Hiral Rana Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of Preceptist, a content marketing agency for SaaS businesses. She's passionate about all things Digital & Social Media and has conducted training programs at institutes like GLS University and L.J. Institute of Media & Communications. Hiral also shares her insights and knowledge with the audience of publications like AdWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner to name a few.
Understand your audience to improve your CTR. Know how CTR works and what you can do about your CTR to make it better than it is today.
Whether you perform a Google search or scroll through your social media feed, you’ll find plenty of businesses competing for your attention. But only a few will actually get your attention. Why? Because they have optimized for Click-Through-Rate or CTR.
No matter how good your landing pages or your content are, if you do not optimize for CTR, then it’s challenging to get visitors to your website. For optimizing for CTR, creativity is important. In this guide, let’s look at some creative strategies that you can use to optimize for higher CTR in 2021.
What is CTR, and Why is it an Important Metric?
Simply put, CTR meaning is the ratio of impressions to clicks. CTR can be measured for the Google search results, social media ads, emails, PPC ads, etc. CTR plays a key role in determining the fate of your business.
Without good CTR, you won’t be able to bring the target audience into your funnel. To answer what is a good click-through rate, you have got to keep testing, which we will discuss below. Simply getting tons of impressions without any clicks is of no use - be it for organically or using paid strategies.
7 Creative Ways to Optimize for Higher CTR
Now that you know how important it is to optimize for higher CTR let’s look at some strategies that will help you do that.
1. Research Your Audience
One of the biggest reasons users might not click through to your website is that you’re not offering them what they want. Hence, having a thorough understanding of your audience is very important for improving your CTR.
Here are a few steps that will help you with audience research:
- Analyze your existing customers and your competitors’ target audiences to come up with a detailed buyer persona for your business. You can list down things such as the users’ demographics, interests, pain points, goals, objectives, etc.
- For every ad or piece of content, you promote, try to develop your buyer persona’s point of view. Research your audience’s pain points relevant to that topic. You can do this by hopping on to various platforms such as social media, online forums, etc., to find what your ideal customer has to say about that topic.
- Using the data you have gathered, consider modifying your content, ads, landing pages, and the overall messaging in such a way that it most speaks to your audience.
2. Use the Right Keywords
Using the right keywords is crucial to improve your CTR. The same messaging delivered using different keywords can make a world of difference to your CTR. For finding the right keywords, it is important to understand the users’ search intent.
For instance, suppose that you want to target people who are looking for cheap mobile phones. For such a scenario, having a headline that says “cheap mobile phones” might be good. But, a headline that says “mobile phones under $100” might fetch you many more clicks compared to the former keyphrase.
So, try to find the right keywords to use in your ad copies, PPC ads, content headlines, and emails. If you tailor these keywords to be specific to the users’ intent, then you’ll get a much better CTR.
3. Captivate Your Prospects With Eye-Catchy Visuals
Did you know that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text? Visuals have a very important role to play in impacting your audience psychologically. A simple visual that represents the exact same message as a mere text-based message can be much more impactful.
You can improve the CTR for your ads drastically with the help of visual elements. These can be simple images or more informative infographics. Adding such visual elements will be much more effective in conveying the message that you want to deliver. I’d also recommend using a graphical abstract maker to create detailed visuals to bag your readers’ attention.
An analysis of 5000 campaigns done by Vero reveals that campaigns with images had a 42% higher click-through rate than those without images. The same study also shows that emails with images convert 2x more than those without images. This case study clearly reveals the importance of using visuals for increasing CTR.
4. Master the Art of Headline Copywriting
Headlines are one of the first elements that come to our attention when going through an ad or a Google search result. Users will scroll past your headline, and within a fraction of a second, you need to capture their attention. Headline plays a major role in doing so.
In short, your headlines can make or break your CTR. Even the change of a word can have a massive impact on the users’ will to click through from your headline. So, how do you ensure that your headlines resonate with the users? Through strategic headline copywriting.
Through headline copywriting, you can ensure that you use the right set of words that the user is looking for. As mentioned in the previous steps, keywords play a key role here. Your headline’s primary focus should be to give a brief gist of what to expect after clicking through and a key benefit that the user will get by doing so.
You can also add some numbers and data to make your headlines more interesting and captivating. Your headlines can be curiosity-driven or even FOMO-driven. You should also make sure that you don't create click-bait headlines that promise something and deliver something else.
5. Focus on the Benefits Rather Than Features
Many businesses make the mistake of talking about their products’ features instead of talking about these features that can benefit the users. This is a huge mistake, and it can lead to reduced CTR for your business.
This is because users are not bothered about your products or their features. They are only concerned about how your products can solve their pain points or make their lives easier. Hence, it is very important to highlight benefits over features if you want to see higher CTR.
You can highlight the benefits of using audience research, as discussed in the previous points. When you know exactly what the users are looking for, you can project these as benefits through headlines, ad copy, visual content, etc. These benefits will definitely trigger your audience to click through and know more about your offering.
6. Make Use of Emotional Triggers
For your ads and headlines to have the best first impression on users, you should ensure that your messaging resonates with them on an emotional level. Oftentimes you see most ad copies being dry and boring. Adding emotional triggers to these can be super-helpful to achieve higher CTRs.
For instance, feelings such as helplessness, frustration, disapproval, rejection, etc., are strong emotions that your users might be going through. If your offering has a solution to any of these problems, you can use these as emotional triggers in your ad copy or headlines.
You can talk about how they might be currently feeling helpless and how your offering can get them out of this state. Or, your messaging can focus on how you can eliminate the current frustration that the user might be experiencing. Adding such emotional triggers will help you instantly connect with your users and thus urge them to click through.
7. Test Extensively
The biggest problem with CTR optimization is that it is highly unpredictable. It is largely governed by human behavior, which cannot be predicted by the best of the experts. So, if you want to maximize your CTR, testing is the best way to go about it.
A/B testing or split testing is a great way to optimize for higher CTR. Split testing is when you test 2 variants of a headline or ad by varying only one element.
For example, suppose that you are running Google ads for your landing page. In that case, you can run A/B tests by using two variations of the headline for the same landing page. This way, you can continue with the headline variant that gets a higher CTR.
Similarly, suppose that you want to run tests to improve the CTR of the Facebook ad you are running. In such a case, you can test the ad’s performance by varying the graphic that you include as a part of the ad. This way, you’ll land on a variant that fetches you the highest CTR.
A great example of this would be the A/B testing done on a banner ad by Humana, an insurance carrier. Through A/B testing, they were able to increase their CTR by more than 433%!
Reaching your customers through advertising or using organic marketing strategies is easy, but ensuring that you capture their attention and get them to click through to your website is challenging.
Through CTR optimization, you can improve the chances of getting your target audience’s attention and getting them into your funnel.
In this guide, you’ll find some effective, creative strategies that will help you optimize for higher CTR. Implementing these will not only help you improve your CTR but will also help you to improve brand awareness, get more conversions, and increase your sales.
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