You’ve been optimizing your site for a while now and most of your pages rank well for keywords that are important to you – great job! But what do you do now? How do you take your SEO strategy to the next level?
Everyone thinks about click throughs when it comes to SEM, but one of the most overlooked aspects of any search engine optimization strategy is working to increase the click through rate of your organic listings. Your site can be number one for every keyword in the world, but if no one is clicking your listing and coming to your site, does it make any difference? So how can you increase your click through rate in your organic rankings?
Structured Markup (a.k.a. Schema.org Coding)
On a high-level structured markup is a common language that is being adopted by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and a few other search engines. The language provides a very structured way to provide the search engines with even more information about your page. You can find out exactly what types of coding you can add to a site by going to schema.org.
What makes structured markups so important are how it shows in the Google search results. Google is relying on structured markup to add rich snippets to their search results. So when you add schema.org coding to a product reviews, you can have the overall review score show in the search results – just like it did when we searched for apple pie recipes.
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While schema.org still hasn’t been widely adopted, it has been around for quite some time now. A few years ago, as it was starting to get noticed, Search Engine Land reported that it was possible to increase your CTR as much as 30% just by incorporating structure markup.
Improved Meta Descriptions
When Google came out and said meta tags aren’t all that important anymore many people tossed them to the wayside. But meta descriptions are an easy way to get people to your site.
In many cases, your meta description is what will show in Google’s search results. Just as you would with any paid search ad, you want to be constantly tweaking this description to make sure it is compelling and makes people want to click on your listing, and not your competitors’ listing. So what are some good guidelines to follow?
First and foremost, keep it below 160 characters. Google only displays so many characters in their listings and you don’t want your call to action cut off because it’s too long. Make sure you include some important keywords as well. As we all know, when keywords from the users search match in your description they appear in bold. Make your listing stand out by including relevant keywords. Beyond those two things, you should be constantly tweaking it to make it work for you.
More and more emphasis is being placed on authorship. Similar to structured markup, working with Google Authorship will show additional data in your search results. When a blog you wrote appears in the results your picture can show up alongside. This is the same point I made with structured markup, the more information you provide in the search listing, the higher the clicks.