All growth hackers and SEO’s understand that the main ranking factors over previous years have been content and backlinks. But the waters in May 2019 are starting to muddy nowadays and other ranking factors are starting to be rewarded from our testing. You need to remember search engines are trying to return the best results for the visitors so they have a great user experience in using their search engine and will return again to use.
Google is a user experience company
Backlinks from our testing are diminishing in value month on month. I am not here to say backlinks do not work because they 10000% do still work well but the power is certainly not as strong as it was a few years ago. As backlinks diminish it means something new needs to be growing in value and we have found technical seo with onpage audits for page load speeds and user experience is key to google searches.
What is CTR in Marketing?
CTR is an Acronym for the phrase Click Through Rate. CTR is a super powerful metric used to help google and search engines with rankings of websites. The definition of click through rate is the percentage of visitors who click your link from their search. In mathematical terms then CTR = Clicks / Impressions.
In SEO, your CTR is going to determine whether you maintain your ranking. Google now has many ways to track click through rates with analytics, chrome browser and much more. With Google AdWords, your CTR is one of the key components of your quality score also.
In a nutshell you can think of search engines as a democracy: people vote by clicking. So your CTR will really determine your success. If more people are clicking your links than competition then your votes are increasing and in turn will promote you above others with less votes.
Is CTR The Future of SEO?
In short my opinion is no click through rate is not the future of SEO on its own. However it is certainly a very important part to the jigsaw in May 2019. According to search metrics ranking factors then CTR is the number one ranking factor.
My personal opinions is that content and backlinks will get you so far in ranking your websites into the top 5 positions. Then from there, although more backlinks will strengthen your site further, then engagement including CTR, dwell time and bounce rates starts to play huge parts in your ranking factors.
Does SERP CTR affect rankings?
Yes from many studies it is proven that CTR improves rankings if the dwell time of the visitor is good. This articles from Rand on CTR proves this concept works. Rands test study moved his site from #7 to #1 in less than 3 hours by sending clicks to his SERPs. These were real people, making real clicks. This was the first proof that SERP CTR was a factor that could heavily move the SERPs.
SEO + UX = Success
These days, SEO best practices include consideration for the user experience (UX). Do you have quality content that makes visitors want to stay and engage? Is your site secure, fast and mobile-friendly? From ranking to clicking on your site and spending time on your site then are you returning good user experience results back to search engines?
Think of the partnership of SEO and UX this way: SEO targets search engines, and UX targets your website’s visitors. Both share a common goal of giving users the best experience.
Here is proof user experience is very important to integrate into your strategy. In Google’s own words in their patent they say this below “results on which users often click will receive a higher ranking” :-
User reactions to particular search results or search result lists may be gauged, so that results on which users often click will receive a higher ranking. The general assumption under such an approach is that searching users are often the best judges of relevance, so that if they select a particular search result, it is likely to be relevant, or at least more relevant than the presented alternatives.
SEO Traffic Hacks
If CTR many say is the future of SEO then I need to try and find some SEO traffic hacks. CTR Simulation has been known for many years, it used to be an extremely simple way of improving ranking – search for a keyword, find your site, click-through and send Google a signal to your site rank higher.
The essence of RankBrain is – the value of the link is in direct proportion with visitors activities on the page and the site. So backlinks need to come with justification of the links with social and traffic. This is why high traffic citation sites, even with no follow links, even with redirect links, help to improve ranking. Now you can send both search and click bots to your tier one links and increase the value of your backlinks.
Crowd Search Optimisation
Crowd Search Optimisation is where an army of browsers can enter your website and keywords into the search results and click onto your link. As doing this directly improved your rankings because the algorithm optimises rankings using CTR metrics. Here are some references on why crowd search optimisation works:-
Let’s say Mary is shopping for a new camera. She goes into Google and searches for “best digital camera.” She clicks on the 5th website on the results page and hangs around that website for a period of time reading the information. Chances are that website fulfilled her needs. Now imagine if thousands of people did exactly the same thing. Google now has “proof” that this website is relevant and useful, so it bumps that website higher up in the rankings. At its core, this is the paradigm that CrowdSearch is leveraging.
One particular ranking factor that Google appears to be placing more weight on in recent months is user search behaviour, clickthrough rate and dwell time. It is one ranking factor that they can monitor FULL metrics for and it links in directly with their full user base. Whatever SEO techniques you carry out for your sites, add CrowdSearch to your toolbox. It’s certainly a “must have” for mine!
Testing Search and Click Bots
The plan is going to be over the next few months to thoroughly test both of these tools to check whether CTR Simulation absolutely works.
Crowdsearch backdoor access to the site
These three above have been voted to be the best seo traffic hack tools and will therefore be testing these out over the next few months. I have previously tested this many times and seen good results for then to see ranking drops worse than ever after I stopped the traffic manipulation tricks.
Therefore I need to look into this in depth over many months to not just track the short term jumps but also look at this long term also. If this works then the plan would be to hit all my tier one and tier two links with this traffic seo hack also to rank those better aswell.
Does CTR Manipulation Work?
This is the million dollar question at masterminds that splits opinions because from testing many get results and many do not.
There is a great argument to say it is the settings being used for the websites as it needs to look natural.
My personal opinion is that it 100% works when set up correctly but it is a huge risk because the settings have got to be spot on.
If you read this article it explains if a page is ranking in position 3, but gets a higher than expected CTR, Google may decide to rank that page higher because tons of people are obviously interested in that result. So the aim of the game is this:
Get your pages to get higher than expected CTR in the SERPs to the expected average. Build this CTR volume up as you climb the rankings but be careful you do not send too much manipulated traffic because Google can detect bot traffic if overkill
The Effectiveness of CTR
We wanted to see how successful our CTR operations are by ranking videos for some highly competitive keywords within the SEO industry. We devised a plan with our Link Audit series to help get the videos ranking at the top of YouTube and Google Videos for things like “Link Audit” and “FatRank”, so more people would click through as they can see our content first.
A study carried out by an online ad network, Chitika, and written in a blog by Search Engine Watch showed that ” the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic”. The percentage of clicks on the top search results is outstanding; equalling 1 in 3 people who search for the term will click on your site/video.
With this in mind, we decided to utilise the tools at our disposal (including our CTR bot) to start ranking these videos for the terms we wanted. The best bit about ranking videos/images is usually how quick the results can change. Within the period of 24 hours, we saw the link audit videos ranking for the precise amount of tags we put on it ranking near the top.
When our videos started to rank number one for the keywords we wanted within a few days, we set our attention to Google videos (the big one). The reason why I say it’s the most important one is that most people will search through using Google, and if your video is ranking well in YouTube for the keywords you are aiming for, then it has a chance of showing up in Google’s video carousel.
This means FREE BRAND AWARENESS. You can’t beat that.
If you wish to learn more about the process we use to achieve these results and/or learn about the CTR bot we use, then leave a comment below and we’ll respond to you before you know it.
When it comes to us doing CTR, we like to make sure that we see results and get great analytics. One of the few tools we use is a free one called Tubebuddy, a tool certified by YouTube themselves. This tool is great for acting as a checklist for certain aspects of the video that many people forget about (info cards, end screens, comments etc.) and even has a free built in thumbnail editor for anyone who may feel a bit uneasy about using photo editing software.
This tool is great, don’t get me wrong, but just by solely using this tool, don’t expect your video to rank number 1. Just don’t. You have to always remember that you shouldn’t just believe one source, and that it’s good to have multiple opinions from different sources.
By this, you can be certain that your video is meeting the criteria suggested by different authoritative sources instead of just one.
In combination, having a bunch of different measurement tools, you will be able to access so much more information, which will help you learn more about what is happening with your videos and how to take action on them, instead of just taking a random guess on how to help your videos grow. Rather be a person who learns from his mistakes and succeeds, than a man who gets lucky once and fails to know why.
Another reason why we measure the CTR is because of how there is an average CTR to meet to get a successful video ranking. Many people give a wide speculation of what the average CTR rate is, ranging from as low as 1% to as high as 50%. But, the average we know (and have tested) is around 4-6% CTR. It may not seem like a lot but this is the average CTR a YouTube video receives.
By us having this percentage, we know that by getting our videos above this average (through a variety of different methods), our video is more likely to show up on the SERPs in a high position due to the high click through rate.
How to Increase CTR
A common question which is usually given mediocre answers. Many people speculate that there is one method to get a higher CTR, which is mostly posting your video link to forums/groups that are related to the topic being discussed in the video. Now, yes, this does work but requires you to hope that the video you have made is really good quality and doesn’t look too spammy, otherwise many people will just ignore it. A few tips that we know that work are:
- A catchy thumbnail (Aim for bright colours, bold text and an image which relates to the video. Try to avoid a tactic known as click-baiting, which involves making the thumbnail misleading to gain a higher CTR, as all this will do is gain you more hate and build a distrust between you and your audience.
- A stand-out title (Sounds obvious, right? But have you ever though of placing emojies or pipelines like “|” in the title? These will help make your title stand out from the competition.
- E.g. Your Competitor’s video might be called “15 tips for seo”, which is fine but by adding some more things, it starts to look like “15 Tips for SEO | 💻 How To Get First On SERPs 💻| Fatrank”
- Make Tags Related (Many people think it’s a good idea to put their tags as the same as their competitors in an attempt to try and rank on the same page as them and get some of their views. This may work but what you didn’t know is that when your video is finished, hardly any of your content will show up in the “suggested” list as YouTube’s Algorithm will believe that your competitor has been involved with the video and will place their content.
- Share on Social Media (Another factor that is overlooked a lot of the time but can actually result in you increasing your CTR. With a higher number of users turning to social media platforms for entertainment, education and locating businesses; not only are you spreading brand awareness through these platforms but you can gain a few more views from these interested customers.
These are just a few of the many steps that we keep in mind when it comes to ranking the videos on YouTube and Google videos. But remember, if you want to learn anymore about the processes we use for CTR, then leave a message at the bottom of the blog and I’ll get back to you.
From testing I know 100% that CTR is a ranking factor and helps your website. However whether these bots and tools are clever enough to manipulate human behaviour is something I need to find out.
I have my reservations because googles biggest concern will be search and click manipulation for their adwords. So they have probably put most resources into combating this but lets see over the next few months where these results take us.