News Segment

To start our news segment, we’re asking a question – What really counts as a YouTube video count, from YouTube itself? There’s a new Hubspot article that digs deep into this, and it’s a really interesting read. YouTube has advanced methods to disregard views that come from refreshing a video for another watch, or an autoplay via another website where a YouTube video has been embedded. It also automatically removes views from any videos that look like malware! Interesting stuff.

There’s also some information about Instagram that suggests the Instagram algorithm may be headed down the same path as Facebook’s, reducing how easily Business Pages are seen by users. Instagram’s incentive to do this is increased ad revenues from businesses exploring other options, and we’re already seeing Instagram lean more heavily into ads.

Finally, Sparktoro has a fascinating article out about Google’s search result statistics, and the growth of “zero-click” searches, or Google searches that don’t result in any additional clicks to websites. Google appears to be encouraging these types of zero-click searches, especially on mobile devices, with readymade answers and suggestions drawn from Google Maps. However, this is both a challenge for marketers looking to gain more traffic to their own website, and reminder of how much of the online buying process is ultimately controlled by Google.

But to our main topic: Today we’re discussing an important issue that comes up among marketing teams all the time – Do great SERP results from Google guarantee more CTR (click through rate) for the brand? How are these two metrics really related? Ultimately, is paying attention to page ranking going to get you a lot more clicks or not? Let’s dive in into a study of 5 million Google search results from Backlinko and see what we can find!

The Top 10 or So Search Results See Great ROI

One of the things that the Backlinko study revealed is that the number one SERP spot, the top web link in an organic Google result, does great when it comes to clicks. The average CTR for this spot is around 31.7%, which is amazing for an organic search link. That spot is about 10x more likely to receive a click than links below the top 10. However, within the top 7 to 10 links on an organic SERP, CTRs are all around the same – all really good.

What this means in practice is that getting on the first SERP is a great goal for improving traffic to your site. However, moving up in down in the first 10 or so spots doesn’t have a big impact, so this doesn’t really need to be a top priority unless you are vying with a competitor for the top few spots.


Even Small Ranking Changes Can Make Big Differences

If you aren’t in that wonderful top 10 results, don’t despair! The good news from the study revealed that in links further back, even small increases in your placement can result in big changes. On average, no matter where your website is, moving up a spot in Google’s searches can increase click through rate by 30.8%. Just one spot! This matters a lot based on your particular spot and your industry. Sometimes jumping up a spot won’t make much difference, and sometimes (like when moving to the very top spot, or moving up a page) it can make a huge difference. Overall, however, it’s worth keeping as a goal.

Titles Have a Key Impact On Click-Through

It’s not exactly surprising, but titles also affect clicks a lot too. Specifically, title tags between 15 and 40 characters tend to get an 8.6% higher click-through rate. Titles that contain a question also see significantly higher CTR, possibly because so many organic Google searches are people looking for specific answers and information about what to do in a particularly situation. Also, more emotional and evocative titles – positive or negative – also improve CTR, so pushing a few buttons isn’t out of the question (more on this in a moment, though).

Your URL is Important Too

Your URL matters! Google’s analysis of a URL appears to have a strong impact on organic search engine ranking position. If your URL simply contains a keyword from your web page, it tends to get a 45% higher CTR! Even partially related URLs do far better than nonsense URLs.

Clickbait and “Power” Words Can Decrease CTR

“Power” words are an old marketing technique to try and attract attention to provocative titles that promise something. Power words include things like “Secret,” “Amazing,” “Insane,” “Ultimate,” and “Perfect.” As you can imagine, these words get used a lot in clickbait, and Google has cracked down on them. Using a power word in your headline can decrease CTR by 13.9%! So while showing emotion is fine, try to stay away from all clickbaity words.

Finally, Please Write Meta Descriptions

Simply adding a meta description to your web page can increase clicks by 5.8%. It’s easy, effective, and everyone should do it. Please make this a habit.

What do you think about these metrics? How closely do you pay attention to them? If you aren’t quite sure how to get more traffic and leads from Google (and let’s face it, we could all use more information about that), 21 Handshake can help! We’re offering a free webinar on the 11th that will go over a 9-step program to increase your search dominance! Register now to learn more!

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