The CTR (Click Through Ratio), also called ratio of clicks or Click Through Rate is an important indicator used in online marketing in general (and in search engine marketing in particular), to measure the effectiveness of a campaign seekers . Either in actions aimed at achieving organic visibility or directly from advertising in search engines, the CTR is a very important value and that we should not neglect under any circumstances.
It is measured in% and is obtained by dividing the number of users who click on one of the results offered by a search engine (such as Google), by the number of times it has been displayed on the screen. That is, it relates clicks to impressions . There is no adequate CTR rate since it depends on multiple factors, but it is evident that the higher the ratio between the times an ad appears on screen (impressions) and the times it is clicked, the better results that campaign will have.
If we put ourselves in the shoes of Google, it is like thinking that if you offer a result and they click it, you have made a good choice. But on the contrary, if they do not click on what Google offers, it is that this result is not as adequate as Google thought. And in this way the results offered with a high impression / click rate will be better valued and more taken into account for the future, than the results with a lower impression / click rate. The CTR has always existed, and has become essential since online advertising exists, since it is a very suitable system to measure the incidence of messages.
But thinking that it is only useful in paid ads is a mistake since it also influences a factor that Google takes into account at the authority level of a website. Back in 2015 the CTR reached enormous popularity levels as it was effectively determined that the CTR improves SEO. Today it is one of the positioning factors to which you must pay special attention. Not only because Google considers it an essential factor, but because it directly measures user experience, something that for search engine robots is increasingly determining.
Can CTR be manipulated to benefit SEO?
The CTR improves SEO , and the great Gurus of International SEO and Search Engine Marketing or Paid, already echoed what it represented some time ago. Manipulating the CTR in a way, let’s say fraudulently, is possible. We will not deny it. In fact, there are tools on the market that simulate visits to a website, to which you mark certain values (such as CTR). However, these types of practices are only bread for today and hunger for tomorrow. Therefore, we do not recommend them at all.
From our professional experience, it is best to work so that the CTR improves naturally. The first recommendation is to optimize the “page title” and the “meta description”. These are two actions that clearly improve the CTR of the results. And so you can clearly verify that CTR improves SEO. To try to improve this CTR there are some valid techniques, although it depends on several factors such as the number of searches, market competition, the market niche or the quality of the content (among other things).
Some ways to manipulate the CTR naturally
- Send many clicks to a site in a short period of time.
- Send many clicks to a site over a long period of time.
- Send few clicks, very constant over a long period of time.
In any case, it is important that you know that it is not enough for them to click and leave . It is necessary to send a good “signal” to Google and see that the site is navigable between pages and that the time spent on the page is appropriate. The reality is that hundreds of tests have been carried out with certain keywords , sending them quality clicks for a while and it has been observed that as a general rule, the CTR is a variable to which Google pays a lot of attention. Getting an improvement in the SERP positions for those specific searches.
As you may already know, when Google indexes a web page, there are several factors that it analyzes to determine how important a page is to competitors . Therefore, optimizing these factors is a good way to act for SEO. In relation to the CTR, there is a factor that influences a lot, although it is not one of those that Google analyzes. This is the “description” meta tag. We are talking about the small text that appears under the title when Google shows results. This text is not analyzed by Google directly, but it is a relevant factor indirectly. Since it is the only information that the user has to decide on one result or another. Therefore, an adequate “description” gets more clicks, which implies that it improves the impression / click ratio, that is, the CTR.
First of all, you should never focus only on CTR manipulation . When a factor becomes fashionable, SEOs go crazy and focus on only one thing. Has it happened to you?… And we forget about other things that are more important for SEO such as quality content or Linkbuilding work. There is no doubt that the CTR is a very important variable, but not much more important than those mentioned above or many others. Before, you must have your website well optimized. You need the content to satisfy the user and improve the KPIs of permanence on page or pages per view. In short, it would be useless if the CTR is good, but the page time is very low, because it would be evidence that the user experience is bad. And that if it is a definitive topic for Google. For Google it could be a symptom that something on your page is not working and your site will suffer their contempt in the SERP.
What is Google going to do about it?
It’s already clear that CTR improves SEO , but watch out for unnatural manipulations. Google is going to be very strict and is going to monitor searches much more intensively. Machine learning is already a fact and Google learns from everything that happens. The moment you discover patterns of possible CTR manipulation, you will surely lower the positions you have achieved. For Google, the CTR is a manipulable factor , therefore you should think that everything that seems automated will “sing a lot” and if it is also in large quantities, they will surely hunt you down!
In addition, Google already has weapons to give value to the user role click . It seems like science fiction but it is not so much. Google has your search history, therefore, user clicks are not worth the same because they are weighted based on the times they have done that search. For example, if you are searching on a topic for the first time, your click will have less weight than if it is done by an “expert in the field” who has been searching for months on those topics and has scoured the Internet in search of valid results.
Conclusions on whether CTR improves SEO
- It is logical that the CTR improves SEO since it is an indicator that what Google offers is interesting (and there is nothing that Google likes more than feeling loved).
- CTR improves SEO and is an interesting ranking factor as an important part of strategy.
- It does not seem a direct factor, it serves to reorganize the positions once the search is displayed to improve the user experience.
- It is not a new factor in SEO, from the beginning it has been important.
- Never focus solely on this factor leaving others aside. In competitive markets, content and link building are more important.
- You can check the CTR in Google Search Console .
- Handling it “forcefully” is dangerous. The best thing is to work well to “like” the user.