Organic CTR: What It Is (and Why It’s So Important)?

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 12 min read
Organic CTR: What It Is (and Why It’s So Important)?

Table of Contents

Intro

If you want to see how well your website is really doing (outside of your paid promotions), then analyzing your site’s organic clickthrough rate (CTR) is one of the best indications of this. By using Ranktracker’s Advanced SEO tools, such as the Web Audit tool and our premier Rank Tracker tool, you’ll be able to see under the hood and view in-depth analytics that you’d otherwise be in the dark about.

Below, we’ll start by explaining what organic CTR is and why it’s such an important metric to keep track of. Then, we’ll explain how your CTR can affect your SERP rankings (very important).

Lastly, we’ll give you a slew of great tips to help improve your organic CTR. This, in turn, will allow you to develop and evolve your site into the high-performing, traffic-netting site that you need to make it to the first page of Google, no matter what your niche is!

Are you ready to rank?

What Exactly Is Organic CTR?

Your clickthrough rate is the number of clicks that a link gets relative to how often it’s displayed. In simpler terms, you can use the following equation to calculate your clickthrough rate:

  • (Number of times your link is clicked) / (Number of times the link is shown)

When you divide the number of times your link is clicked by the number of times it’s shown on search engines, you get your clickthrough rate.

For example, if your link is clicked 100 times and it’s been shown (viewed) 1,000 times, then you’ll have a nice even CTR of 10%. Obviously, in the real world, a 10% clickthrough rate is incredibly high. Realistically, an average site might get a CTR of 2%, while a perfectly optimized site might have a CTR of 4 or 5%.

So, now that we’ve got that bit of CTR basics out of the way, you’re probably wondering what organic clickthrough rate is…

Organic CTR is different from your regular CTR, as it measures the number of organic leads who click through to your site. This is different from promotional CTR, which measures how many people click on your ads.

Your organic CTR calculates the number of everyday internet users who are organically shown a link to your webpage and click on it. On average, your organic CTR will be significantly higher than your promotional CTR (as people don't click on ads as much as they did 10 years ago).

Why CTR Is So Important For SEO

Running a successful website is all about receiving targeted traffic. Simply put, the more organic search engine users click on your links, the better your SEO campaign is going.

Imagine if you own a food and do an event at a food truck rally. Everybody at the event is selling food and competing for the attention of the same hungry visitors. If you have a high percentage of visitors check out your food truck, then it’s a solid indication that you have a great food truck concept! Conversely, if nobody is really interested in your food truck, then you may need to make some revisions.

The reason why your CTR is so important is that it’s one of the biggest indicators that you have good content, great meta descriptions/snippets, and are ranking higher in search engine results within your niche.

The higher your CTR, the more high-quality traffic your website is getting, and the more successful the site is as a whole. Simple enough, right?

Does Google Track Your Site’s CTR?

One of the most debated topics when it comes to SEO is, “What metrics does Google use to determine your SERP ranking?” Google’s algorithm is frequently changing and being updated to ensure that the search engine displays the most relevant results to its users.

Google’s commitment to keeping its ranking algorithms up-to-date is why it holds the overwhelming market share compared to all other search engines on the web. People use Google because they know the results that they’ll get will be both accurate and relevant to their queries.

This means that Google tracks a number of different website metrics to ensure that your page(s) contains information that’s relevant to the keywords and topic of your site. So, the question is, “Does Google track your site’s clickthrough rate?”
Unfortunately, we can’t exactly provide you with a clear answer for this…

Although Google technically “tracks” your CTR (which can be viewed using their limited SEO tools or our own Rank Tracker tool), they’ve stated that your site’s CTR doesn’t directly affect your site’s ranking for your primary and secondary keywords.

A bit vague, yeah?

Welcome to the wonderful world of SEO. However, the fact that Google does keep track of your webpages’ CTR, in the first place, is a solid indication that it’s something you should be paying just as much attention to.

If that’s not motivation enough, just remember that your CTR is one of the best indications that your site is performing well within SERPs results. While it may not be the most important metric on your site, it’s certainly worth your attention.

Measuring Your Site’s CTR

Your clickthrough rate is measured on a page-by-page basis. Typically, your site’s main page and pillar content will have higher CTRs than individual blog posts). This is typically because your main pages and pillar content typically rank higher for your primary and secondary keywords.

The best way to measure the CTR of your webpages is to enter the specific URL for the webpage into our Rank Tracker SEO tool. Here, you’ll be able to analyze all of the specific SEO metrics that you need in order to make the necessary adjustments to your site and pages.

Once you enter the URL into the Rank Tracker tool), you’ll be able to see metrics, such as:

  • It’s overall visibility.

  • The search volume your site gets within certain keywords.

  • Your total traffic.

  • Your site’s CTR.

  • How it ranks under various SERP features (Google Rich Results).

Another method that you can use to track your site’s CTR is to create a Google Analytics account and embed your unique analytics tracking code into your page’s HTML code. Within a few weeks, you’ll have some preliminary data about some basic metrics on your page.

While Google Analytics is a good place to start, most serious webmasters find that it doesn't include all of the in-depth detail they need to make actionable decisions. This is where Ranktracker’s full suite of advanced SEO tools really stands apart as a do-it-all tool.

Improving Your CTR…

Alright, by now, you should have a solid understanding of what your clickthrough rate is and why it’s such an important metric to keep track of. Regardless of whether or not Google uses it to determine your overall SERP position, it’s one of the best ways to make your own SEO decisions going forward.

As we’ve discussed, having a higher clickthrough rate strongly correlates to receiving more traffic, better-quality traffic, and a higher overall ranking. Ultimately, if you’re doing all of your SEO correctly, then you’ll naturally have a higher-than-average CTR!

9 Great Tips To Improve Your Page’s CTR

So, the real question is, how can you improve your CTR rate?

Below, we’ll discuss some helpful tips and tricks you can employ to boost your CTR and make your site more appealing to the various internet users who come across it. Let’s take a look!

Make Sure Your Page Title and Tags Match Up

Alright, so first thing’s first…

One of the best practices for improving your CTR is to ensure that your page title and its URL tag match up. For example, if your page title is “How To Eat Healthy On A Budget,” then your URL should look like this: www.examplefoodsite.com/blog/eat-healthy-on-a-budget

Now, if you’re using a reputable site-builder like Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, etc., then this will probably be done for you by default. However, it never hurts to double-check and make sure that the URL matches up. If not, then you can usually go into the page’s advanced settings and change the URL to match up.

This tends to be a bigger problem with individuals who are coding sites from scratch. By default, coding-based editors tend to assign numerical values to page URLs, which might make the same link look like:

www.examplefoodsite.com/blog/123jksl9-jwi

The main reason why this is such a big deal is that it has a strong effect on trustworthiness. Every user who’s searching on Google can see both the URL and the page title. The human brain is programmed to check for consistency, and if it notices inconsistency, it will subconsciously tell your conscious brain to disregard the link. This, in turn, can negatively affect your CTR, as fewer search engine users will click on it.

Shorten URLs Whenever Possible

So, this kind of goes hand-in-hand with the above tip about matching your page titles and URLs. Whenever possible, you should also try to shorten your URL as much as possible. The longer and more complicated your URL is to read, the more confusing and lengthy it can seem to a search engine user.

All of this occurs on a subconscious level before the user ever happens to click on your link, in the first place.

If you’re following the above tip, then this also means that you should try to keep your page title itself short and to the point. If you do a quick overview of page 1 Google results (for any search query), you’ll notice that most of the top-ranking links use short, simple, and descriptive titles.

Ultimately, your page title and URL tag (not including the www.example.com part) should be less than 50 characters.

Create Well-Written Meta Descriptions

If you look at Google search engine results, the first thing you’ll see is the page title, the URL, and the date the page was written (or last edited). Underneath this, you’ll see a short snippet of the page’s content; this is known as the meta description, as it uses HTML meta tags to convey the displayed information to the search engine.

By default, your meta description will usually be the first 50 words of the page itself. In some cases, this is fine. However, we almost always encourage webmasters and content writers to write separate, well-written meta descriptions for their content.

Why?

Well, the simplest answer is that it just looks better. A well-written meta description can act as a kind of “subtitle” for your main page title. It can convey what the article is about, so the search engine viewer can tell whether or not the article is going to answer their question or not.

Another advantage of creating your own meta descriptions is that it gives you a second chance to sell the viewer on clicking through. Maybe your title isn’t all that unique or your site doesn't have an established brand. In these cases, the meta description is often the deciding factor as to whether or not the viewer clicks on your webpage link or not.

So, how does one go about creating a well-written meta description?

Well, keep in mind that meta descriptions should be 50 words or less. That’s slightly shorter than the paragraph above. This means you need to pack a punch in a short space. One of the best tips we can give you is to use power words in your description.

Power words are terms and words that trigger an emotional response in the reader. Some good examples of power words are “instant,” “deal,” “top-rated,” “crazy,” “magic,” “astounding,” among others.

There have been numerous scientific articles dedicated to the importance of power words in marketing and advertising, so we won’t go into too much detail here.

In addition to using power words, you should also be honest about your page’s content. If your meta description is completely unrelated to your page title, then it’ll be a red flag to both the search engine algorithm and anybody else who views the link.

Use Primary Keywords In Your Title and Meta Descriptions

If you’ve been studying SEO basics for any amount of time, then this may seem like a more obvious tip. Still, it’s an important aspect of your ranking and can help improve your webpage’s CTR, so it’s worth revisiting.

By this time, you should already have a solid list of primary, secondary, and supporting keywords for your site and your site’s SILO content (blogs, sub-articles, etc.). If not, then open up Ranktracker’s highly-targeted Keyword Finder tool.

Once you open the tool, you’ll be able to type in any term related to your site’s niche. Within 30 seconds, the tool will generate a highly relevant (and lengthy) list of every possible keyword combination or related search term that fits your niche.

In addition to just showing you the keyword itself, the Keyword Finder tool will show you some key metrics about each keyword. You’ll be able to see the monthly search volume, how competitive each keyword is, and even how trendy the current keyword is.

All of these features are what make Ranktracker’s Keyword Finder one of the best keyword research tools in the game!

Assuming you already have your keywords ready to go, then your next step is to include them in your page content. However, you shouldn’t just stop there; they also need to be included in your page title and meta description.

Obviously, don’t go over the top and “stuff” your title and description with keywords (this can actually get your page down-ranked in SERP results). However, you should include your primary keyword once in your title and once in your meta description.

Take Advantage of Google’s Rich Results

A couple of years back, Google introduced a SERPs feature that they refer to as “Rich Results.” If you take a look at the top-5 links in Google under popular search terms, you’ll notice them!

One of the most popular SERP features Google uses is the Q&A format. The spider automatically scans your page for top questions and uses your 50-word bolded response as the answer for the question.

There are tons of other rich results that you can optimize your page for, including events, how-to guides, recipes, maps results, Wikipedia pages, and more! For a full list, check out Google’s developer page on Rich Results.

The reason why these rich results/SERP features are so important is that they really encourage viewers to click on them. They’re large, easy-to-read snippets and features that make your page appear far more relevant within search results, which can dramatically affect your CTR.

Google also has an easy-to-use tool that checks your website to see if it has any rich results displayed within SERPs results.

You can also use Rank Tracker tool) to check if your page (or any of your competitor’s pages, for that matter) are ranking for any SERP features. Simply enter the URL into the tool and Rank Tracker will show you any and all features that your site is ranking for.

Use The Calendar Year and/or Season In Page Titles

Here’s a short one…

One of the most-used tips that content writers take advantage of when writing titles is inserting the calendar year or season in page titles. This is because search engine users often include the year or season in order to receive more relevant results for themselves.

Some examples of this could be “Best SEO Tips For 2021” or “Top-Rated Fall Recipes For Thanksgiving.”

Use Brackets and Parentheses In Page Titles

Here’s another title tip for you. This one almost doesn’t make sense, it’s so simple… However, multiple studies have shown that page titles featuring parentheses or brackets get clicked on more frequently. Just look at our own page title: Organic CTR: What It Is (and Why It’s So Important).

Since brackets and parentheses aren’t used as often in writing, they naturally draw our attention and make us feel like we’re being let in on a secret. It’s a subtle psychological tip that can greatly help with your writing.

Use Odd Numbers In Page Titles

Yet another odd tip is to use odd numbers in your page titles (pun alert). For some odd reason, the human brain is trained to pay more attention to odd numbers than it is to pay attention to even numbers. This is why you’ll find so many articles titled “7 Proven Tips For…” or “Top 21…”

Even the header we used for this section is “9 Great Tips To Improve Your Page’s CTR.”

Understand Psychology and Emotional Marketing

Ultimately, almost all of these tips (aside from the tip about inserting keywords in your title and meta description) come down to one thing - human psychology. The more trustworthy, engaging, helpful, relevant, and emotional you can make your page appear, the higher your CTR will be.

The tricky part is that you have a very small amount of space in which to make an impact. You have a 50-character-max title, a 50-word meta description, and possibly rich results/SERP features.

You have to pack as much psychological and emotional value into this short space as you possibly can. For this reason, we definitely recommend picking up a book on marketing psychology. It’ll massively improve the quality of your SERPs snippets and your brand advertising as a whole.

So, What’s A Good Organic Clickthrough Rate?

Back in the early days of the internet, achieving a high CTR of 20%+ was easily achievable. There was far less competition and online data was scarce. Today, however, a clickthrough rate that high is very hard to achieve.

All in all, if you can achieve an organic CTR of around 5%, you’re doing pretty well! The average CTR of all webpages indexed by Google is just under 2%, so a 5% CTR means that your site is doing twice as much volume as many other sites.

That being said, your CTR can change significantly from one industry to another. The more niche-oriented your site is, the higher your CTR will likely be. Although, you may not get quite as much traffic volume as you would in a larger industry, creating a niche site ensures that the traffic you do get will be far more targeted and likely to click your link, to begin with.

In some cases, it’s not uncommon to see niche sites receive a CTR upwards of 10 to 15%!

Keep Track Of Your CTR and SEO Metrics

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, your CTR isn’t the end-all of SEO metrics. It’s just one of many useful metrics that can be used to track the overall performance of your site by tracking the number of people who view your link against the percentage that actually click the link.

Either way, though, keeping track of your CTR is a good way to judge the overall success of an individual webpage. If you notice that certain pages have lower-than-average CTR, then it’s a good indication that it needs to be improved or updated.

This is where using Ranktracker’s Web Audit tool really comes in handy. This tool allows you to scan your entire website and run it through an in-depth test that tests for various strengths and weaknesses. Once the scan is complete, you’ll be presented with a list of top-priority improvements that you can make to improve your site’s overall ranking.

When used alongside Ranktracker’s full SEO toolkit, the Web Audit tool (along with the other SEO tools mentioned throughout the article) will allow you to get a complete look at your site’s performance.

From tracking individual pages and SEO campaigns to tracking full-site analytics, you’ll have all of the insights you need to help your site reach the first page of Google! The only question is, are you ready to rank?

Sources:

  1. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/structured-data/search-gallery

  2. https://search.google.com/test/rich-results?utm_source=support.google.com/webmasters/&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=7445569

Comments

Try Ranktracker for FREE