Visitors are the lifeblood of a website. Its why site owners spend a fortune on PPC ads and invest heavily in social media campaigns. The holy grail for websites, however, is organic traffic, that which comes free from search engines. Getting that organic traffic depends on two key things: first, ranking high enough to be seen and, secondly, getting the user to click through to your site. To highlight the importance of ranking and clickthrough rates, here are eight eye-opening facts you might want to consider.
1. Top spot gets over 30% of clicks
When it comes to Google, the world’s most popular search engine, the site which ranks number one in the results gets, on average, a whopping 31.7 percent of all the clickthroughs. That means, if there are 1,000 daily searches for that term, that website will get 317 visitors. Things aren’t too bad for places two and three, either, with the top three results, between them, getting a combined average of 75 percent of all the clickthroughs.
The bad news for all the other sites is that once the lions’ share has been taken away, they are left with only 25 percent of clickthroughs between them – and the share diminishes the further down the results they go.
2. Disparity of clicks on first page
While getting on the first page might seem like an achievement, the number 10 position is far less lucrative in terms of clickthroughs than the page hitting the top spot. Indeed, it will only receive 10 percent of the traffic that the number one site gets. In this case, 1,000 daily searches will only bring in 31 visitors: a trawl that may need backing up with PPC advertising.
3. Rising one place brings big benefits – most of the time
The higher your page ranks in search engine results, the more visitors you’ll get. On average, each step up will increase clickthroughs by around a third, however, this isn’t evenly distributed. While jumping from 6th to 5th will boost your CTR by 53 percent, going from 9th to 8th will only bring you a 5 percent increase.
The duff position on Google’s top page is number 9. Moving from 10th to 9th position will actually see your clickthroughs drop by almost 4 percent.
4. A question is the answer to higher rankings
With searchers often asking questions in their queries, websites that provide the answer are always going to perform better in search results. In addition, pages that include the question in their title get a bigger slice of the visitors – on average, 14 percent more than those which don’t have the question. This may influence how you decide to title your pages.
5. Middling title lengths do better
Google doesn’t stipulate a maximum number of characters in webpage titles and what gets displayed is dependent on the device on which it is viewed. In general, most SEO websites tell you to keep it to a maximum of 60 characters if you want the bulk of your titles displayed in full. The result is that many website owners try to fill up the 60 characters by adding keywords if they have additional room.
Research shows, however, that short to medium length titles perform best for clickthroughs, with those between 15 and 40 characters getting almost 9 percent more visitors than those with longer or shorter titles. It may be worth re-examining your titles and making the overly long ones a little more succinct.
6. URL keywords boost traffic
With all the important information in the title and the snippet, it’s likely that the user will only cast a glancing eye over the URL. That said, URLs that contain keywords included in the search query perform 45 percent better than those which don’t when it comes to clickthroughs rates (CTR). This is probably because having a keyword in the URL helps the page rank better.
7. Title wording affects clicks
The language you use in your titles can have an impact on your CTR. If you want to improve clickthroughs, try adding emotive language. Those with both positive and negative feelings gained a 7 percent increase in traffic. However, those that seek to draw users’ attention through the use of power terms (e.g. 8 Ways to Instantly improve SEO or Amazing new website tool) achieved 14 percent fewer clickthroughs.
8. Meta descriptions give click boost
The two advantages of writing a meta description are that search engines use the keywords you place within it to help determine if your page should rank and that, if it does rank, the snippet often displays the information from the meta description.
Careful writing of the meta description so that it appeals to your readers and includes keywords can help it rank better and lead to a 5.8 percent improvement in CTR.
The more organic traffic your website receives from search engines, the less reliant you will need to be on expensive PPC advertising. While ranking highly is important for page visibility, increasing your traffic is entirely dependent on getting users to click on your links. Hopefully, the facts mentioned here will help you improve your CTR.