Organic Click Through Rate: How to Improve Organic CTR On Google for Better Search Rankings

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June 18, 2019

What’s the point of getting first page rankings for a keyword if you’re not getting any clicks from search engines like Google?

You’re wasting your time and money without getting organic clicks, right?

Organic clicks are extremely important as they not only help you with more search traffic but Google also rewards the sites with higher organic click-through rates (CTR) by moving up their organic rankings.

So how to increase your organic CTR? Does it affect your website’s overall SEO? Let’s discuss all those important topics in this detailed guide.

Are you ready? Let’s jump into the details.

Organic Click Through Rate (CTR): Everything You Need to Know

improve organic ctr

What is organic CTR?

Let’s first talk about the basics. What is organic CTR anyway?

Organic CTR simply means how many people saw your search result and how many people clicked through to the page. The more organic clicks you get for your search result, the higher your search rankings will be.

Your website’s organic Click-through-rate (CTR) is extremely important. Why?

If thousands of people see your search result, but no one clicks on it, what’s the point? You’re not getting anything.

You’re wasting your time, efforts and money if your CTR is poor. By increasing your organic CTR, you can also increase your overall website organic traffic along with more conversions and sales.

How to find your website’s organic CTR?

You can easily find out your website’s organic CTR from Google search console. Once you’re on Google search console, go to Performance and it will display all the website search metrics.

Here’s how the organic CTR looks like from Google search console.

Performance

As you can see above, Google search console shows you all the information metrics like;

  • Total clicks
  • Total impressions
  • Average CTR (this is what shows you the organic CTR of your website)
  • Average position

You can also choose the date range from;

  • Last 7 days
  • Last 28 days
  • Last 3 months
  • Last 6 months
  • Last 12 months
  • Or you can also select a custom date range to show the data of your website

You can also sort out the whole website results by arranging them from CTR high to low to see your highest performing CTR pages to low.

What is a good organic CTR?

According to Advanced Web Ranking, a good organic CTR is above 31% (desktop position) and above 22% for mobile positions.

Have a look at the following.

good ctr

By going to CTR charts from Advanced Web Ranking, you can easily discover the exact positions along with the organic CTR for both desktop and mobiles.

Here are the average CTR for top 10 positions for desktop positions (data pulled from Advanced Web Ranking).

  • Position 1 (desktop CTR is 31.19%)
  • Position 2 (desktop CTR is 15.91%)
  • Position 3 ((desktop CTR is 10.07%)
  • Position 4 (desktop CTR is 6.32%)
  • Position 5 (desktop CTR is 4.28%)
  • Position 6 (desktop CTR is 3.03%)
  • Position 7 (desktop CTR is 2.19%)
  • Position 8 (desktop CTR is 1.71%)
  • Position 9 (desktop CTR is 1.38%)
  • Position 10 (desktop CTR is 1.12%)

Here are the average CTR for top 10 positions for mobile positions (data pulled from Advanced Web Ranking).

  • Position 1 (mobile CTR is 22.44%)
  • Position 2 (mobile CTR is 14.06%)
  • Position 3 (mobile CTR is 9.27%)
  • Position 4 (mobile CTR is 6.09%)
  • Position 5 (mobile CTR is 4.17%)
  • Position 6 (mobile CTR is 2.87%)
  • Position 7 (mobile CTR is 2.08%)
  • Position 8 (mobile CTR is 1.67%)
  • Position 9 (mobile CTR is 1.31%)
  • Position 10 (mobile CTR is 1.01%)

Quick note: The above data of organic CTR (for both mobile and desktop positions) is for the month of April, 2019 and the target country is set to the US. You can also easily change the month and pick international option to gather international organic CTR data from Google organic CTR history from Advanced Web Ranking website.

Here’s the table for the organic CTR data for your reference.

Organic CTR Position (April 2019)DesktopMobile
Position 131.19%22.44%
Position 215.91%14.06%
Position 310.07%9.27%
Position 46.32%6.09%
Position 54.28%4.17%
Position 63.03%2.87%
Position 72.19%2.08%
Position 81.71%1.67%
Position 91.38%1.31%
Position 101.12%1.01%

So what can you learn from the above data?

If you see that the average CTR for desktop is 31.19% for the 1st search result whereas the same search result for mobile gets 22.44%, it clearly shows the desktop CTR for the first position is way higher than mobile positions.

Depending upon your current keyword search rankings, you can compare your current organic CTR with the above data and if you are doing better than the above shared CTR percentages, you are doing better and look at ways to improve it further. If it is below that organic CTR, you need to work on improving your click through rates organically.

So how can you improve your overall website’s organic click through rates in 2019 and beyond? Let’s talk about it now.

Improve your search result appearance

Hands down, your website’s organic CTR largely depends on your search result appearance. Wondering what is all about?

A search result appearance looks something like this;

wpx review snippet

As you can see above, when you enter an example keyword “WPX review”, you’ll notice the search result of our blog Bloggers Passion.

That particular search result has few things showing up for it;

In simple terms, your website search result can be treated as a free classified ad for your site in Google search results. The better your website search result appearance, the higher organic CTR it gets. It’s as simple as that.

Read: Meta Tags SEO: Everything You Need to Know About Meta Data(Opens in a new browser tab)

So improving your organic search result appearance in search engines can dramatically improve your overall organic CTR.

Let’s talk about the important factors of improving the appearance of your search result organically.

  • Title tag
  • URL
  • Meta description
  • Rich snippets

Let’s briefly talk about the above factors so you can improve your organic CTR.

Title tag

Title tag is probably the most important factor that can make or break your organic CTR results. The more compelling your organic titles are, the higher your organic clicks will be. It’s as simple as that.

You must spend quality time in creating powerful titles for your blog posts and make them unique from other search results. Add emotion, use power words, create triggers within your titles to attract more clicks from search.

If you want to create powerful titles, try using headline analyzer tools such as AMI headline analysis tool, Sharethrough headline analyzer, Coschedule headline analyzer and so on to test how powerful and engaging your headlines are.

URL

URL also appears in your search results, so make sure to keep it short, simple and unique. Don’t use dates or months or any unwanted category links in your URL as your URL gets truncated if it too long to display in search results.

The average URL has 62 characters. So if you keep your URL length somewhere around 50 to 60 characters, you can properly optimize it for SEO.

Make sure to add a simple URL structure for your website.

The good thing about using WordPress is that you can easily set up your URL permalink on your WordPress site under Settings > Permalinks.

Here’s how it looks like;

permalink structure

As you can see above, make sure to pick the simplest URL structure (and try to avoid showing categories, day and name, numbers within your URL) to better optimize your contents.

Meta description

You should treat meta description like a tweet and make it under 140 characters i.e short and compelling. You can also use your primary keyword within your meta description but your overall aim with meta description should be improving your CTR. We’ll later discuss more how you can write a compelling meta description in the same guide.

Rich snippets

Did you know that, adding rich snippets can increase your organic CTR by over 30%? Yes, that’s true. Rich snippets also known as schema markup shows additional data in Google search is usually pulled from Structured Data found in your website page’s HTML.

Although there are a ton of types of rich snippets but common rich snippet types include reviews, recipes and events.

Here’s an example rich snippet of a restaurant review.

rich snippet preview

There are so many tools out there that can help you easily implement rich snippets such as this Structured data generator or if you’re looking to display star ratings for your product reviews, you can install WordPress plugins like All in one Schema Rich Snippets.

Rank for featured snippets

Did you know that getting featured snippets for your blog contents is a great way to improve CTR organically?

Yes, that’s true. You can significantly improve your CTR by ranking for featured snippets.

According to a study done by Ahrefs, 12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in the search results. Only 30.9% of featured snippets rank at the very top placement in the organic results. 99.58% of the featured snippets are already in the top 10 positions in Google.

Why should you care about getting ranked for featured snippets?

When there’s a featured snippet at the no.1 position in Google search, it only gets ~8.6% of clicks at on average, while the page that ranks right below it will get ~19.6% of clicks.

How does it compare to a regular no.1 ranking page with no featured snippet above it? That page will get ~26% of all clicks. That means, nearly 26% of all clicks will be generated to no.1 ranking page with a featured snippet.

That’s the reason why you should try to get rank your blog contents to appear in Google search results.

One of the best ways to rank for featured snippets is to use a tool like SEMrush (we’re already using it and we’re really satisfied with the results, that’s why we are recommending it for you to get featured snippets for your blog contents).

If you’re wondering about how SEMrush can help you with featured snippets, it shows you a ton of interesting data including;

  • Total opportunities available (from the entered keywords)
  • For which you are already showing (for featured snippets)
  • New keywords for which that you started showing up since last update (24 hours)
  • Lost keywords
  • New on SERP shows for which keywords Google now started showing featured snippets

So what are you waiting for? Improve your chances of getting more featured snippets for your blog with the help of SEMrush.

Click here to try SEMrush Pro account FREE 14 day trial (worth $47)

There are basically 3 types of featured snippets and here are few quick tips to rank for them.

  • To rank for paragraph type featured snippets, use “question-based subheads” (such as “what’s the best way to reduce belly fat” with h2 or h3 tag) and write its corresponding reply in the immediate paragraph. Keep the paragraph length between 40 to 50 words (Approx 300 characters).
  • To rank for a list type feature snippet, add more than 8 items when creating a list post, in that case, Google will add more items link which is a direct link to your blog post or page.
  • To rank for table type featured snippets, add just three columns in your table and try to add more than 9 rows to your table as Google shows 3 columns and 9 rows in a featured snippet table.

CTR impact organic search rankings

Let’s now talk about the most important question.

Will there be any CTR impact on organic search rankings? Does CTR affect your rankings in search engines?

Yes, absolutely, there’s a HUGE impact of your organic clicks on your search rankings.

First, let’s talk about the obvious things about organic CTR.

Did you know that higher CTR pages tend to have higher conversion rates, too? By increasing your organic CTR by 2 times, you will also increase your conversion rate by 50%. Isn’t it awesome?

According to Moz data, improving organic CTR by 3% will move your website up one spot in the SERPs.

Moz also concluded that, if a page is ranking in position 3, but gets a higher than expected CTR, Google may decide to rank that page higher because tons of people are obviously interested in that result.

So what’s the bottom line?

Do you want to move up by one position in Google search rankings? Increase your organic CTR by 3%.

Do you want to move up another spot? Increase your organic CTR by another 3%.

It clearly means, your overall organic CTR ultimately increases your overall Google search rankings. So both your search rankings and organic CTR is directly connected.

Improving your CTR can improve your search rankings and if your CTR is worse than the average organic CTR for a keyword, your search rankings for that keyword will eventually fall down.

Read: Google Search Ranking SEO Case Study: How Long Does It Take to Rank for A Keyword(Opens in a new browser tab)

Increase user engagement metrics

Just like organic CTR, we believe that you need to have better engagement metrics on your website to improve your overall search rankings in 2019 and beyond.

These engagement metrics include;

  • Time spent on your website
  • Bounce rate

Let’s briefly talk about them now so you can understand better about increasing your website user engagement metrics.

Time spent on your site: Dwell time (average session time) or the overall time spent on your site per visitors should be always high. It’s a key user engagement metric because the more time someone spends on your website, it literally means they are finding your content useful and engaging.

Here are few quick tips to increase the dwell time on your site.

  • Write longer articles with lots of appealing visuals
  • Include videos and embed them within your web pages
  • Learn how to write captivating content so your website audience stick to your site

Bounce rate: You should always try to keep your website bounce rates as low as possible. Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits on your website.

If your website has higher bounce rates, it simply means, your website visitors are not finding what they are actually looking for, hence they exit your site without clicking on any other link (or page) on your website.

Here are few quick tips to reduce your website bounce rates.

  • Always add internal links whenever you’re creating a new post (adding no internal links can lead to orphan pages which can be bad for your website’s SEO in the long run)
  • Show related posts for every blog post
  • Improve your website speed as no one likes to spend on a slow loading website

Read: SEO Best Practices for 2019: Your Ultimate Guide Dominating Google Rankings(Opens in a new browser tab)

Use social media ads to improve your CTR

Did you know that people who are familiar with your brand are 2x more likely to click through and to convert? Yes, that’s true.

Spending money on social media ads is the smartest thing to do especially when you’re just starting out and trying to build your brand online.

You can get massive online exposure by spending a reasonable amount on social media ads (around $30 to $50 a day).

Did you know that over 60% of no-click searches are made from mobile internet usage?

Yes, that’s true, here are some interesting stats revealed by SparkToro (run by the SEO expert, Rank Fishkin).

For every 100 searches on Google mobile in September 2018, there were:

  • 38.5 clicks on an organic result
  • 3.4 clicks on a paid result
  • 61.5 no-click searches

For every 100 searches on Google desktop in September 2018, there were:

  • 65.6 clicks on an organic result
  • 3.7 clicks on a paid result
  • 34.3 no-click searches

That means, if people are not familiar with your brand or website already, it’s hard to increase your organic CTR. If people are not already familiar with your website, brand, app or eCommerce store, make sure to use social media ads to increase your online exposure.

Once they start recognising your website or brand, they’re more likely to click on your ads and search results.

Just make sure to get started with low budget (daily spend, it can be anything from $10 to $50 a day), analyse your results, try different headlines to see if you can get more clicks from social media ads.

Read: 13 Deadliest SEO Mistakes to Avoid As A Blogger In 2019(Opens in a new browser tab)

How to Create Compelling Page Titles to Improve Organic CTR

You must know how to create powerful page titles if you want to increase your organic CTR. Create great titles that attract more clicks from search is NOT easy.

Here are few easy yet most effective tips to create compelling titles for your blog posts in 2019 and beyond.

Create emotional titles over keyword rich titles

Did you know that titles that spark human emotion tend to attract more clicks from search results? Yes, emotional titles generate more clicks when compared to keyword rich titles.

Let’s talk about both of them briefly.

Here’s an example of keyword rich title:

“Reduce Belly Fat: 5 Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat”

In the above example title, you’re targeting the keyword “reduce belly fat”, while there’s nothing wrong in targeting a keyword in the title. But keyword rich titles don’t much inspire high CTRs.

Here’s an example of an emotional title:

“5 Reasons Your Belly Fat Is NOT Going Away [And How to Fix It]”

As you can see, the above example title is “emotional”, it’s not a keyword rich title.

It immediately hooks with people who’re already searching for information around reducing the belly fat. They might want to know the REAL reasons why they are not losing belly fat and when you show them how to fix the issue, they’ll definitely click on your search result.

That’s the reason why try to focus on creating emotionally connected titles over keyword rich titles as they inspire high CTRs from search results.

Use numbers in your title

Did you know that using numbers in your title can improve your organic CTR to a great extent? Yes, that’s true.

A research done by Conductor found that, headlines with numbers are 36% more likely to generate clicks. That’s insane, right?

headline illustration

As you can see above, headlines that include numbers within them attract 36% of clicks from search.

Think about the difference between these two headlines:

“Tips to Lose Weight” vs. “11 Surefire Ways to Lose Weight Fast”.

The number “11” instantly makes the headline much more powerful and attracts more clicks from organic search.

So what’s the bottom line? Adding numbers within your titles generate more clicks from search. So next time, if you’re desperately looking for ways to increase your organic CTR, make sure to add few numbers in the title.

Use the most proven headline format

According to WordStream, the most engaging articles on the internet use the following headline format.

headline hacks

As you can see above, the title format is divided into 4 types including;

  • The format
  • Emotional hook
  • Content type
  • Your subject

Let’s briefly talk about the above 4 types so you can understand better about creating compelling headlines that attract more clicks from search.

The format: There can be a ton of formats you can use within your title including numbers, facts and so on.

  • List
  • Quiz
  • Infographic
  • Facts
  • Strategies

Emotional hook: Using emotional hook such as “Appealing” can immediately grab people’s attention. Use them to your advantage while creating titles for your blog posts and pages, some of them include the following.

  • Amazing
  • Insane
  • Powerful
  • Unreal
  • Shocking

Content type: What type of content are you going to include within your blog posts? Are you going to share any strategies? Are you using a compilation of quotes? Or do you want to include few facts about your industry? Mention that within your title by using various words like;

  • Images
  • Quotes
  • Pictures
  • Facts
  • Strategies

Your subject: Your subject can be anything ranging from the topic you cover to the keywords you want to include. Just make sure to include your subject naturally within your title.

  • Love
  • Cats
  • Fitness
  • Health
  • Marketing

By combining all the above 4 types, we can form a powerful title such as “5 Incredible Strategies to Get 6 Pack Abs”

Above all, also make sure to use power words within your titles to grab attention and more clicks organically.

The power words include;

  • Powerful
  • Huge
  • Secret
  • Premium
  • Proven
  • Amazing
  • Instant
  • And the list goes on

Read: 10 Point SEO Checklist for New Websites for Higher Search Rankings In 2019 (Opens in a new browser tab)

How to Write Magnetic Meta Descriptions

As we discussed above, you should learn how to write compelling headlines and meta descriptions to improve your organic CTR significantly.

We already talked about creating great headlines, let’s now discuss how to write magnetic meta descriptions to increase your organic clicks.

Write unique meta descriptions

Most bloggers either leave their meta descriptions empty (so search engines pick the meta description from your blog posts) or they simply copy-paste the existing contents within their meta description. Both are wrong.

You should create a unique and appealing meta description for every post and page that you publish on your website to get more organic clicks.

Quick tip: Go to Google Webmaster Tools > HTML Improvements to check for duplicate meta descriptions. You can also use Screaming Frog SEO Spider for finding duplicate meta descriptions and make sure to keep them unique.

Use questions within your meta descriptions

One of the less-known yet most powerful tips to write click-worthy meta descriptions is to use questions. For instance, have a look at the following meta descriptions.

Example keyword: “fitness apps for iphone”

Example 1: If you are just getting started with fitness, you should check out these fitness apps for iphone.

Example 2: Are you a fitness nerd? Or are you new to the fitness world? Here are few awesome fitness apps for beginners to build muscle and get in shape.

If you look at the above mentioned 2 meta descriptions, hands down, example 2 (where we used a question based meta description) gets more clicks.

So start using questions within your meta descriptions to increase your organic CTR.

Keep them short and helpful

A meta description is basically what helps you summarize the context of a topic, article or page you’re creating. So make sure to consider it as a “useful tweet” and keep it short and easy to understand.

Every now and then, Google changes the length of meta description, so there’s no thumb rule on how many characters you should use.

That being said, it’s always better to keep your meta description up to 150 characters as it’s the ideal length for most optimized meta descriptions. Try to convey your message in the first 150 characters and you’ll get better results.

FAQs About Organic CTR In 2019

Here’s a list of few important questions you should know around organic CTR.

1. What is CTR in SEO?

In simple terms, CTR (Click Through Rate) is the percentage of people who click on your search result (be it organic search result or paid ad) after seeing it. The higher clicks you get from search engines to your search result or ad, the higher your organic CTR is.

Since organic CTR plays a key role in Google, by increasing your CTR, your overall website search rankings will also go up accordingly. That’s the reason why you should focus on improving your website’s organic CTR.

2. What is a good CTR?

There’s no thumb rule on what’s a good CTR, the higher, the better it usually is.

As we already discussed above, according to Advanced Web Ranking organic CTR data, the average CTR for desktop is 31.19% for the 1st search result whereas the the average CTR for mobile is 22.44%

Just make sure to get higher CTR than your current CTR by looking at your current organic clicks from your Google search console (or you can also compare your organic CTR with the organic CTR history data with Advanced Web Ranking for better comparison).

In Google AdWords, you can also easily calculate your CTR as it is the number of clicks that your Google ad receives divided by the number of times that your ad is shown.

That means, CTR = Clicks ÷ Impressions

For instance, if you had 10 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 10%.

3. Can I have multiple meta descriptions for the same post?

Yes, you can certainly create multiple meta descriptions (one for Google Search and other for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter). One of the simplest ways to create multiple meta descriptions along with different titles is to use WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.

It lets you easily optimize your title and meta description for both search engines and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

4. What’s the difference between paid search vs organic search results?

Paid search converts more and gets you faster results even if you’ve a new website. All you need is money and the proper usage of ads on search engines like Google to get better results.

Organic search is where you get the lion’s share of clicks and widely preferred by all kinds of bloggers and marketers because it’s mostly free. But you’re competing with lots of websites to get into the first page results for a keyword or topic. Usually it takes time to get results with organic search.

Read: SEO vs SEM: What’s The Difference And Which One Is Better In 2019? (Opens in a new browser tab)

5. What’s the difference between CTR vs impressions?

CTR is the percentage of people who clicked your search result or PPC ad compared to the total impressions. For example, if you had 1000 impressions and 100 clicks, then your CTR is 0.10%.

Impression is each view of your search result or ad. If the same person sees your search result or PPC ad on multiple devices such as desktop, smartphone or tablet), each will be counted as a unique impression for each device.

Final thoughts on improving your organic click-through rate

When it comes to getting better results with SEO, organic CTR plays a key role. You can’t sustain first page rankings (or top 3 slots in SERPs) if you are getting a bare minimum click through rates organically.

Similarly, you can move up your search rankings by improving your organic clicks since your search rankings and organic CTR is directly correlated with each other.

So there you go. If you find this detailed guide on improving your organic CTR helpful, please consider sharing it with others. If you’ve any questions, do let us know in the comments.

Anil Agarwal

Anil Agarwal who owns Bloggerspassion.com, is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable websites for over a decade. Bloggers Passion has been featured on premium online sites like Forbes.com, Huffingtonpost, SEMrush, Problogger, Crazy Egg, The Next Web and so on.

6 Comments

  1. Karan Mehta says:

    Hey Anil,

    Social Media Ads play a vital role in improving the organic CTR. Brand awareness is also important because all the things will work accordingly. Rich snippets/schema markup will also help to increase your organic CTR by over 30% – I will definitely gonna try this. a very informative blog as always.

    Cheers,

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      Hi Karan, yes, that’s so true, social media ads help you improve your organic CTR but you need to try a lot of variations and spend some money on ads and do testing a lot of times to find the right combinations. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Liton Biswas says:

    Great write-up, Anil.
    Getting organic traffic is great. It’ll increase your overall business only when people click on your link on the search result. You’ve shared some really nice tips which will help bloggers like me to improve click-through rate.
    Thank you for sharing this nice post.

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      Hi Liton, that’s so true, organic CTR will definitely increase your overall business when people click on your link on the search result. Just make sure to focus on using the power words (which are already mentioned in the post) to increase your CTR organically.

  3. Vishwajeet Kumar says:

    Hello Anil,

    Very helpful and informative post. Meta Description can certainly help you to increase CTR which boost your search engine rankings. I have also implemented this technique and my blog rank jump quickly. I have one question for you. As you have stated in the post to write a unique meta description. I am using Yoast and it recommends to use the first paragraph of your content? and also suggest clearing the topic in the first paragraph. Can you please elaborate this?

    Regards,
    Vishwajeet Kumar

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      Hi Vishwajeet, glad to see your comment on the post. Yes, meta description plays a key role in increasing your organic clicks. Make sure it’s short and completely unique instead of using the content from your article. Even if you’re using Yoast, make sure to write a unique meta description, that’s what we also do here at Bloggers Passion.

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