7 Organic Ways to Boost Your CTR

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is one of the most important metrics when it comes to online marketing and advertising. It can be pretty difficult to increase CTR, depending on the method you use. And, increasing conversion rates can dramatically increase the revenue your business drives. These methods also differ based on the marketing channel, whether its paid or organic, or how much brand awareness you have out there. As you start to figure out what message works best for your target audience, you start to understand what makes them click, literally. Here are a few organic ways you can try:

1.    Improve on Shortcomings

Start by analyzing the performance of your content and keyword focus. There’s no need to touch top performing pages, content, and keywords can, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, reverse that process and look at your content with the worst performing CTR and try to understand whether it’s the messaging, the keywords, ad titles, etc. You have to analyze this and look for ways to take the worst performing CTR and make them top performers as well. Depending on the magnitude of the traffic and clicks your getting, you could increase it 10x.

2.    Get Creative with Titles

A common mistake marketers make is stuffing keywords in the titles of pages. While it is an effective SEO practice, it doesn’t work if you put it there blatantly rather than organically. The focus here is on organic, so make sure the title reflects the content on the page. If the keyword fits naturally in the title, then go for it. Otherwise, be creative with titles. This will give you a better chance of capturing the attention of your target audience.

3.    Write for Humans

Believe it or not, but content is still the king when it comes to SEO. If you want to attract clicks, you have to provide content that offers value to the readers. The savvy customers of today aren’t likely to buy from you just because you promise to offer the best quality in the market. They want you to demonstrate how you can solve their problems. For this, you need to come up with content that is relatable and more importantly, written for human readers and not just for SEO robots. Pick a specific perspective to write from and you are good to go.

4.    Offer Lists

Did you know you have close to 40% greater chance of getting clicks if you number your points? That’s right, offer your content in the form of a numbered list and you will attract clicks more effectively. In fact, that’s the reason why this article features numbered subheadings! Coming back to the point, offering content in digestible chunks rather than large blocks of text will be more effective. Therefore, break the content down into a numbered list!

5.    Be Meta Savvy

You have to leverage the meta title, keywords, and description to generate maximum traction for your content. The key to making this work is following the ideal template for your page titles. To ensure optimal engagement, start your title with a number followed by an adjective and then the subject of the article, for instance 7 Organic Ways to Boost Your CTR (and you did click on this post, right!). For the description, use words that capture the attention of your prospects, for instance premium or incredible.

6.    Build an Emotional Connect

SEO is not just a science, there is a lot of artistry going on behind the scenes. You have to tap your artistic side and try and build an emotional connect with your audience. You can do this by adding an emotional hook to your content. Try and influence your readers’ emotional side and this will help you build a connection with them on a more personal level. They are more likely to be engaged by your content and also trust your brand if they feel this connect.

7.    Create Effective URLs

It’s quite simple to come up with a generic URL for your landing page or web pages. However, according to Microsoft, you can get 25% more clicks on your pages if your URL describes the content of the page. This is easier when you are using WordPress or a similar website management platform. Make sure all new blogs and posts you create have a descriptive URL that gives the visitors a clear indication of what they can expect to find on the page.

These 7 simple yet highly effective organic ways you can use to boost your CTR. Keep in mind that you have to combine these tips with SEO and other online marketing techniques to generate the results you are looking for. The key to making this work is creating effective content and writing for humans instead of SEO robots. Appeal to readers on a personal level using an emotional hook and they are more likely to connect with you.

Reducing Bounce (Rate) Is The Key to Conversion Optimization

Reducing Bounce (Rate) Is The Key to Conversion Optimization

Most companies we talk to don’t have a ton of experience with conversion rate optimization and how to effect it in a positive way. Especially as a retail brand taking their products online, it can be overwhelming to understand things like traffic sources, conversion rate, exit pages, etc. And, even as we talk to startups, there are many situations where we find companies are frantically searching for a secret silver bullet to solve for increasing revenue or signups.

Once you dig down though and focus in on the most important conversion metrics, you start to focus in on the things that are most important and come to one singular goal of increasing conversions. (revenue, signups, user growth, etc.) And, as you start to dig into conversion funnels, you realize the most important thing is digging in, to reduce people bouncing from a given flow.

User acquisition is only the first step, keeping a visitor on your site, and making sure they make it through conversion funnels is quite frankly more important because for every person you bring into the top of the funnel, your metrics will look better across the board.

In order to reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates, you should here are a few things to focus in on.

Page Load Time:

You only have a few seconds to tell people what you’re selling or why the should join your community because, our attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter. No one will wait for a page to load, images to load. Generally what I find is, a page should load within a 3–5 seconds and time to interact (tti) with a page should be within a couple seconds. The TTI can make a huge difference in the conversion rates and in some cases, orders of magnitudes of difference for online retainers, especially.

Site Navigation and Experience

People want to be able to move around a site quickly, find what they want, and checkout. In order to do so, creating an easy to navigate site that leads the customer down the path of conversion is important. Creating several means of getting through to the next page, navigating them through a flow, or making sure there are multiple points to convert are a big part of this.

As an example, once someone is in the checkout flow, we really want to make sure that they stay in the flow to purchase the products they have chosen. In order to do this, we remove the standard site navigation items and footer navigation. This removes the ability for someone to start clicking around and either (a) forgetting to come back or (b) second guessing their decisions.

In Landing Pages and lead generation forms, especially when it comes longer form content, we have multiple methods to generate a conversion, whether it’s an email sign up or two calls-to-action, at the top and bottom of the page.

Simplicity (or, too many calls-to-action)

Along the same lines of navigation and experience, simplicity of experience is a big part of this. Sure, this could be tied to the last one, but, it’s just as important. Do not be afraid of whitespace, and I mean lots of it. Keeping a focus on creating a clean looking site experience that leads customers where you want them to go. The more you add to the page the more you take away from the singular focus that you have started with. when you’re trying to get someone to buy something, sign up for something, or even just read more content, when you start pushing people down multiple paths and types of calls-to-action, the more confused they will be.

Along the same lines, the color palette of your site can make a huge impact on this. Having a main, secondary, and tertiary set of colors allows you to focus your actions. Primary action colors should focus on your primary conversion elements will allow people coming to your site to look for those subconsciously. Secondary and tertiary colors for site links, other form buttons, secondary actions (e.g. primary is checkout, secondary is email sign up) should be more subtle will be apparent but not detract a customer from the main conversion action you want them to take.

Anything Broken…period.

One of the biggest sins I have seen in the last few years was an e-commerce site who had broken reviews links or links that led to specs or reviews of a different product. No matter how great we are at online advertising and seo services, we still would never be able to increase revenue, because people could not find the information they were looking for. Even worse. possible customers were led to a different product all together and links that were 404’s. Having any of these issues is going to increase your bounce rate and reduce conversion rates.

Obviously in the above case, the bounce rate from reviews pages was ultimately higher than any other page on the site. Reducing the above issues, 404s, broken images, links, or anything broken for that matter will naturally increase the conversion rates and reduce bounce rates.

What are your thoughts? Do you have tips around optimizing bounce rates and increase conversion rates? Let us know in the comments or follow us on twitter, @visiblefactors to keep the conversation going.

Top 5 Conversion Metrics: How and what to track

Obviously conversion metrics can vary from company to company, but, overall there are metrics that are always important to track. Understanding where traffic is coming from and whether it’s converting will help you make better decisions about where to invest resources and dollars. At the end of the day knowing those metrics help you build and grow your business.

Knowing this, we’ve built a list of give metrics that we are always tracking, in no particular order:

1. Conversions (including conversion/tracking pixels)

I’ve walked into many situations where conversion/tracking pixels are incorrectly installed, tracking incorrectly, and in some cases counting multiple conversions per conversion. (i.e. pixel is firing >1 time for every time someone completes a transaction). These issues can lead to a complete misunderstanding of your traffic and how it’s actually doing.

Fixing conversion pixels gives you a really solid foundation. Our team usually won’t start spending money on online advertising until this foundation is solid. This usually gets some of our client partners upset because, as startups, they want to move as fast as possible, but, we’re pretty adamant about this.

Most ad channels will have documentation on how to install pixels. For example, Google has an entire guide to setting up tracking for adwords and Facebook has document on setting up their new “Facebook pixel” for tracking and conversions. (this is different from previously used conversion pixels which will be switched out in mid 2016).

Once you have this set up correctly, you can effectively understand metrics on a per ad channel basis. Furthermore, having funnels tracked across the board will give you info on all of your traffic sources.

2. Traffic Sources

While you’re building traffic to the top of funnel, you need to understand that traffic. You’re going to want to drive traffic from a variety of sources at first to see what works and what doesn’t. I tend to mix into give major channels:

– Direct & Brand: This is a mix of direct visitors and people searching for terms around your brand. For example, if someone was searching google for “visible factors” we would bucket this into direct & brand.

– Organic Search: Organic search traffic, or SEO, can be extremely important to almost every business. Understanding people that come to your site based on content, services, or products offered will help you understand your user/customer better.

– Paid Search: I keep paid and organic search separate because of the intent. Usually people clicking on the ads having a higher intent of conversion. Also, if you get a lot of blog traffic, organic search traffic might not convert as high as paid search.

– Online Advertising: I tend to bucket social ads, retargeting and direct display advertising in a different bucket than paid search as well. Again, the intent and targeting is different. In many cases, because of the targeting, our reporting will differentiate display and social because of our goals.

An example of this could be us using Facebook ads to target individuals who are interested in fashion brands so we can get them to like or convert on a client’s brand. On the flip side, we might use display advertising to increase visibility and qualitative metrics around the brand to get people to discover them. Increasing brand metrics won’t convert as high as a paid search or even paid social visitor, but, what it will do is provide an impression or someone that will pick up a retargeting pixel and convert that way.

3. Bounce Rate (per source)

Understanding Bounce Rate by traffic source is something that can help you understand your traffic better. By understanding your traffic sources and the intent of each, it better helps you understand how to speak to them. Also, differentiating different sources like organic search and organic search from a blog will help you diagnose concerns about your traffic. Blog traffic will not convert at as high a rate as direct commerce traffic and will have a higher bounce rate. A simple example of this is something I’ve seen before, a high bounce rate on a site from a single traffic source because of a mandatory email gate. Removing the mandatory email gate reduced the bounce rate, we were still able to collect email addresses and conversion rate went up. Win, win, win.

4. Return Visitors & Retention

Retention and re-engagement are important because it can dramatically drive down your customer acquisition costs. You can track this by looking at cohorts of users over periods of time. If you have some questions about this, check out Andrew Chen’s post on Cohorts and Revisit Rates.

5. Customer Acquisition Cost

Ultimately, this is the metric that is most important because, whether your selling a product, offering a service, or a content/social product, you need to understand the cost of acquiring customers and users. I usually like to have a CPA view that looks at traffic sources separately, per ad channel, and/or a blended CPA. Once you have this type of view you can understand how effective your marketing efforts are.

This isn’t the comprehensive list, these are just 5 things I think are important to consider. For paid marketing specifically, I like looking at ROAS and ROI to understand profitability of campaigns. Ultimately, we want to turn our client ad dollars into a profit. And, for social/content channels and growth, we like to look at cohort usage deeper.

Overall, as I mentioned initially, every company is different and it’s important to recognize what  metrics are the most important for you to track. Defining this really drives how you look at the items I mentioned and how you track them specifically.

Let us know what metrics are your top conversion metrics below in the comments. And, check out how we can help with Online Advertising Consulting.