While click-through rate (CTR) has everything to do with searcher behavior, there are things you can do to improve your clickability on the SERPs. While meta descriptions and page titles with keywords do impact CTR, we’re going to focus on the technical elements because that’s why you’re here.
Use structured data.
Win SERP features.
Optimize for Featured Snippets.
Consider Google Discover.
Ranking and click-through rate go hand-in-hand because, let’s be honest, searchers want immediate answers. The more your result stands out on the SERP, the more likely you’ll get the click. Let’s go over a few ways to improve your clickability.
1. Use structured data.
Structured data employs a specific vocabulary called schema to categorize and label elements on your webpage for search bots. The schema makes it crystal clear what each element is, how it relates to your site, and how to interpret it. Basically, structured data tells bots, “This is a video,” “This is a product,” or “This is a recipe,” leaving no room for interpretation.
To be clear, using structured data is not a “clickability factor” (if there even is such a thing), but it does help organize your content in a way that makes it easy for search bots to understand, index, and potentially rank your pages.
2. Win SERP features.
SERP features, otherwise known as rich results, are a double-edged sword. If you win them and get the click-through, you’re golden. If not, your organic results are pushed down the page beneath sponsored ads, text answer boxes, video carousels, and the like.
Rich results are those elements that don’t follow the page title, URL, meta description format of other search results. For example, the image below shows two SERP features — a video carousel and “People Also Ask” box — above the first organic result.
While you can still get clicks from appearing in the top organic results, your chances are greatly improved with rich results.
How do you increase your chances of earning rich results? Write useful content and use structured data. The easier it is for search bots to understand the elements of your site, the better your chances of getting a rich result.
Structured data is useful for getting these (and other search gallery elements) from your site to the top of the SERPs, thereby, increasing the probability of a click-through:
FAQs (“People Also Ask” boxes)
Local Business Listings
3. Optimize for Featured Snippets.
One unicorn SERP feature that has nothing to do with schema markup is Featured Snippets, those boxes above the search results that provide concise answers to search queries.
Featured Snippets are intended to get searchers the answers to their queries as quickly as possible. According to Google, providing the best answer to the searcher’s query is the only way to win a snippet. However, HubSpot’s research revealed a few additional ways to optimize your content for featured snippets.
4. Consider Google Discover.
Google Discover is a relatively new algorithmic listing of content by category specifically for mobile users. It’s no secret that Google has been doubling down on the mobile experience; with over 50% of searches coming from mobile, it’s no surprise either. The tool allows users to build a library of content by selecting categories of interest (think: gardening, music, or politics).
At HubSpot, we believe topic clustering can increase the likelihood of Google Discover inclusion and are actively monitoring our Google Discover traffic in Google Search Console to determine the validity of that hypothesis. We recommend that you also invest some time in researching this new feature. The payoff is a highly engaged user base that has basically hand-selected the content you’ve worked hard to create.
The Perfect Trio
Technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO work together to unlock the door to organic traffic. While on-page and off-page techniques are often the first to be deployed, technical SEO plays a critical role in getting your site to the top of the search results and your content in front of your ideal audience. Use these technical tactics to round out your SEO strategy and watch the results unfold.