You have just written and published new content related to your brand, whether in a blog post, a video, an online manual, a new page on your website, etc. The next logical step is to spread this new content and share it on social networks, in your next email marketing campaign, all to reach the highest possible audience level.
Besides, you should consider the ranking in search results that can reach the content you just created, so the SEO strategy that you have designed for that content also comes into play since your goal is to reach the top positions in the search engines.
But once you have considered all of the above we must think about whether the content we have worked will be of interest to our target audience and that is where the CTR rate or Click Through Rate comes in, a rate that is going to allow to analyze if the user clicks on our links to access the content we have published, that is, if he considers it attractive enough to click and delve into what we want to make known.
What is CTR?
As we have already advanced the CTR is the Click Through Rate that measures the number of times users click on a link versus the number of times users have seen that link on your website, in your emails, in publications in social networks, etc. This last parameter, that is, the total number of times the link has been viewed, is called impressions.
For example, let’s imagine that your link has had 1,000 impressions and 50 users have clicked on that link; your click-through rate will be 5% since it is obtained by dividing the number of clicks by the total number of impressions.
A high Click Through Rate is a clear indicator that your audience finds the content useful and relevant since you’ve managed to engage your audience with high added value content. Another aspect that will undoubtedly mark that rate is the positioning of your content in the search engines since the higher your position in a search engine, the higher the percentage of click-through you will get.
Does CTR have a direct impact on SEO?
When you share links in your profiles on social media that lead to your official website or your corporate blog, are you directing traffic to these channels, but does that increase in traffic really have a positive effect on the SEO of your website and your blog?
The answer is complicated, but we can conclude that, from a social media point of view, sharing content on these channels is indicating to the search engines that the content of the website or blog is reliable and also shows which keywords are the ones that you should index in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), that is, you are giving credibility to that content and are somehow sorting it to show it in a specific position in the search results.
There are several studies that examine CTRs in search results. Using information from Google Search Console, these analyzes determine that when the first position in the ranking has reached the click-through ratio is 56% and when it descends to less visible positions even within the first page of results that rate becomes 0%
But this does not mean that Google, or any other search engine, improves the ranking of your content just because it has a high CTR.
Consider now another example, and it is the one that allows us to analyze CTRs that come from an external reference site. A company publishes an article that positions a certain number of keywords very well, links to its content from other reference websites. As a consequence, the level of visits to its website increases significantly.
But does that increase in traffic has a direct impact on the positioning of the keywords of the article in the search engines? Unfortunately, we do not have enough data to give an accurate and reliable answer to that question.
How to improve CTR?
Regardless of whether the increase in traffic influences how search engines position your content on the results pages, there are countless reasons to boost your CTR through your means and resources.
On the one hand, specialized content that reaches an appropriate audience can provide potential customers and consequently, sales opportunities.
On the other hand, getting more clicks on your content when it is shared on social media and networks will help you increase the organic reach, which will help make that content more likely to be seen and, as a consequence, there will be many more eyes posts on your brand.
Here are a series of tips to increase CTR in an organic way:
1.- Conduct a keyword research – keyword research
Focus on creating content that will attract qualified traffic to your website or blog, and do so through previous keyword research.
This keyword research is important for two reasons:
- It will allow you to concentrate your efforts on appropriate content for the purposes of your website or blog.
- It will help you improve your ranking in the queries that are made in organic searches.
For example, if you want to position in the search engine rankings a topic related to healthy eating, you will have to elaborate the content thinking about how you are going to improve your visibility in the various search engines to reach a relevance that gives you clicks and visits.
To do this, you must keep in mind that there are three different ways of channelling those contents, one in the top or upper level, another in the middle level and one in the low level. An effective way to identify each of these levels of channelling would be through the following example:
- Top Level: What benefits does a healthy diet have?
- Medium Level: The Best Healthy Diets
- Low Level: Asparagus Cream Recipe
Many tools help to develop proper research of keywords or keywords. Two of the ones we use the most in MarketinLife are SEMRush and Moz. Once you have identified the queries you want to answer, you should prepare your content using the most relevant words.
2.- Optimize titles and meta descriptions
Let’s start with the meta description that is the small text that appears in the snippet that shows the search results just below the link and the title of the entry.
Usually, many content publishers leave this field empty, and it is the search engines themselves that interpret the content based on the keywords highlighted in that content. If we are in charge of writing the meta description, we will be better targeting the search engines and will help them index the content by our objectives and preferences, and we will not let the robots do a job that they cannot always find what we want to offer to our target audience.
Another element that you must take into account is the critical factor in the ranking is that of the title. To prepare a good title, you must take into account the following aspects:
- Length. Make sure that the title is not too long to appear cut in search engine page rankings.
- Keywords (keywords). If you have the opportunity, add the keywords at the beginning of the title as they will have a greater impact on the search rankings.
- Brand. If you have or represent a relevant brand you should consider introducing your brand in the title as it can attract more audiences and thus be better positioned in front of your competitors.
3.- Introducing visual elements that attract user attention
It is shown that when you share content on social networks if they are accompanied by attractive visual elements, they achieve a higher CTR compared to those shared contents that do not contribute any visual element or it does not get too hooked.
Remember that we live in a society saturated with visual impacts for users, and only those who achieve to be truly attractive are those who will reach the mind of the consumer or target audience.
4.- Use links that contain the brand
They are what is called branded links and have the brand as the main element of that link. From a marketing point of view, they are compelling tools for the target audience and have been shown to attract 34% more clicks than an impersonal link.
Many services that generate short URLs such as Bit.ly offer you the possibility to create links with your brand instead of the standard ones they already provide. These are some examples:
- The well-known ESPN chain uses es.pn
- New You Times uses nyti.ms
- Nike uses swoo.sh
In the case of ESPN a standard link with Bit.ly would be bit.ly/DSZOh68 while if the platform generates the same link with its brand, it would be es.pn/SummerSeason
5.- Execute A / B test
Remember that the A / B test allows you to launch two different versions of the same content to determine which one works best.
The first thing you have to do is test the headlines of your content. This will help you determine the message that will have the most significant impact on your audience.
To be able to carry out a good A / B test, you must launch both contents at the same time and on the same day of the week.
6.- Know your audience
To be able to connect with your audience, the first thing you should do is to know and understand it to a level that allows you to determine which are the messages and contents that can best meet your needs and expectations. Therefore you should ask yourself questions such as what interests do they have, how can I help them achieve their needs?
If the content you make is not attractive to your audience, then there will be no clicks, and your CTR will be insignificant.
One way to know the needs of your target audience is to ask directly. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram have survey tools that can help you get to know your concerns better.
Another way to reach your audience is to analyze what your competition does on social networks, what it publishes and what results at the level of interaction have the contents that are making it reach its followers. It is not about copying the ideas of your competition but to analyze to what extent your brand can create a unique, original and high added value content that makes a particular difference concerning your competition and puts you in a much more relevant plane to Your target audience.
In short, we cannot indicate with certainty what impact the CTR has on SEO and what algorithms come into play to a better position since they are continually evolving.
What we do know is that improving the CTR provides multiple benefits to our brand, so we must focus our efforts on achieving a good click-through ratio and thus obtain an enormous scope of the message we want to transmit to the market.