Improving CTR in SERPs

OK so you’ve got a client that has hit a bit of a wall in terms of rankings and SEO traffic, what can you look at doing to help them continue to see a return on investment. Improve their CTR (click through rate). This is the biggest get out of jail free card that an SEO has in his pocket, especially on an inherited campaign. You can start to see results from click through rate optimisation very quickly, here are a few things that you should be implementing across the board on all your campaigns (where possible we all know that sometimes getting things changed on site is a nightmare).

1. Rich Snippets – If you haven’t already educated yourselves on schema.org then get doing it NOW! Look at rating tags for reviews when you’re working with affiliates or ecommerce and look at making sure images are implemented across the board for any client. I could stay here all day on rich snippets, but I won’t there is enough information on schema.org about what you can do. Here’s a link to Google’s post on the topic for more info.

2. G+ – Get your rel author sorted, the pic next to articles helps CTR (when in doubt a bigger and more visually dynamic snippet will get a better click through rate). You can also

3. Split test snippets – Tom Anthony’s SERP Turkey will help you with this. This is one of my favourite free tools out there as it serves to fill a very distinct gap in the market. I’ll include some good tips for descriptions below.

a. Numbers in the text make good visual anchors; don’t be spammy with this, use where appropriate.
b. Descriptions should contain the following: Command – (a doing word telling the reader what to do, ie. Play, Buy or Read). Product – (what it is you’re providing). Reason – (are you the cheapest, oldest, favourite) odds are you aren’t but say it anyway.
c. Titles should have a call to action where possible – don’t spam them with KWs this will NOT help SEO and generally you will get a lower CTR.

Example: Play the brilliant 20 line X (random slot machine) at Britain’s favourite casino Y (cite brand). And win massive jackpots of up to Z (random number).

4. Make sure they display properly – When people get this wrong it really annoys me. There are a few things to check:

a. Meta Description (155 character length)
b. Meta Title (65 character length)
c. All characters display properly
d. The lengths are MAXIMUMS NOT targets!!!

5. Clean URLs – I know this is more of a pain to fix and a lot of SEOs don’t have the dev skills to fix this on a client’s site, but get this sorted, your URLs should be clean, user friendly and well structured. This is good SEO as well as good CTRO.

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