Getting organic traffic straight from the search engines is one of the major goals of most websites. By ranking well in Google’s search results, it’s possible to attract lots of visitors to your site, and the best thing is, those clicks are free!
As many people know, though, it’s not as simple as making your website and seeing it rise straight to the top of the rankings. To rank on Google, you need to do a lot of things right, and it takes time to get your site climbing up the rankings.
However, when you do start to rank, you have all sorts of possibilities opened up to you. The question is, how do you make the most of your new ranking ability and maximize your number of clicks?
Aim to Rank Higher
Seeing your page ranked on Google is a great feeling. Whatever ranking you see next to your website, it’s proof that what you’re doing is working to some extent. Unfortunately, if you’re not ranking on the top page of results, though, it’s not going to translate into clicks.
Studies show that over 75% of clicks go to the pages that show on the first page, so everyone else is left to fight it out for scraps. What’s more, a huge amount of these clicks go to the top 3 results. The first result position gets 33.5% of the clicks, the second gets 17.6%, and the third gets 11.4% of the clicks.
This shows that you always have to be aiming to move up the rankings. Moving from 3rd to 1st can triple the number of clicks you get, so don’t settle just because you’re in the top 10. Every move you make up the rankings can make a big difference to the traffic you see.
Win the Featured Snippet
You may have noticed that Google has made changes to the way it presents its results in recent years. For many searches, the first thing you see on the results page these days is what’s known as the featured snippet.
The featured snippet is a short summary, taken from one of the top results pages and presented right at the top of the page. This summary is so prominent that it’s commonly referred to as position zero and is highly sort after.
While the featured snippet might seem like your golden ticket to the top of the rankings, you’ve still got to put in a lot of work to win this position. 99.58% of featured snippets come from results pages that rank on page one, so you’ve still got to be high up the rankings to be in with a change of winning the snippet.
Nevertheless, optimizing for the featured snippet gives you an excellent chance of boosting your click-through rate.
Work on Your Meta Descriptions
A meta description is the text that is shown underneath your title and web address. The meta description is your 155-word opportunity to grab people’s attention and win their click.
These meta descriptions can often be overlooked, but they can make a big difference. If you don’t make your own description, then Google will simply take some text from your page that it thinks is relevant, and you miss out on the chance to earn some extra clicks.
While the first position in the rankings gets the most clicks, people do scan the meta description of the top few results, and if you can use your meta description wisely, then you can really increase the number of clicks you get.
Find the balance between a concise description of your page and appealing to your audience, all while making sure you’ve got your keyword in there. It’s not easy in such a small number of words, but the perfect meta description can make a big difference.
As mentioned earlier, Google has made lots of changes to the way it presents results in recent years. Depending on what type of query you type in, you’re likely to see a range of different features presented to you, such as local packs, shopping, reviews, video and images.
Appearing in a feature like local packs can have a huge impact on your CTR, but you’ve got to be able to optimize your website to do this. This means effectively implementing schema mark-up to communicate with the search engines to tell them important details about your website.
This can be slightly difficult, so it’s worth looking out for some local seo packages to help you ensure you’re featuring prominently in local packs.
There are lots of different features that can be optimized for, but certainly, if you’re a bricks and mortar business, you’re going to want to show up when people search for services in your area. Just because the internet allows you to reach people all over the world doesn’t necessarily mean you want to reach everyone. Google knows some websites need visitors in a certain location, and this is their way of doing that.
Schema mark-up helps you show your website how you want it to be shown, and this can make a big difference to your CTR.