It depends. Are you measuring and optimizing your page's click-through rate (CTR)?
Your CTR measures the percentage of people who clicked on your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) result over all the others. The higher your CTR, the more traffic you get to your website, and the higher the chances of converting that traffic into customers.
From the quality of your title tags to your page speed, multiple factors could affect your CTR in the SERPs.
In this article, I'll show you how to easily spot opportunities to improve your CTR – starting with your CTR curve.
Let's dive in!
Before you can start optimizing your pages for clicks, you should evaluate your CTR curve.
A CTR curve shows how well your pages perform in Google. It gives you:
- The average click-through rate for every position on the first page of Google (from spots 1 to 10)
- Insights into your SEO efforts, helping you pinpoint underperforming keywords
- An idea of how many extra organic visitors you'll get once you reach higher spots
- An overview of your SEO return on investment (ROI) or whether your efforts are paying off
While you may have seen that a good "average" CTR stands above 2%, hold your horses. It’s hard to determine if CTR is good or not unless we look at the position.
For example, 2% is bad if you’re ranking in spot #1 for a keyword. However, it’s pretty good for a keyword ranking #8.
So instead of relying on global averages, use your website's average CTR for each position as a baseline for high and low CTRs, and optimize from there.
Here's an example of SiteGuru's CTR curve:
When we rank in the #1 spot, 18% of searchers will click on our listing. As we drop lower in the SERPs, we get fewer clicks.
A CTR curve can vary depending on the following:
- The number of paid results on the SERP. If a specific query shows multiple paid ads before the organic results, expect that to negatively affect your CTR.
- Whether you're ranking for a featured snippet. Featured snippets can answer a searcher's question at a glance. As a result, they often won't need to click through in order to learn more, resulting in a zero-click search. This can also result in lower CTRs.
- The "clickability" of your link. How do your title tags and meta descriptions look? How about your URL? The "storefront" you set up in the SERPs will make all the difference in getting (or not getting) that click.
Once you have your CTR curve, you can start asking questions. More specifically, you can start looking for the outliers, AKA the pages that rank for top spots but get fewer clicks than expected.???????
I could leave you to do some old-school math. But with the help of tools like SiteGuru, you won't have to.
The word "calculate" is more like a fancy term because, again, you won't have to calculate anything.
The Click-through rates report from SiteGuru helps you find pages that rank well but get relatively few clicks (AKA the outliers).
If you're already a user, navigate to Insights ? Click-through rates. Immediately, you'll land on a page like this. First, you'll see your CTR curve:
Right below it, you'll see a performance report that shows the expected vs. actual CTRs for each of your pages:
If you're not a SiteGuru user, you could simply use our CTR Curve Calculator. Just connect to your Google Search Console account, and we’ll calculate your CTR curve in seconds. No sign-up is required, and it's 100% free to use.
Found any outliers? Here's how to improve them!
Which of your pages currently have the lowest CTRs when compared to the expected average? Those are the low-hanging fruit or the ones with the most opportunities for optimization.
You can get both your CTR and your average ranking from Google Search Console.
If you're in SiteGuru, the moment you land on your dashboard (Insights ? Dashboard), you'll see the amount of Google clicks for a selected period, whether they've increased or decreased, and their variation over time.
If your clicks have decreased, it may be time to find possible improvements. I'll list some of them below.
P.S. SiteGuru also has a low-hanging fruit report for keywords and content in Insights ? Low-hanging fruit, so you easily spot pages that could go a longer way with just a little optimization!
Page titles, or meta titles, aren't a direct ranking factor. But when well-crafted, they can boost your CTR, get you more visibility, traffic, and overall better rankings.
When we think about titles, we often visualize the blue, clickable link on the SERP. However, we tend to forget that visitors will also see them in their browser tabs and on social media when they get shared.
This leads us to the good old question:
Why would a user be interested in clicking your title instead of the other 9?
Your title should give them an enticing sample of what the page is about. People want to know where a closed door will lead them to and what's in it for them.
Analyze the current titles for that keyword. How can you stand out? In the example below, Search Engine Journal gets ahead by giving searchers a massive numbered list compared to the competing results:
Best practices for your page titles include:
- Make your title between 50 and 70 characters
- Make each of your titles unique. Don't copy and paste them!
- Front-load relevant keywords whenever you can
- Apply title case to make your title stand out
- Match your title tag to your H1 tag, as Google can use it to contextualize your page. While they don't necessarily have to be the same, they should be similar.
You can use SiteGuru to analyze all of the title tags on your website. No need to go over each page individually.
Just navigate to Content ? Page titles, and your report will tell you if your titles are either too long or whether they've been duplicated (aren’t unique).
You can also click on “SERP” to view how the result looks on desktop and mobile.
Then, use “AI Suggest” to come up with title tag ideas from scratch or revamp the ones you've already written!
Meta descriptions are a brief description of your page. They should be to-the-point, eye-catching, and include relevant keywords in the mix.
Here's an example from one of our listings. In 162 characters, we've told searchers what SiteGuru does, who it's for, and how long it takes to see the first results.
Best practices for your meta descriptions include:
- Make it between 120 to 170 characters
- Always make sure you have added meta descriptions to your most important pages
- Include your main keyword, along with relevant keywords or phrases
- Don't duplicate them – write unique, compelling meta descriptions for each of your pages
Do all of your pages have their meta descriptions in place? Do they all have an acceptable length? SiteGuru will let you know.
Again, no need to audit each page. Once you go to Content ? Meta descriptions, you'll get a complete report, which includes the same features as the title tags report.
A descriptive URL tells users exactly where they'll land if they click on them. An example of a descriptive URL is:
Just by looking at it, you know that you'll land on our SEO Academy, where I share some of the best SEO newsletters out there.
People would much rather click on that over a URL filled with unintelligible numbers and symbols. Not only do they improve user readability, but they also bring context to search engines like Google.
With that in mind, always optimize your pages' slug (the descriptive text in a URL), as we did in the example URL above.
Structured Data (also known as schema markup) is a set of data types that help search engines better understand the information on your page. Once they read the schema markup on your page, they serve "rich results.”
There are many types of Structured Data. They include data such as star ratings, pricing information, availability, and graphical elements (such as images and videos).
These elements add more context to the page that's about to be clicked, reducing friction and increasing visibility. It's no wonder companies like Rotten Tomatoes saw a 25% higher CTR after optimizing pages with Structured Data.
Here's an example of Structured Data, which includes a star rating for this SiteGuru review:
In SiteGuru, you can see how many pages have Structured Data, which types of structured data it has, as well as how many pages are missing it. Just navigate to Technical ? Structured Data, and you'll see a report like this:
If you're in WordPress, SEO plugins like Yoast can easily add Structured Data for you. Once it's added, you can manage any issues with your data either in SiteGuru or in Google Search Console.
If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?
If someone clicks on your SERP result but doesn't see your website, have they actually clicked?
The click only happens if the potential visitor lands on your website. If your page doesn't load fast enough, they may bounce before they get to see your page.
And there you go – a handful of improvements you can make right now to improve your CTRs!
But, if you're like me and want to consider the whole picture, hang around for a sec.
You may have a pretty high CTR. But what happens after the click? Do people stay, or do they bounce?
If your CTR is high but so are your bounce rates, it may be time to audit your content so it can better resonate with your readers. You can start by running an on-page SEO check.
All in all, you should definitely focus on ranking higher on the SERPs. But what's the point if your search results don't get clicks?