Titles for Real Estate SEO.. Think Click Through Rate (CTR)

It’s well known that your page title is the most important element for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but do you also think about CTR? (Click Through Rate)?

It’s something advanced SEO / marketers really need to learn about and then focus hard on improving so that when they finally do get to the top 3 positions (the only place left with a real chance for traffic) that they aren’t just showing up in the SERPS, but actually “getting clicks”.

Let’s do a quick lesson on defining title and CTR. Here’s a visual for you.

This is a search for “Real Estate Webmasters” (that is the keyword search)

The page title is the purple letters (blue if you have not ever clicked them) that show up right after the URL.

Page titles are presented as much larger than other elements on the search results as such draw the customer’s attention towards them.

CTR (Click Through Rate): is a simple measure of how often some clicks on your result divided by how many searches (impressions) it was shown in. clicks/impressions.

A high click-through rate is good (more clicks for you) and a low click-through rate is bad (less clicks for you)… Make sense?

In the screenshot above we have 69 clicks off of 300 impressions. A 23% click-through rate

While 23% is quite good, I would like to caveat it’s a brand term in the #1 position, so this is also not surprising.

Now, imagine you spent all this time, effort, and money getting to the top 3 for a keyword and you only got 1% click-through rate?

Those 300 searches would only result in 3 clicks as compared to 69 which is 96% less traffic.

I think it’s safe to say having a high click-through rate is extremely important, perhaps as important as the ranking itself.

Interestingly, it is also reported that Google uses CTR as a ranking factor itself. Which actually makes a lot of sense, since if Google is showing a result high in the SERPS, and no one is clicking on it, clearly Google is showing the wrong result (or a result not interesting to the search audience) and that makes Google look bad.

So it’s no surprise they will reduce your rankings for bad CTR. Yet another reason to make sure you improve it.

So how do you improve your click-through rate on Google?

  • Match their search. If your SEO is on point, you’ll have done this anyways, but it is important to ensure the keyword they searched is in the Title. Google Adwords knows this very well, and provides “dynamic keyword insertion” in order to match the “exact” search variation in the title for better click-through rate.

  • Don’t over SEO your titles: Title = Keyword1, Keyword2, Keyword 3 looks stupid (and doesn’t tell the customer anything. Note the title in the screen above. It’s the brand they searched for “Real Estate Webmasters” and then a list of the services people care about for this brand “Websites, CRM, and Leads”. But notice I gave up a few characters to provide a qualifying statement “The best”… I want users to be curious and want to click through to know why we are the best.

  • Get creative (and don’t be afraid to lose position): Companies like Moz or Hubspot have all sorts of great articles on CTR and how making certain changes to Titles can increase CTR by double-digit numbers. One such article said adding (brackets) in your title can increase CTR by up to 40%. You can also do things like change the title case, go all caps (or don’t), try different spacers (actual space, pipe, comma, etc) you can re-order the words (keyword 1st statement 2nd, vice versa)

And these are just some ideas around the Title.

You should also be compounding these efforts with other SERP elements that I will cover in subsequent posts like

  • Meta Description
  • The 2 billboard effect (adwords)
  • structured data
  • grouping topical pages
  • Using FAQ’s in your content

There is so much more! And each of these things can make your SERPS more compelling in Google and increase your click-through rate.