It is a tough world for webmasters. First, you must rank on the first page of search engine results. Next, you have to climb as far up as possible on the page. And even then you are not assured of the traffic you are looking for! This happens because people may decide not to click on your link. Fortunately, the behavior is explainable, and correctable. Read on to find out how to get better CTR from your search rankings.
Two major factors come to mind that can get your link clicked: an exact query match, and an interesting description. A combination of the two is, of course, always a winner.
Think of meta descriptions as article headlines or teasers. If someone is searching for 'seven day course to lose weight', and if you have targeted the exact same keyphrase, you are likely to draw attention if you have secured a leading place in the SERP. However, others may have done it too, and the meta descriptions now make or break your CTR.
Consider the following: 'Lose no less than 7 pounds of fat in 7 days by eating these three common foods found in every kitchen. Plus a bonus secret food that turns your breakfast into the ultimate fat melting event of your day, every day!' This is not a lie, and adding yogurt to your breakfast can actually speed up fat burning. However, even though 'We will tell you how to eat properly and what foods will help you get rid of fat. You will also find out about a specific food that can make your breakfast healthier', says much the same thing, it sounds insipid and somewhat preachy. Agreed, these are not the best or worst meta descriptions in the world, but you probably get the idea.
Use rel="author" and Schema Markups for Rich Snippets
If you are not using the rel="author" tag to put your portrait on SERP, you are losing out big time. Not just your face, you could use any image that can promote your brand. In addition, it is possible to add laser focused terminology to the description that is shown below your site title, and display any ratings you may have received in the form of stars.
To understand how to use rel="author", read all about it on Google, or, if you are running a Wordpress blog, use the free Yoast plug in by Joost de Valk. Visit Schema.org to find out about the markups that should have revolutionized the way search listings appear if only more people were paying attention. And since they are not, you can seize the opportunity to stand out. The markups will decipher your content to the search engines who see no practically no difference between a phone number and the figures that describe your annual turnover. With the markups in place, you can target the exact keyphrases and have them appear on your site description.
Aim for Sitelinks
Sitelinks are the 'sub-links' that appear below your main site listing. Each has its own description, and certainly, a result with Sitelinks stands out. Getting Sitelinks is easier said than done because Google (secretly) decides who gets the privilege. However, we can make intelligent guesses about how to maximize our chances.
Perform a complete site audit and do the needful with relation to submission of your website to Google. Follow the best practices especially regarding site structure as dictated by Google Webmaster Tools guidelines. Update your site map as and when you update your site. Make certain that all information your site contains is categorized scrupulously to ensure maximum ease of navigation. Make sure also that categories do not overlap unnecessarily, but do create deep links.
If you look at the typical Sitelinks, you will find that for the company Red Box, the sub-links will show things like 'small red box', 'big red box' 'rectangular red box', 'circular red box', red boxes for children' and so on. Clearly, the more organized you are with your information and page titles, the better chance you have at getting Sitelinks.
All of the three steps above show you how to get better CTR from your search rankings. You may be tempted to dismiss the last measure since it appears to be too much of a long shot, but hardly anything impressive was ever built in a day. If you persist, and remain attentive to the analytics that Google provides for free, you should soon notice a significant improvement in CTR. The best news is that you only have to do the hard work once, and then perform minor tweaks later as and when required.
Jason Smith is an online manager for Inbound Marketing Company. Jason likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.