Click-through rate (CTR) is one of the main metrics for measuring how well your website is performing on search. Available through Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, CTR shows the percentage of people who click or tap on your website after it shows on the search engine results page (SERP).

Search engines may interpret a high click-through rate as a signal that your website is relevant for specific search queries. This could have an impact on how often they present your website to searchers.

There is quite a lot of debate in the SEO community about how much click-through rates impact search engine rankings, with some feeling it has more of a bearing than others. 

How can you improve organic search CTR?

Meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are the short strings of text that show up below the page titles on SERPs. When weighing up whether to click on a link, many people rely on meta descriptions to provide additional information about what they can expect a web page to be about. Any strings of text that match a searcher’s query will be made bold and highlighted on Google’s SERPs. Meta descriptions that are relevant, descriptive, and include keywords that people search for can have a positive impact on click-through rates. 

Optimise page titles

Your page titles are the clickable blue links that prominently sit above the meta descriptions on SERPs. It’s worth giving your page titles a lot of thought as they help searchers understand what your page is about and can heavily influence how many people visit your website from search engines. 

Use short and direct URLs

URLs for web pages should help describe what the pages are about. Short, clear, and direct URLs can help to build trust and highlight relevance. Try to avoid using very long strings of words or including numbers and characters that don’t have any meaning.

Sitelinks sit below the main links on SERPs and let searchers go straight to the part of a website that is most useful for them. This can build credibility and encourage people to explore more of your website. 

Unlike paid search ads, websites don’t have much control over whether sitelinks are displayed on an organic SERP. However, it’s possible to encourage organic sitelinks by having a logical website structure, displaying good trust signals, and having high relevance to a searcher’s query. They can often show up when people perform brand searches, providing that Google has a lot of trust that they will be displaying the right result.