days, usually 90 to make it easier), as this give a good idea of how things are performing over a length of time.

Next, I filtered by pages and sorted by highest amount of impressions. I like to do this so I can see which pages get the most search volume, and I usually sort this to show the click thorugh rate percentage, amount of clicks, and position

After looking into this data, I figured out what page I wanted to test. This particular page gets enough traffic so that I can get an idea of its organic click through rate, and I decided to measure based on the highest searched query so that I can use that as a constant.

Writing More User Engaging Titles & Descriptions

My first order of business was to improve the title and description.  I noticed that the title that was used on the page and its description were in place to help the page rank in multiple bigger towns and cities in the area, and in my opinion, is not enticing enough for a searcher to click on.

Since this site’s focus is strictly local seo for a service industry, I changed the title to reflect that by putting the keyword of the service we are going after followed by the state that the company is located in as a geo modifier, as well as a more enticing statement that the searcher can relate to.

In my research of looking up ways to improve organic click through rates, most industry experts suggest using a title that plays with a user’s emotions.  In my case, I used something that most searchers care about heavily about, saving money.

When it came to the description, I used the same messaging as I did in the title and wrote something more descriptive with a relatable call to action.

By doing this, I was able to increase click through rates  over 200%.  Here is a screen grab of the data in Google Search Console showing the change. Like I stated before, I tracked one individual search query, and overall, organic click through rate has gone up page wide compared to when I started testing this a few months ago.

Click Through Rate Test - Mark Scheets

Looking to improve your Organic click through rate? Be sure to check out the article Larry Kim wrote on Search Engine Land, Infographic: 11 Amazing Hacks That Will Boost Your Organic Click-Through Rates