Recently we looked at why raising your CTRs is so important: more clicks = more traffic = higher rankings on search engine pages = the more clicks you will get, and round and round it goes. So how do we get those organic listing clicks to raise our rankings?

Before we can look at how you can improve your rankings, you need to see where your rankings currently stand.

How to See Your Current Site Rankings

Log into your Google Search Console account and click on ‘Search Traffic’. From there, select ‘Search Analytics’ and then ‘CTR’ and ‘Position.’

Google Search Analytics

The thing is, you don’t have to be #1 to get the clicks you need to move up in ranking (to get more clicks). Let’s look at what makes for a click-worthy search entry…

What Makes a Search Result Worth Clicking

Posts that are informative, visually appealing and relevant to the searcher come out on top. Take for example the search I did for a taco recipe (who doesn’t love a good taco?).

search listing example

That listing was actually 8th on the page. Why did I pick it? The picture looked super yum, it had high ratings, it was quick to make – but not so quick that I didn’t trust the recipe – and it gave me a snippet of what to expect on clicking the recipe. By the listing, I already knew that this recipe suited me in terms of ingredients and appeal.

So what can you do to get more clicks? In this post we look at 5 simple hacks you can use to get more clicks and get higher ratings.

1. Optimize Your Google Listing Title

What’s in a name? When it comes to SERP listings, everything. Titles are the most important element of your listing, as it not only affects how Google sees your content, but influences whether those potential shoppers are going to click through to your pages. Here’s how to get it just right, for SEO and your shoppers:

Be Relevant

Try to start your titles with the keywords you are targeting, or put them as close to the beginning as possible. The more relevant your title is, the more likely Google is to show you in a query. It is also more likely that people will click your listing as they will see it as relevant to what they are looking for.

Be Short

You only have about 55 characters before your title gets cut off in the search so try to get to the point quickly. It’s a balancing act between being creative while keeping it simple. Use symbols like ‘&’ or ‘/’ to keep your character numbers down.

Be Creative

Use strong calls to action, verbs that encourage those clickers in your titles or by using words that show your store’s unique value. Also remember grammar rules; using all caps may make your page look like spam to a searcher. Instead, Capitalize the First Letters of the Big Words.

Below is an example that uses all three: relevance, creativity and simplicity.

Bonus Tip:

Use platforms such as WebSite Auditor to easily audit your page title character length, spot duplicates and easily check that all your product pages have titles.

2. Optimize for Rich Snippets

Google Rich Snippets take your search listing to the next level – just like those tacos – and include industry-specific data, your descriptions and even ratings. The awesome thing is that they are reserved for mainly products (and recipes, reviews and events), making them great for your product pages. The downside here is that snippets are not guaranteed and are decided by algorithms. The plus side? You can increase your chances of being featured by:

  • Putting effort into the details by creating good, solid descriptions instead of one sentence without any substance.
  • Targeting the terms you rank in the 1-5 position for.
  • Targeting question keyword phrases and terms, and ensuring the answers are in your description.

Google’s Testing Tool allows you to preview what your snippets look like – just copy and paste your page’s source code.

3. Create Content That Answers Questions

We touched on this briefly in the point above. Targeting questions users have, and providing them with the answers, is a great way to get those clicks up. The best way to do this is to create content that answers their questions. You only have to look at Quora’s SEO success or at this blog/online store, Who What Wear, to see how effective this is.

example of good search CTRs

The trick is not to just target questions, but to create content that answers those questions, ensuring that potential shoppers not only click the links, but stay there for longer – showing Google that your content is awesome. This not only leads to higher rankings, but sales too!

click worthy content

4. Optimize Your Google Listing URL

It’s easy to overlook URLs when looking to optimize our Google listings. Sure, they’re not the most important element, but they still contribute to the entire listing appeal. When it comes to similar content or stores, a well-structured URL can make the difference between clicking or not clicking. You can optimize yours by:

Taking Advantage of Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs refers to a secondary navigation system that enables Google to show site hierarchy, enhancing the way online searchers move around your site. This is partially helpful for those sites with large amounts of content, like say an online store where you have a variety of products grouped into logical categories.

Google Breadcrumbs

Why do you need this in terms of clicks? Because it allows you to have clear, short URLs instead of clumsy, long, disorganized URLs, which gives a better impression of your link and the content the user will find there.

URL Creation

When creating pages for deals, sales or products, keep them clear, short and descriptive. The fewer words you have, and the clearer they are, the easier they are to read and the more relevant they are to searchers.

5. Optimize Your Google Listing Meta description

Your description is one of the most important things you can use to get more clicks. First your title and URL grabs their attention, and then the description drives them home. So how do you optimize?

Don’t Be Afraid to be Creative

Do your meta descriptions tell potential shoppers how your site answers their questions, fills their needs or how clicking will benefit them? If not, you could be missing out on a lot of those rank-driving clicks. Update your description to include deals and sales, add pain points to your site address like shipping option or use creative copy to get people interested. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and test it: this little tweak can make a world of difference to your Google CTR numbers.

Keep Descriptions Short

You have up to 155 characters to say what you need to say before those depictions get cut off in search listing. This means you have 155 characters to explain your page content or product and put your call to action.

Whatever you decide to tweak , remember testing is key. Test descriptions, landing pages and titles to see what gives you the highest CTRs for your listings. Have something to add? Comment below.