Are you suffering from poor Google CTR rates despite making it to the top 5 ranks on Google Search Engine result pages? Here are some unconventional Search Engine Optimization tips that work mainly with Google though some of these techniques would just work with other search engines as well.
The points that I am sharing here are more around making the SERP content more visible whereby the search users will be enticed to click on your Article than someone else’. Hence these are not necessarily SEO tips that will push you up further on Search results – It’s all about maximizing Google CTR from the same ranks.
Maximizing Google Click and how?
Let me drive my thoughts on improving the CTR via some screenshots from Google search results itself.
1. Google author profile
You may have noticed that, with Google Plus taking off reasonably well, Google has started showing the author’s picture (See the screenshot below) alongside the search results. This little image do wonders to your Google CTR as the search users tend to get noticed the content next to images amidst large amount of text.
In the above search result for the search term ‘best iPad apps’, the 4th ranked link that has an author image on it, is more likely to get clicked than the links ranked from 1 to 3. Makes sense?
Please note that author profiles and pictures will be shown only for the content created by Google verified authors. In order to get yourself verified please read this link or even better Amit Agarwal’s blog post on this topic. Your content will definitely get noticed more with an author image up there.
2. Sequencing of words in search phrase
Sequencing of words in the search phrase matters! Why?
People typically search with phrases that has 3 to 7 words off which typically three or four may present in the title (See the screenshot below). Now, if there are three or four continuous words among them in your title, that search result listing gets more attracted. Even better is the case when that highlighted sequence of words itself is a stronger search phrase (‘dog training collars’ in the example here). Compare that with the second listing which case ‘dog training’ and ‘collars’ separated by another word.
The key here is to have a stronger keyphrase or root search phrase sequenced well in your title tag so that your entry gets highlighted for many search variations.
3. Judicious use of Capitalization & Symbols
Let us take a look at another dog training search result. This particular link is ranking well up for many related search phrases but what we are interested here is the capitalization of some catchy words – in this case ‘SMALL DOG?’
Similar to capitalization, the right use of symbols such as a currency symbol or a coupon code etc are going to attract the search engine users into clicking.
4. Geographical information in title & description
Well, this is no brainer. If you are searching from UK you would want to see topics more relevant to that region. Just like Google rolls out ads relevant to your geography, they do a good job with content as well. For example, when I search for ‘detective services’, a couple of results that further qualify and enrich the output with place name (e.g London in the above case), Postal/ZIP code or a 1-800 number to call may definitely get more clicks than other results. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t completely know that it has to provide that information in title or description and hence it is your job to beautify/qualify the title tags.
5. Removing dates from search results
Sometime ago, I had written about how to remove dates from Google search results and that’s what I am talking about again here.
Basically, if your blog or website is NOT frequently updated, you may not want Google to display a published date. If the search results show an article that is several months or years old, who will click it if he or she is searching for more updated information? Of course, if someone has a blog that gets updated several times a day/week OR if you are talking about a news site, the presence of date of in search results might actually help. So decide on the date topic based on your site content.
6. Exclamatory or expressive words
At times, certain words, adjectives and phrases can attract more click than competitor results. Ever wondered how sensational channels and blogs sell? Because most search users – even the most serious ones – get attracted (or distracted?) by certain key words that sounds exciting. And when these words are clubbed with some numbers and statistics, clicks may increase further (e.g. 12 Amazing car stickers, Top 5 Super models of the decade etc.)
Search Engine Optimization doesn’t end with your content getting ranked high up there. It is also about how it attracts clicks and that’s what I was trying to convey here. Let me know your comments on the points mentioned here or further ideas on improving Google Click through rate from search results.