All growth hackers and SEO’s understand that the main ranking factors over previous years have been content and backlinks. But the waters in March 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 March 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
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 combatting this but lets see over the next few months where these results take us.