Do you have pages on your website that rank well but are not getting many clicks? You can find out by using Google Search Console. Once you find these pages, you can try changing their HTML Title and Meta Description and see if that helps the click-through rate.
Begin by going to your website’s section in Google search console and clicking Search Traffic -> Search Analytics on the side menu.
The Queries results should be showing. Then check the boxes for Clicks, Impressions, CTR, and Position.
Technically, you just need Clicks and Impressions for what we’re about to do, but the Click Through Rate (CTR) is a handy confirmation when comparing clicks and impressions. And I like to know the average position on Google’s results when considering which pages may need some SEO work.
Ok, time to look at the results.
What you’re seeing here, from left to right, is:
- search phrases that users have entered
- the number of times they clicked on your page in the results
- how many search users saw your page in the results
- the percentage of clicks out of all those impressions
- the average position of your page within the results
And what we’re interested in is pages where a whole lot of people saw your page in the listings, but few of them clicked on your link – in other words, a low Click Through Rate (CTR).
Notice that while “youtube verify” had the second highest number of clicks, it has a very low click-through rate.
The question then is: why aren’t people clicking on my result in the search?
Well, part of that may be that, while the page is on the first page of Google – average position 9.7 (10 results per page) – it’s usually right at the bottom, and visitors probably have clicked on an earlier result and got what they needed.
Or it could be that the wording of my search result is not as good as some others, so let’s see what’s showing up:
Now there are three elements to a Google search results:
- the Title (blue), which comes from the HTML title tag of your page
- the URL (green)
- the Description (grey), which is taken from your page’s Meta Description or, if you don’t have a meta description or Google thinks it’s a poor one, from the text of your page
You don’t want to mess with the URL unless absolutely necessary because it will break links if you don’t do it the right way. But the other two elements you can experiment with.
Now in this case my HTML Title is a good one, so no point in messing with it.
The HTML Title is a tag that you only see in your browser tab or in places like Google search results – it’s separate from the Page Title that you see at the beginning of an article.
But my description leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, for this page I had forgotten to do a meta description, so Google is grabbing text from the page that relates to the keywords in the search – “youtube verify” – including grabbing text from the file name of an image!
Writing a clear, useful meta description may help make my listing stand out in the minds of visitors – and hopefully get more of them to click.
If you’re using WordPress and an SEO plugin, it’s very easy to change (or add!) a meta description. Most other content management systems make it easy too. At the very worst, you’ll need to edit an HTML file or get your designer/developer to do it.
So look through your Queries results in Google Search Console and watch for pages that aren’t producing clicks despite having lots of eyes on their search results.