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Let’s all improve our CTR in Google, shall we?

There’s been an increase in the number of conversations amongst search engine experts recently about whether or not click-through rate has an effect on ranking. (Don’t worry, I read these things so you don’t have to). I’ve reported here in the past that studies seem to indicate that it does; but Google seems to be claiming that it does not.

You would expect it to do so, right? If in response to a search query, everyone was clicking on the number 9 result on the page, you’d want Google to move that result up to the top, surely?

Actually, when you think about the issue, it doesn’t matter. The only way you can improve click-through rate is to have a result in the search engines which is more attractive to click on. And that means writing a better page title and description meta tag. It doesn’t matter whether or not doing that will move you up the page or not, you need to do it anyway!

I still think that a continual effort to improve your page titles is one of the most cost-effective things you can do, not just in SEO but in all of marketing. It’s criminal how many companies have a content management system which just sets up every page title in some barely-considered, standard format. Would you write a full-page advert for a magazine and just slap a machine-generated label on it as the headline? Like this? Why consign your 60-65 characters of page title which appears in Google to that fate?