Your content marketing may be worthy of Shakespeare, but if you’re not able to snag high click-through-rate (CTRs) then it probably isn’t doing your company much good. After all, the point of great content marketing is snagging a high CTR so that the effort you put into your content will boost your conversion rate. None of that will happen if you can’t get any clicks.
So how do you get more eyes on your amazing content?
There are a few steps that you can take to attract a bigger audience, and it may be even easier than you think. The Ridiculously Smart Guide to Boosting Your Organic Click-Through-Rates put together by WordStream and Backlinko offers 11 hacks for giving your CTRs a shot in the arm. Let’s see what these SEO doctors prescribe.
- Identify your lowest CTR content. Find the content that grants you the least CTRs. You can do this by downloading your search analytics data from Google Search Console. Plot your Organic Search CTR v. your organic ranking in Excel, and figure out the average, bottom ten percent, and top ten percent. The keywords and pages in the top ten percent? Those are your unicorns. The lower-performing ones in the bottom ten percent. Those are your donkeys. It’s the donkeys that you want to focus on – transforming a donkey into a unicorn can increase clicks by 600%.
- Dump excessively keyword-heavy title template formats. Try not to focus too much on keywords in your title tags. You want to choose titles that offer value, pique curiosity, and grab attention.
- Get emotional. Wordstream and Backlinko advise marketers to use emotional language to pull readers in – the stronger, the better. Use titles that inspire emotions in readers, making them angry, putting a smile on their face, or playing on their fears.
- Get relatable. It’s easier to build a connection to a piece of writing if you feel that it’s coming from a real person. So, how do you do that? Try writing your title from the perspective of a persona: the Bearer of Bad News, the Hero (or Villain!), The Comedian, or the Feel Good Friend. Obviously, not every persona is applicable to every topic, so choose wisely!
- Use a numbered list. Adding a number to your title can boost your CTR by 36%! You have to love the math on that.
- Bring it all together with this proven headline template. Introduce your content with a title that include the format of the piece (list, quiz, infographic, facts, or strategies), the emotional hooks (words like awesome, insane, surprising, powerful, incredible), the content type (images, quotes, tips, videos, etc), and your subject. An example: 14 Unbelievable Hacks to Supercharge Your Productivity.
- Add “power words” to your description tag. Power words are words like premium, proven, instant, powerful, dramatic, or fascinating. Use them to get your readers excited about learning more and eager to click-through.
- Use descriptive URLs. Which URL seems more interesting? example.com/gclid=CLCWjrL8j9ACFUU/00001.html? Or www.example.com/15-ways-to-boost-your-audience? I know which one I’d be more likely to click. And the statistics agree with me – you’re likely to get 25% more clicks with a more descriptive URL than with a generic one.
- Try out many, many different headlines. There are a ton of small changes that can make a difference – capitalization, punctuation, word choice, format, emotional hook … try out a number of different options and see what seems to click.
- Audition headline ideas on Google AdWords. Use PPC Ads to figure out which headlines are the most effective. Try out 10 or more, and set them to rotate evenly . Bid to the same position and use Broad Match Keyword Targeting. Once you’ve found the winner, use it for your content. If there is no breakout winner, try the experiment again with some different headlines.
- Test headline ideas using Facebook posts. Another way to test out headlines is to do it through social media posts. Unicorns will perform just as well on Facebook as they do for regular search listings and you’re just as likely to identify your donkeys there too. Try out new headlines on both paid and organic posts and see which ones tend to perform better.
Not only will you get better CTRs with unicorns but you will also improve your position in search rankings and likely get higher conversion rates, so finding those unicorns is a pretty important quest.
Do you use analytics to figure out the best ways to shape your content?