How to Increase Organic CTR

CTR  has a direct impact in SEO ranking.

Google sees CTR as one of their 200+ SEO factors to rank the website in its place.

In this post, I’ve compiled a list of great ideas to help you boost CTR for your organic results (SERP).

The most exciting part is:

All these techniques will take less time than writing a blog post.

After applying all these techniques and ideas, you’ll see a massive boost in your traffic growth. Expect to see a peak in your analytics graph (if you’ve already published posts).

Cool, right?

In order to use all those techniques to increase your clicks, you’ve to know why do people click? After all, people are looking for something when they use the search query in Google. You have to know what your users are looking for. 

… and then, try to give them that.

Where does the CTR play role in it?

Users will quickly skim through the results (SERP) to look for whether the page is about the information that they want. In case, it is …

… they click on it.

3 areas users see before they click:

  • Title 
  • Meta Description 
  • URL

Title, Meta Description & URL

Title is the most important area – and it’s the first thing that a user will see after they search for something. Optimizing title should be among the 1st priorities for any SEO specialist.

In case, the title is precise and to the point, the users will quickly skim the meta description once again. Hence, meta description tends to be as important as the title to generate clicks.

Meta Description help anyone set expectations.

Think of it as a summary for the blog. Does the summary include what I am looking for? If not, why would I bother clicking on that result?

The 3rd thing users see is the URL.

Although, URLs are short and there’s not much to do when optimizing a URL for click.

However, here’s one thing that URLs can do for CTR – let people know what the site is all about.

That’s the reason URL should be short and precise.

No one likes the URLs like:

“https://www.amazon.com/gift-cards/b/?ie=UTF8&node=2238192011&ref=nav_cs_gift_cards”

It’s not clear.

What should I expect this web page to be about? It’s just too vague for a user to understand. In fact, the URL should be like:

“swopnadigital.com/wordpress-seo-tips”

Although there’s nothing I have done to optimize URL for clicks, there’s something that compels the user to click if he’s searching for WordPress SEO tips.

That’s because:

URL is clear and concise.

Now that we know about the title tags, meta description, and URLs, it’s time to learn the techniques to optimize all these entities to enhance your SERP and get more organic clicks. {Note that most of the techniques mentioned are for title tags, however, you may use it for meta description and URLs if you find it relevant}

Here are 8 powerful and easy techniques to help you skyrocket your CTR through the roof:

#1 Use (Odd) Numbers in Your Title
#2 Add Power Words 🤜 To Your Title
#3 Make Your Title Feel Emotional 😍
#4 Add Modifiers To The Heading
#5 Include Call to Action (for Meta Description)
#6 Add (Brackets) and Symbols! to drive attention
#7 Keywords to match search intent
#8 Gain Ideas from Google Adwords

Use (Odd) Numbers in Your Title

Want to know a simple hack to tremendously boost clicks?

Well, add a number.

This simple hack can bring you way more traffic than you expected. After all, number provides clarity to the user. Numbers also let people know subconsciously that you have structured your content properly.

Most importantly, numbers look better.

Generally, odd numbers tend to perform better in getting clicks (with the exception of “10”)

Be it odd numbers or even numbers – try to add one within your title. This makes your title way more appealing to the audience

Don’t write it in words …

Like – “Three”.

Write “3” instead of “three.”

Don’t be trapped into the notion that numbers are just for the list posts. Apart from the list posts, numbers can be injected into any other kinds of posts. Be it research or the ultimate guides.

Here’s an example from Backlinko:

Brian Dean has smartly included numbers from his case study in his title.

Numbers drive more clicks …

… it’s a proven fact.

That’s the reason I try to use numbers in every blog post I write (including this one 😃).

Add Power Words 🤜 To Your Title

What are power words?

These are the words that add power to your headlines. Here’s an example of a power word – “proven”. Let’s say your initial title is like – “5 Techniques to Boost Your Ranking”. After adding the power word – “proven”, your title will be:

5 Proven Techniques to Boost Your Ranking

Immediately, just adding a word, the title is way more compelling than it was. 

Of course, there are handful of the other powerful words that will make a drastic difference, here’s one thing that you need to take care of – don’t add the word if does not make sense.

In other words …

… don’t add power words just for the sake of it.

Only add the words that makes your post relevant and more compelling and trustworthy.

Let me go back to the previous example – 

“5 Techniques To Boost Your Ranking”

Let’s try adding a power word – “breakthrough” to the title:

“5 Breakthrough Techniques To Boost Your Ranking”

Although the title seems slightly better than the previous one, it makes no sense to me. Anyone who has done SEO for while will find it difficult to understand the title – what does the breakthrough techniques mean?

Hence, only use power words when it makes sense.

Nevertheless, adding power words is one of the great ways to quickly increase your website’s CTR.

Here are few of the power words:

  • free
  • guaranteed 
  • immediately 
  • easily 
  • ultimate 
  • enormous

(More power words in the comment section 👇)

Make Your Title Feel Emotional 😍

Human beings are emotional creatures.

We make decisions based on emotion, and justify that with logic. Emotions drive most of the actions in our life – including where we click.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s the proof:

One of the researches from Co-schedule confirms that headlines with emotional words tend to get more shares on social media.

… same with search results.

The more the emotional words, the more clickable it becomes.

The only question is – “How to Make the Headline (Title) Feel Emotional?

One of the easiest ways to do this is to add emotional words to it. There are some words that provoke some emotions in people’s heart. For example – “Love”. 

These kind of words trigger certain emotions.

Co-schedule has a headline analyzer tool which helps you find how much emotional your headline (title) is.

Here’s result from one of my tests:

Any result with more than 50 EMV score is considered good.

However, you have to aim for more than 70 to gain great results in CTR.

One of the beauties of this tool is that it also helps you improve your headlines. You can see in the above image I need to add emotional words to the title. 

Scroll down on the result …

and you’ll see further tips for improvements.

Are you an aspiring blogger? Learn how to start a wordpress blog the right way.

Add Modifiers To The Heading

As the name suggests, modifiers are the modifiers.

They modify your headings.

In course of doing so, it makes it more interesting to read. Here’s what I mean – let’s say your title is “5 Techniques to Boost Your Ranking”. 

One of the modifiers can be – “(in 2018)”

Here’s what it would look like:

5 Techniques to Boost your Ranking (in 2018)

Modifiers can be numbers, power words, common words – anything. It just needs to do add value to the title. Generally, modifiers are added at the end and with the parenthesis, which makes them more attractive.

However, that’s not always the case. 

Sometimes, you may add the modifiers at the beginning as well.

Few modifier ideas:

  • (in 2018) – replace with current year
  • [Bonus Included]
  • [Infographic]
  • (2018 Update)

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Include Call to Action (for Meta Description)

Although you should focus most of your energy in title tags, there’s one more area to consider …

… that’s meta description.

Sometimes, meta description goes without any modification – which will not make it compelling enough to click.

The job of meta description is lure the visitor.

After applying all the on-page SEO techniques (for meta description) like adding keywords, LSI phrases, optimizing length etc., it’s time to optimize your meta description to gain clicks.

One of those ways is to use CTA.

“A Call To Action”

Now, as the name suggests, it’s calling people to take action. 

CTAs are the phrases that will call people to take action – click on the result. CTAs are the verbs that call people to take specific action. CTAs will boost your clicks – and your users will not know it actively.

Some of the Call-To-Actions that work great:

  • click to (learn more)
  • sign up now
  • subscribe today! 
  • request a free quote

Add (Brackets) and Symbols! to drive attention

Driving attention to your result is one of the most important tasks. Half the work is done if you attract people to your result. 

Brackets and symbols drive the attention to your result.

Let’s examine why:

Once again, let’s go to the previous example of the title – 5 Techniques To Boost Your Ranking. After having the knowledge of the modifiers, you added a modifier – “in 2018”.

Without parenthesis, it looks like:

5 Techniques to Boost Your Ranking in 2018

With parenthesis, it looks like:

5 Techniques to Boost Your Ranking (in 2018)

The second one has less chance of going unnoticed. People always want a variety – no one likes the plain headline such as “10 Ways To Make More Money”. And, one of the simplest ways to add variety is to add a parenthesis (or symbol)

One of the researches from Hubspot, where they analyzed more than 3 million headlines, they found that adding brackets to your post can increase your post views by 33%.

Next up, we have symbols!

Use symbols wherever it’s possible (and useful). Sometimes, writing “awesome!” instead of “awesome” makes it way more appealing.

Try to use symbols where you don’t use brackets.

Symbols found to have great impact on CTR:

  • $
  • ?
  • !
  • &

Let me show you how to use all these symbols properly:

$Use  “$” where money (finance) is involved
?Simple – this one if for asking the question
!Add “!” after an emotional word
&Use it instead of “and”

Of course, these are not the only symbols in the world – wherever you see the possibility of adding a symbol – just add one.

Keywords to match search intent

All the results would go in vain if the page is not about what they are looking for.

That’s why keywords are important.

Whenever a user search for something using their search query, they should see at least a part of their search query in the result. Or else, it would not convince them to click on that result.

Here’s where searcher’s intent plays a vital role.

No techniques or strategies will make you successful online if the users do not like the content you produce. It applies to every aspect of online marketing – including CTR.

Knowing about search intent should be the primary task. 

Let me illustrate this way:

A user searches for the keyword – “blender tutorials for beginners”

What’s the user looking for?

  • Is he looking for the history of blender?
  • or, does he want to know 3D animation pipeline?

Although these 2 things closely relate to our search query, the user is currently searching for tutorials for the blender that are targeted towards the beginners. That’s all the user needs for a moment. 

While you’re searching for blender tutorials, which one would you click:

OR,

If you’re like most people, then you’ll click on the first one.

Why?

Simply because this contains the keyword that you’re looking for. The second one clearly states that it’s about the hidden tricks. That may be useful after a while. But, for someone who is starting out in the blender, first one seems to be useful.

Gain Ideas from Google Adwords

When it comes to advertising on Google Adwords, people do a lot of research, make strategies, brainstorm a lot and then spend money on Ads.

Think about it …

… what does an advertiser want?

Let’s keep it simple – “Click”.

Advertisers want their customers to click on the result and they pay for it. However for you, who has nothing to pay for Google and is gaining a lot of ideas from Ads for free.

How cool is that?

Increase CTR - Gain Ideas from Adwords

In the above example, when I searched for the term – “make money blogging”, both the title suggests me to start today.

Now, it’s given me an idea to increase CTR.

CTAs like “get started today” or “start blogging today” would work great for this kind of keywords.

Of course, keywords are always there …

… “make money blogging” in this case.

After adding the keywords, modifiers, power words (and every other tactic mentioned in the post above), I would finally absorb the ideas like these from Adwords and then try to mix things up in title and meta description.

After all, advertisers are paying for clicks.

In Conclusion

All these techniques are just ideas and tactics – these are not the guarantees. There’s no guarantee when it comes to SEO. There’s only 1 guarantee:

“User is God”

If you’re on your way to help your users, Google will ultimately follow. However, apply these techniques and shorten that time.

Now I want to turn it over to you! 👉

Which of the above techniques did you like the most?

Which one technique will you apply to the blog post you’ve already published? Let me and our readers know using the comment section below 👇

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About Rajit Chaulagain

Rajit Chaulagain (Chief Executive Officer @ Swopna Digital) writes about SEO, Website Development, Animation, VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality), and many other exciting fields.

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