Improve Your Google Click-Through Rate With These Four Tips

If you run a website, you want people to easily find it with a Google search. Not only that, but you want to ensure that your Google click-through rate (the rate at which users searching online click on your website) is high, to optimize the number of potential shoppers viewing your site pages.

To begin, keep the following points in mind:

  1. The “secret sauce” is indeed secret. Google is every bit as secretive about the precise formula for its search engine algorithm as Coca-Cola is with its drink recipes. A search-engine algorithm is the mathematical formula that dissects, ranks, and displays every website and webpage on the internet.
  2. The secret sauce changes regularly. Google regularly updates and tweaks its algorithm to make it better and to maintain its secrecy.

Google doesn’t want competing search engines to know its algorithm. The multinational technology company is unique in that it wants content creators to focus on writing high-quality, relevant content, which is displayed before low-quality content in search results. In turn, Google has a particularly trusting and loyal fan base.

Accomplishing the above objectives is no small feat. With an understanding of a few tools to aid your approach, you can boost your search results and click-through rates even if you’re a tech novice working on a budget.

Four ways to increase your Google click-through rate

There are entire websites, online courses, and books dedicated to Google click-through rates. If you want to dive deeper and become exceptionally good at boosting your Google search engine rankings and click-through rates, two of the best resources on the market are Rand Fishkin’s blog and Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

There are also tips and tricks meant to help websites and blogs rise to the top of Google’s search results, which result in higher click-through rates.

1. Platforms and themes

Unless you’re a web designer or developer, there’s no reason for you to build or design your own website from scratch. Use platforms like WordPress.com and select a pre-designed theme that matches your specific industry or needs.

Google’s search engine loves WordPress websites — and all WordPress.com sites are WordPress sites — for reasons you can read about on Emagine.

2. Create high-quality, relevant content

Whether you’re a blogger, a small local business, or a national ecommerce company, content is key. Aim to be regarded as an expert on the topics that you write about and the products or services that you offer.

Fill your website pages and posts with interesting, informative, unique, and helpful content. Doing this regularly will position you to improve your search engine rankings and click-through rates.

3. Use direct and indirect ranking factors

Direct ranking factors are factors that Google’s algorithm looks for. These include: link backs (other websites linking to your site), page load times (the faster your webpage loads relative to your competition, the better), and keyword density (using the primary keyword that you’re writing about within the page, post title, URL, headers, and body copy).

Indirect ranking factors are things that direct traffic to your website, such as Facebook shares, Pinterest pins, retweets, and celebrity endorsements. Even though these aren’t directly factored into Google’s search algorithms, increased traffic can impact your search engine’s direct ranking factors.

For example, John shares a positive experience he had when buying a mousetrap from your company, Mouse-be-gone, on his Facebook page. 60 of John’s friends searched for “Mouse-be-gone mousetraps” on Google. The more often this happens, the more Google’s search engine algorithms associate “mousetraps” with your company, and the higher you will place in the rankings when people search for mousetraps on Google.

Rand Fishkin discusses this point in depth on his blog.

4. Organize your site content to be SEO-friendly and optimized for click-throughs

How does Google know to display a page title, description, user reviews, location, inventory, and other information within its search results? It’s no accident. No matter how great and original your content is, if it’s not structured properly, Google’s bots can’t categorize it for optimal search result displays.

If you know basic HTML, you can code this information into content yourself. However, if coding isn’t your strongest skill, use the following tools for guidance:

  • Yoast SEO Plugin — If you run a blog, a Yoast plugin helps determine a keyword within your content (example: “mousetraps”) and ensures that you include the keyword in your title, headers, body, and metadata (the article description that appears below the title in search results). Yoast has a “Page Analysis” function that generates a list of keyword recommendations to improve your search results before publishing specific content.
  • Schema Plugin — Structured data? Rich snippets? What does this all mean? Basically, search engines developed a universal language that allows them to identify and categorize content on your website. This makes the information that visitors read in search results relevant and informative. Do you have 5-star reviews and 243 visitor comments on your mousetraps? Do you have 250 mousetraps left in stock? Are your mousetraps on sale for $30? A plugin called Schema allows you to mark up your site content so that search engines can identify and display this information, ultimately improving your click-through rate.
  • Google Data Highlighter – Google Data Highlighter is similar to Schema, but with a few key differences. The tool is specific to Google’s search engine, is part of Google’s Webmaster Tools, and requires less technical knowledge to use relative to Schema. Watch an instructional video from Google if you want to see how its Data Highlighter works. Ideally, you can use both Schema and Data Highlighter simultaneously, if your skill set allows for it.

*Note: If you have a WordPress.com website, upgrade to a Business plan to install these plugins.

Hopefully, these four tips answer your questions and help you understand how to improve your site’s search engine rankings and Google click-through rates. Consider this a starting point for your search engine dominance as you continue creating valuable content for your shoppers and fans.

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