Let me show you the results of my recent testing. I’ve been exploring how the content snippets you see in Google search results can impact clickthrough rates.
The results should make every web designer and website owner sit up and take notice!
We normally assume that a high ranking on Google will assure a good amount of traffic.
But it ain’t necessarily so!
Part One – Collating and Comparing Data from Multiple Sources
In this first short video, I show you how I collect data from Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and the Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool to test the link between SERP ranking and traffic.
Part Two – The Impact of Your SERP Snippets
In the second short video, I discover the true correlation between ranking and clicks – and find many exceptions to the rule!
Conclusions – What Website Owners Need to Know
This research shows clearly that “SERP snippets” have a significant influence on the clickthrough rates from search engine results pages (SERPs).
The click from the search engine results cannot be taken for granted. Web designers, website owners, and marketers should realise that the quality of the SERP snippet has a massive influence over clickthrough rates, and therefore search traffic.
- Of course good rankings do tend to give you a better chance of good traffic. To get the best share of traffic, you do need to be at the top of page one. But the results can vary massively!
- The typical clickthrough rates reported in large surveys only produce a neat distribution across a large sample of data. Look at your actual results, and you’ll probably see a very different picture.
- Results can under-perform and can also over-perform against the average. We’ve seen results at the top of page 1 with 1/400 clickthrough rates, and results down on page 2 getting nearly 10% CTR.
- Pay serious attention to the snippets shown in the SERPs.
10 Tips for Maximizing Your Clickthrough
- Make sure your <title> tag gives a clean, readable overview of the page – and also sells the page!
- Let the search visitor know, in as few words as you can, that they’re very likely to get what they want quickly from this link.
- Keep <title> tags under 66 characters (for Google). Any longer and the title will be shortened, which may make an incomplete phrase and compromise appeal.
- Avoid the temptation to stuff your <title> tags with multiple permutations of the same terms. You might get more good rankings, but if the title isn’t appealing, you could sacrifice traffic.
- Always use meta description tags, and use them to sell the click as well.
- Make sure the meta description contains your target search phrase, or Google may grab content from the page instead.
- Keep meta descriptions under about 150 characters, or they will also be chopped off.
- Keep your text short, punchy, to the point. Don’t feel you have to use all the space available. A short <title> or metadesc will be easier to read and could work better.
- If you use WordPress, use Yoast’s SEO plugin, which will show you a preview of the SERP snippet, and check you have your keywords in all the right places.