How To Optimise Click Through Rate

What is click through rate?

Click through rate (CTR) is given as a percentage of the total number of clicks you receive for a keyword compared to the total number of impressions that keyword receives and your website has been returned in the results.

Why is it important?

There’s a strong suspicion that click through rate is a ranking signal, in fact, there has been some not-so scientific research that proves it. That’s not the whole story, however. Any website that’s not on page 1 is likely to have a non-existing CTR, so focussing on it too early on your campaign is a waste of time.

It’s also suspected that Google is using another metric along with CTR to order the results on page 1 and that’s “dwell time”. This measures how long a visitor to your website stays before going back to the SERPs, if at all.


High CTR + High Dwell Time = Better Rankings


When and how to optimise it?

Improving your click through rate is all about making your search result stand out more than your competitors. It’s quite a science to do it well and deserves a dedicated guide of its own, however, we’ll go through some top tips here.

Before we talk about implementation, let’s go back to some sales and marketing basics. When someone performs a search they are researching a solution to a problem. That problem could be one of many things, it could be:

  • How do I do something
  • Reviews for a product or service
  • Looking to buy a product
  • Looking for a business to provide a service

That’s just a few examples, but there are many more. Try to think about why the searcher is performing that search, about the problem they have. We call this searcher intent. Then consider what information you can give them about your web page, product or service that will highlight to them why they should click on you over the other results. It could be related to:

  • Price
  • Service
  • Reviews
  • Your credibility

Think about “what’s in it for them”. Essentially these are your Unique Selling Points (USPs).

You can then craft your Page Title and Meta Description to show you understand their problem and how your service, product or web page will solve it and take away the “pain”.

Using structured data on your web page can also help with your CTR by bringing out additional information into your search result. This can include:

  • Price
  • Product availability
  • Reviews & ratings
  • Time-based offers
  • Images & videos

How to improve dwell time?

I mentioned dwell time earlier and how it’s suspected that this is used as a ranking signal by Google to determine the quality of your web page. It stands to reason that if visitors don’t stay for long it’s likely because the content on your web page didn’t answer the problem they had or meet the searchers intent.

We’ve already considered what this intent could be, it’s important that you think about this intent when it comes to the content of your web page. What will meet their needs, get them to stick around longer and ultimately perform the action we want?

  • Well laid out content and website design
  • In-depth, unique and informative content
  • Supporting information in the form of further guides, videos and infographics
  • Images
  • Related products

Again there is much more one could include ensuring you meet that searcher intent. It just requires forethought and planning.

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