Recently the vince or brand update has reared its ugly head. Matthew Trewhella of Google recently stated the brand up date was aimed at maximising the user experience, “every time a Google user has to enter a second search, Google considers this a failure”.
You can read a little bit more about the brand update at SEO Book.
So how do we use this information for our SEO efforts? I have always been of the opinion that bounce rates are not really a factor in the Google mix yet; this is mainly due to the fact that not everyone uses analytics so how would a ranking algorithm based on bounce rates be fair?
OK, so if it’s not bounce rates how else can Google measure the quality of the results they are showing on the first page of queries?
I guess it’s really pretty straight forward, click through rates. If your site sits on the first page of Google but has a low click through rate for its position, the chances are the page will slowly lose ranking, I personally believe that an algorithm to this effect is already in place.
Up until recently SEOwizz was ranking first page for “Google Search Engine”, clearly it wasn’t what searchers were looking for and I had 1 click in 3 weeks, safe to say it dropped back 3 pages and probably more now.
Right, knowing this should make us automatically consider click optimisation, increasing the number of clicks we receive to our sites and there are a few ways we can optimise this;
When it comes to title tags it is easy to simply consider using keywords separated with hyphens but looking unnatural. I made the decision a while ago to include my brand in the title tag in hope that users may attach a little more trust to the listing. It can be a tough compromise when it comes to the title tag, many advise to ask a question in it, or even use capitals to grab attention. I personally say leave that to adwords marketing, stick with using the right keywords in prominent positions but making it sound a little more natural and human.
It is debatable as to whether or not Google takes the meta description into consideration, we know meta keywords are a total no go and Google recently confirmed this, for a change
Right, but even if they do not use the description in the ranking algorithm, we know for a fact relevant keywords with in it are bolded, just like an adwords ad.
So the same applies, use the keywords in a prominent position, in my opinion use them twice. This will make your listing stand out which will increase click through rates and hopefully rankings.
Ranking with a twist
I am not going to insult your intelligence by stating “ranking higher increases click through rates”, however I am sure you have been in a position where you are stuck on the first page in 4th or 5th position and the sites in front of you have millions of links? Is there anything you can do to increase your visibility without increasing rank?
In my opinion, yes and it was spoken about recently at SEOmoz, it is the idea of indented listings. This is where a site is listed and then has a sub listing directly below, slightly indented, hence the name.
Rand at SEOmoz runs through how to do this but it is really simple.
- Find the listing you are ranking on the first page for
- Find the page on your site which is most relevant to the keyword the initial page is ranking for (if you want to find which pages of your site are relevant to a particular keyword simply tap “keyword site:your site” into Google search , this will bring up a list of your pages in order of relevance to the target keyword.)
- Link from the initial page to the new page using the target keyword
- If the new page has few external links, use articles and link partnerships to build some authority.
The video at SEOmoz goes into a little more detail if you want to skip over and watch it.
What will this do? Simple, it will cause your site to stand out more and will significantly increase your traffic on that keyword.
I tried to do it on my Bing SEO articles but rank number 1 for the keyword now anyway. This is a great way to increase organic traffic as a whole to your site, so I would suggest skipping through your analytics to see if there are any keywords you get traffic on that can be enhanced.
OK, so in my opinion these are the best ways of increasing your click through rate and rank. Of course having you major keyword in your URL helps but that’s a little obvious to state.Line Break
Author: Tim (294 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.