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3 Tips to improve Click-Through Rates on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)

07April2016

Did you know you can drive more traffic to your website by optimizing a few on page webpage elements? In this article we will explain what a SERP is, and how to improve click-through rates.

What is a SERP?

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When you use Google to search for a word or phrase this is known as a search query. The page returned to you by the search engine is called the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The Search Engine Result Page displays both organic and paid search results.

Organic results are gathered by the search engine's algorithm. Read our blog article if you want to know more about how websites get listed on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) Paid results are obtained by using Google AdWords. These are paid adverts, or sponsored links bought by websites to appear in the SERP.

SERP Results

Below is an image of a Search Engine Results Page. It displays a list of results for a search query.

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Each result is known as a search snippet. Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the rate at which your search snippet is attracting clicks.

A basic search snippet contains a minimum of 3 elements. If you are using a modern CMS, such as Wordpress, Joomla! or Drupal, all of these elements are under your control.

The 3 major search engines GoogleYahoo!, and Bing use content from your webpage to build the search snippet.

Snippet

  • Title - a direct copy of your webpage's Page Title. Always write a unique and compelling title. The headline or title needs to make an instantaneous impression on prospective readers. Writing a compelling title will convince users to click on your search snippet over competitors. It is estimated that 80% of users click on compelling headlines. Always ensure your headlines are natural, appealing, and relevant. Google also gives the content of the title a high value, so having targetted keywords in the Page Title can help your webpage climb in SERPs
  • URL – Always include natural and relevant keywords in the URL. Targeted keywords help. Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Description – This text can be extracted from your webpage's Meta Description*. Unique, well written descriptions are essential. Meta Descriptions help users understand what your webpage is about before they click on it in a SERP. Well written Meta Descriptions influence whether or not users click on your search snippet. Ensure your Meta Description is concise, natural, and relevant to increase CTR.

*Note that while Google generally prefers to take the snippet's description from the Meta Description on your webpage, it can also use other content from your webpage, website or publically available references from elsewhere on your website as part of the snippet.

Improve your website

Optimizing these 3 elements will help entice web users to click on your search snippet before your competitors' snippets. Achieving this is known as improving click-though rate.

If you need assistance compiling a list of targeted keywords, optimizing your URLs, or writing attractive descriptions, contact us!

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