Optimize your title and meta description for Google’s search results to enhance the visual appeal that will bring a greater share of clicks to your website.
The secret behind bringing new visitors to your website even without improving your website’s Google rankings lies in upping your click-through rate (CTR).
By improving your website’s communication in Google’s search results, you’ll create enhanced visual appeal that will bring a greater share of clicks. In other words, you’ll be getting more clicks without necessarily improving your Google rankings.
Below is a simulated heatmap illustrating how good communication and the use of the right words spark emotion and create greater visual attraction. The redder the color on the map, the greater the visual attraction in Google search results. And that’s precisely what you can achieve when you optimize your SEO title tags and meta descriptions.
Tip: You can create your own simulated heatmaps of your title tags and descriptions with the CTR tool at the top of this page. These heatmaps are based on data from real eye-tracking analyses and on the special algorithm we use to calculate CTR scores.
By means of fMRI scanning techniques, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in the US recently discovered that every emotion produces its own unique signature in the brain. In other words, along the entire spectrum, each negative and positive emotion has a distinctly recognizable brain-activity signature. And all of these signatures are influenced by specific words.
Far too many Google search results are emotionally neutral—they’re boring and passive. Since they don’t have much of an impact on the brain, they result in lower click-through rates than those of competitors that use active language to speak to emotions.
With our unique CTR tool, you can easily analyze whether your choice of language is neutral or active. The method is simple: we scan your SEO title tags and meta descriptions for negative and positive words. These emotion-evoking words are what we call Power Words, and we test for more than 500 of them. In addition, we analyze parameters like CTA (call to action), text length, and keywords.
A CTR score is a number that indicates how well the SEO title tag and meta description of a landing page are optimized. A high CTR score indicates a better chance of getting a high Google click-through rate.
Start with the most important pages on your website—the front page and others that are already receiving organic traffic from Google. These are the ones that will benefit most from CTR optimization and bring you more Google clicks.
Many people add SEO title tags and meta descriptions to their website without testing them. Don’t make that mistake! By using our breakthrough 5-step model, A/B-CTR™, you’ll easily be able to
You can accomplish steps 1 and 2 with the CTR tool on this page. Step 3 can be performed on important pages with high priority for your company. And for steps 4 and 5, you’ll use your website’s CMS and Google’s Search Console.
Tip: If you’d like to become a test user of our new upcoming CTR-analysis product, please contact us here to receive Beta access.
In this guide to CTR, we explain in detail how to use our tool to optimize your website’s meta descriptions and SEO title tags. By doing so, you’ll get higher click rates and SEO competitive advantages.
As you’ll see below, high click-through rates are the result of the keywords you select and of the visual attraction and the emotions that those words activate in the brains of those viewing your Google search results.
Your landing page has a key message, an overall topic that your target group is looking for on Google. This searched-for topic must be part of your SEO title tag.
In “the good old days,” the most important keyword was supposed to be the first word in your SEO title tag. But in modern SEO, this is no longer important. While your keywords should still be included in the SEO title tag, good visual attraction that produces clicks is more important than where you place keywords.
In a Google search on a desktop, an SEO title tag can be up to 600 pixels. While each letter has various dimensions in pixels, a good rule of thumb is that you can enter up to about 70 characters for desktop and up two lines for smartphone before an SEO title tag gets cut off. And Google sometimes shows up to 100 characters on tablets.
Good SEO practice is to keep your SEO title tag to under 600px (about 70 characters), because this gives you full control over your message across all platforms.
A great trick is to insert CTA words that appeal to the target group and induce them to click on your SEO title tag. Good examples are “Order here,” “Download here,” “Call us today,” “Contact us,” or “Buy now.”
Neutral language is a no-go. The more active your language, the more clicks you’ll get. That’s why you might want to insert negative or positive words in your SEO title tag. We call these Power Words, and we scan for more than 500 of them.
While it’s not always suitable to use numbers in an SEO title tag, if it does make sense to do so, it can often increase the click-through rate.
Although we don’t weigh the use of numbers highly in a CTR score (because it only makes sense in certain cases), there’s no doubt that they can significantly increase the CTR—try using numbers for prices and savings.
The longer your meta description, the greater its visual attraction. Each letter and word you add increases your CTR score. At 120 characters, your score has increased by 18 percentage points.
A call to action can really spark clicks. You might even work on making your call to action a part of the last sentence shown on Google.
Active language evokes emotion that attracts the eye and thereby increases your chances for a high click-through rate. We’ll scan your meta description for Power Words that indicate whether your choice of vocabulary is active.
Since people search on Google to find answers as fast as possible, they skim the results rather than reading sentence by sentence as they would normal text. That’s why it makes good sense to create meta descriptions that are as reader-friendly as possible by writing them as multiple short sentences.
Here are some good trigger words that indicate a call to action in your SEO title tag or meta description:
Here’s a selection of Power Words that our CTR tool looks for in calculating your CTR score:
See the entire list of more than 600 Power Words here.