Last week I touched upon the topic of keyword ranking and how to measure impressions using Google Webmaster Tools and actual visitors for each keyword within Google Analytics. Today I'm going to explain how these numbers work together to create something called a Click Through Rate.
The measurement of a Click Through Rate, or CTR for short, is the number of all impressions for a keyword compared to how many people actually clicked through to your website. Google Webmaster Tools will show this CTR on the Search Queries report, located under the Traffic area inside your GWT account.
If you don't see CTR's then that's because there's not enough data to support showing it, remember, what GWT shows you are only estimates. Of course you could always calculate it on your own by referencing the nugget from last week to view GA and GWT at the same time. In that previous post I used the example of the "Fancy Rings" keyword which had 110 impressions showing in GWT and 24 visitors in GA. When you divide 24 by110 you get a CTR of 21.8%. That's a fantastic number showing how many people were attracted to your website, but realize that even a 100% CTR can't produce sales if your website is ugly, not user friendly, or misleading just to get people to click.
Improving your CTR will require a joint effort of tuning your website design, page title tags, and meta descriptions.
The meta descriptions for each page of your site need to be specific to describe that exact page. The page titles also need to act as clear headlines for the page. The meta description does afford some flexibility and creativity. Your landing page about engagement rings might appear in the search results along side of 9 other engagement ring pages. What would set your page apart from the others? Think about that carefully before you write your meta description.
A custom design jeweler might write a meta description saying:
"Chose your own unique design for an engagement ring and stand out from today's common, boring engagement ring styles."
Your website design plays and important part in increasing your CTR. Both Bing and Google allow for an instant preview of a page before someone clicks through to your site. What does the preview look like for your own websites? If the text is small and unreadable it might dissuade people from clicking through to your site.
The preview is a lot like viewing your site on a smartphone because it's a smaller representation. Even though it might look good at full screen size, the smaller unreadable version could be the deciding factor between getting the click or not.
As you can see, increasing the Click Through Rate from search results to your website isn't necessarily about search engine optimizations as much as it is about creating customer appeal. The SEO process will get your website listed in the search, but once it's there you need to convince people that you are the correct choice to click. Oh, and as I said above, clicking through does not mean you will actually have a sale.