If you want to keep up with Google’s new algorithms and updates, strengthen your SEO and get a better position than competitors, you should pay special attention to the CTR or user clickthrough rate in Google results.
Google’s most important tool for making an impact is click-through rate. In this article, we first try to know what CTR is 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 of Click Through Rate.
When a user searches in the Google search engine, he sees different results. By looking at the list of results, it decides which one to click on. Click-through rate is the percentage of users who click on your site link in search results.
The number of user clicks on your site divided by the number of impressions of your page is called CTR.
The CTR value is different for each keyword and each page. For example, your CTR may be 10% for a SEO training phrase, but 18% for a professional SEO training phrase, and both phrases would lead to one page of the site.
Click-through 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 finally CTR.
Also, an average CTR is calculated for each page of your site, which is the average CTR of all the words by which your page is displayed in search results.
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 results on the page. Even if you are in special boxes such as map view or image display, an impression will be considered for you.
If you are at the bottom of the second page of Google results but the user does not refer to this page, Impression will not be recorded for you, but 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 important SEO concerns is determining the exact amount of word search. Various tools such as keyword planner and kwfinder are used to do this, but none of them are able to announce an exact 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 exactly 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
On average, each rank in Google results has a certain percentage of user clicks. The highest CTR is usually related to a Google ranking, which is currently close to 32% on desktops and 24% on mobiles. Note that this is a global average number for all phrases and sites. As a result, you may be Google’s 1st rank, but your CTR is more than 80% or even less than 20%.
The chart below shows the average CTR for ranking Google results in November 2017 in both mobile and desktop versions. As you can see in the chart, Google’s 1st rank totally attracts as many as 2 to 5 visitors, and this shows the importance of getting a Google rank.
In the last two years, Google has introduced various tools such as Google Maps, News View, rich snippets, and … , each of this takes up space on the search results page. In addition, Google ads should be added to this list because it practically affects the ranking position and clickthrough rate.
Statistics show that in just two years, the value of Google’s 1st rank has decreased by 37%. This means that 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 is much higher than two years ago.
How to increase your clickthrough 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. In order to create a positive effect on the mind of the audience in this short time, you have several suitable spaces.
Page title in search results
The title of each page of your site is determined by the title tag in the header of the page. On average, the space available for the title in the search results is 70 characters, which allows you to use attractive phrases in it. There are some words that are popular in the web space and represent a specific concept to the user. Typically, a higher percentage of users click on the page title when they see these phrases. For example, the following statements can be mentioned.
Attractive phrases vary depending on your business and the target audience of the search. To achieve the most attractive phrases, we suggest that first of all, you should design different titles and use them at weekly intervals. 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 but with a smaller font. The average number of characters displayed in the description section is 168 characters, but depending on the search term and the content of the page, Google may display shorter or even longer text to users.
When writing a meta description, try to give it a detailed description of the content of the page and encourage them to read the full text of the page 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 marking or Schema
You have probably seen sites that show additional information to the user along with the title and description when searching Google results.
The most famous example of standard bookmarking is the scoring system, which shows yellow stars in search results. Using this tool will help you get the user’s attention and improve your CTR. Of course, bookmarks are not limited to the display of stars, and depending on the type of content, different models can be used.
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. When your click-through rate is higher than your position, Google will improve your position using the RankBrain algorithm.
For example, suppose you are ranked 3rd in Google, which attracts an average of 9% of users. But your link, due to the attractiveness of its title and description, encourages nearly 15% of the audience to click. This number is close to the percentage of clicks of Google’s 2nd rankings. If the second rank does not have the necessary attractiveness for users, after a while, Google will replace these two links.
Even if your position does not improve, you can get more visitors with the same rank. Imagine that 1000 people search for your phrase every day and 10% of them choose you. Now if your clickthrough rate or CTR increases to 20%, your visitors will practically get doubled.
Increasing the number of visitors and improving the ranking in Google results, makes increasing the CTR of the site one of the most important SEO techniques.
Increase site CTR using robots
One of the first things that comes to the mind of SEO experts is to create unrealistic clicks for the site. If click-through rate can really affect Google rankings, we can design robots with different IPs to search for the phrase we want and click on our site. This raises our CTR sharply.
Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) this technique will not only have no effect on improving your position, but may cause you to lose your current position and be penalized by Google. Google has sophisticated and powerful algorithms for detecting robots from the user that allow them to easily detect this behavior. Information such as geolocation, Google account history, previous searches, etc. that are not definable for a bot.
In addition, we have always emphasized in SEO training articles that deceptive techniques or black hat SEO may have a positive effect on your work process in the short term, but in the long term, they will cause serious damage to your SEO site.
You might think that this behavior can be simulated using real manpower and Google accounts. Yes, if real users do this, it can affect your ranking, but where do you get this number of users?
Some valuable words may be searched thousands of times a day, and gathering this number of manpower to influence the results does not seem logical. It is better to spend this time and energy on producing high quality content and optimizing your site.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does CTR stands for?
CTR stands for Click Through Rate, which means the percentage of clicks on your page relative to the number of views in search results. The best alternative to this phrase in Persian is the user click rate.
What factors affect the increasement in CTR?
When we are on the search results page and in the view of users, we will have a short opportunity to attract their attention and persuade them to click. How we display at this time will depend on the page description and, of course, the use of Rich Snippets by standard markup.
Does increasing CTR affect our ranking in results?
Both yes and no! Increasing the CTR rate will directly affect our site traffic statistics and will attract more users to our site.
An increase in this number to Google shows that our page is attractive to users and the main goal of Google is to satisfy users. As a result, over time, our value and credibility for Google algorithms will be determined and we will have a better chance of gaining a place.
Is using a robot effective in increasing the click-through rate?
Certainly not. Google algorithms will analyze user behavior based on the information they collect. Robots do not have important information such as IP, geolocation, age, gender and search history on the Internet, so it is not difficult for Google to identify them.
Note that if this technique was effective, robot makers would never have offered their services at very low prices!