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CTR Manipulation: Why It’s Important For SEO and How Do You Actually Manipulate SERP Rankings in Your Favor?

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CTR Manipulation | One Search Pro Digital Marketing Malaysia

If you’re a business owner or in charge of marketing for your company, you definitely know that a website is crucial in reaching your target audience. Your foremost question has therefore got to be:

“How do I make my website stand out on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?”

This is where digital marketing which entails SEO (Search Engine Optimization), paid ads, social media campaigns, and more, enters the picture. Some examples of these digital marketing methods that can improve your website’s position include SEO content writing, backlink building, and on-page SEO optimization.

However, there’s one more factor that has been found to influence your page’s ranking on search engines like Google, and that is none other than Click-Through Rates (CTR). CTR manipulation is now highly believed to give the ranking of your web properties a boost, but the million-dollar question is – how?

This is the exact question we’re going to be answering in the following sections.

Defining CTR: What Exactly Is It?

In terms of social media marketing, CTR represents the portion of internet users who have seen your link and subsequently followed through by clicking on it.

In order to calculate CTR, we take the number of clicks that your social media ad experiences, and divide it with the number of times that ad has been shown (impressions). This number is then multiplied by 100 and turned into a percentage. Therefore, we can use this formula:

(Number of Clicks) x100 = CTR
Total Times Ad Shown

We can choose to interpret it this way: the higher the CTR value, the higher the success rate of your ads – as more people are clicking on it.

Coincidentally (or not), in the realm of online marketing, website conversion depends on how many people actually click your link. This link with engagement can be a displayed CTA on an ad or a link on a results page.

Sample CTA Button on Facebook | CTR Manipulation | One Search Pro Digital Marketing Malaysia
Example of a CTA button on an FB sponsored post. Source: Facebook

In general, a good click-through rate is about 1.91% for search links and 0.35% for displayed links. [1] It is important to know that the CTR rate is a relative ratio and not representative of a fixed amount.

Therefore, the more your website is displayed, the higher the final number of CTRs that will occur.

Does CTR Affect Your Page Ranking on Google?

In recent times, there has been increasing proof that CTRs play a crucial role in determining your site’s SERP rankings.

This is because the algorithm of search engines like Google will rank a website based on how relevant and trustworthy it is based on the user’s search term. To do that, the algorithm needs to measure certain parameters to gauge how relevant your site is.

Therefore, if more people are clicking on your link, Google will interpret it as more people trusting and going to your site.

This is also an indication that more people are searching for your site, and that they have previously reaped benefits from your site, even repeatedly interacting with it without any negative feedback.

All these contribute significantly to helping your site rank higher.

Do Google Themselves Admit That CTR Affects Page Ranking?

We can consider the significance of CTR in SEO strategies as this fact has been confirmed by Google themselves, seeing that organic CTRs had been openly admitted by Google as part of their ranking factors.

Here are some key sources that confirm this fact:

  1. Google’s click data is used to rank sites on SERPs, as it is a strong indicator of the information people look for the most. Logically speaking, the more people gravitate towards a link, the more interaction it generates.
  2. Search engine rankings are modeled based on user feedback rather than presentation bias. One of the main user feedback that the system uses is SERP links that are often clicked, which make them rank higher.
  3. There is unofficial confirmation that Google takes link clicks into consideration when ranking websites. This practice isn’t limited to Google and is practiced by other search engines as well, as it is the most effective way to measure relevance via a user’s behavior.

What is CTR Manipulation?

Since CTR has been confirmed as one of the factors that can determine how high your page ranks, it’s therefore important to use certain methods to optimize the clicks that your page links experience.

CTR manipulation SEO is something relevant to the whole Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy in addition to factors like on-page optimization, content keyword insertion, building backlinks, and the like.

To manipulate CTR, there are several methods to achieve this. However, you have to keep in mind that some of these methods might be frowned upon by the search engine, and can be considered black hat SEO techniques that may incur a Google Penalty.

However, despite being called CTR ‘manipulation’, it doesn’t necessarily have to contain any unscrupulous elements. There are many organic methods that are acceptable and ethical which can, in fact, increase your CTRs.

Therefore, it is important to know how to implement CTR manipulation techniques correctly in order to achieve your end goals and avoid being blacklisted by search engine operators.

What Are Some Non-Organic CTR Manipulation Techniques?

Covered below are some of the most common methods practiced by SEO strategists to improve CTRs. However, keep in mind that not all methods practiced today are considered white hat or organic SEO techniques.

Disclaimer: Be aware that these methods may cause you to be flagged by search engines, especially if you have a sudden and unexplained surge in traffic.

Here are the most popularly used methods out there:

CTR Click Bots

A CTR manipulation bot is a software program that will type in a search term related to your site on a search engine and then click on your site’s link. It basically simulates the behavior of a human user who might do this in an organic setting.

This step is meant to make the search engine believe that your site garners lots of clicks, therefore improving your CTR. These bots are sometimes called CTR traffic bots or automated software. You can technically customize your own bots with automation tools, or purchase them with tools that can manipulate CTR.

There is some debate as to how effective these bots are, especially since Google measures more parameters in user behavior than just clicks from a SERP. Additionally, there are plenty of telltale signs that a CTR click bot is nothing more than that – a bot.

Some of these include repeated actions over a long period of time, not enough time spent on the target page, all clicks coming from one source, sudden unexplained surges in clicks, and so on.

Google’s algorithm might pick up on these very obvious signs and penalize your page if you use an SEO CTR bot. Some of these penalizations might include downgrading your page rank or completely removing your page from its listings.

The use of CTR bots, therefore, comes with disclaimers, whereby you have to realize the amount of risk and its effects on your page.

Human Microworkers

Apart from using automated programs to do the searching and link clicking, some SEO strategists also hire real human workers to perform the same action. These microtasks are crowdsourced from a large pool of online workers, usually from part-time job platforms.

Usually, these workers are given a set of predetermined tasks to do, and their actions mimic that of CTR manipulation bots.

These tasks can include searching for a researched keyword that will bring up the target page link, clicking on target links, staying on the page for a minimum amount of time, scrolling through the target page, and clicking on links within the page – all of which can be analyzed using a simple heatmap.

From an SEO point of view, using human workers from various locations around the world is strategically better than using bots. This is because they mimic real human traffic better than bots, especially in the way they can vary their bounce rate and length of stay on your page.

Microworkers also come from different places, so their actions will be less noticeable as compared to bots whose actions all originate from one same source.

The only trade-in for employing micro-workers is that it will cost you more than bots and many other organic strategies to manipulate CTR.

This is because you will need to hire a substantial number of micro workers to perform these tasks and achieve a perceived authenticity for the clicks being generated.

Organic CTR Manipulation Techniques that Are Also Effective

Before anything, it’s important to know that there’s nothing better than increasing your CTR organically as this represents real traffic reaching your site.

These legitimate methods are also known as ‘White Hat’ strategies and pose no risk to your site at all when implemented correctly.

At the end of the day, these strategies will be able to help you kill two birds with one stone, as they’re also effective in marketing your brand on social media.

Email Marketing

You don’t need a CTR manipulation course to understand this one, as the mechanics behind it are simple. All you have to do is include your target link in a marketing email and blast it out to your email list.

Although it may not have as high an impact as other CTR manipulation tools, you can still encourage a healthy amount of link clicks and add that to the data kept by the search engine’s algorithm. Of course, it’s advisable to use this in tandem with other methods.

Email Campaign with Optimized CTA Button | CTR Manipulation | One Search Pro Digital Marketing Malaysia
Email campaigns are considered an effective form of digital marketing. Source: Yahoo Mail

Increasing Social Media Shares

There are ways to get your followers and other users to share your social media content with links included. This includes offering incentives like free gifts or coupons if they like and share your content.

Most importantly, sharing your social media links to an even wider target audience will generate more views, and increase the chances of click-throughs in an organic manner.

In order to make this strategy a success, it helps if you have many active followers who engage with your brand. Google and other search engines will pick up on this user behavior.

Google tracks user behavior the most on Facebook and Twitter, so it’s best to focus your share campaigns on these platforms.

Using Share Requests on Social Media Posts | CTR Manipulation | One Search Pro Digital Marketing Malaysia
Placing a share request can help your CTR. Source: Facebook

Paying for Ads

One way to ensure that your links reach even more users is to place them in paid ads. These paid ads take various forms on both social media as well as search engines. For example, you can pay for ads on Instagram, or have a sponsored post on Facebook.

These ads will show up on the feeds of people who match your defined target market, therefore increasing the chances of your links being clicked on.

One type of Google Advertising is the pay-per-click ad which will place your web page at the top of SERPs. Users will see your link as one of the first few displayed, increasing your chances of being clicked.

Related: Search Engine Marketing (PPC) for Dummies

Research has also shown that users will tend to trust your site more if it appears on the first page of the search results. This is to say that, similar to SEO, placing your website with well-researched keywords as an ad will achieve the same effect too.

Pay-Per-Click Ad on Google SERP | CTR Manipulation | One Search Pro Digital Marketing Malaysia
Examples of pay-per-click ads. Source: Google

Optimizing Meta Tags

The title tag is your website’s title that will appear on search engine results pages while the meta description is the small portion of text that appears below your title tag. It allows users to know about the content on your page at a glance.

This is where good copywriting in Malaysia comes in, whereby both the title meta description has to be catchy and stay within the character limit: 60 for titles and 160 for meta descriptions.

It has to be concise yet informative enough to let users know what’s in store for them on the page while standing out from the rest of the sites on the list too.

If you’re able to attract more clicks with a good meta description, it can be an effective CTR SEO manipulation tool as well.

Further reading: How to Write The Perfect Meta Title and Description

Sample Meta Title and Description | CTR Manipulation | One Search Pro Digital Marketing Malaysia
What title tags and meta descriptions look like. Source: Google

Giving Some Love to Schema Tags, Too!

It’s useful to know a little bit about how search engines rank your page. In layman’s terms, search engines perform a page crawl and keep an index of your page’s contents. The way they do this is to take note of schema tags.

Schema tags that employ high-performing, relevant keywords will increase your chances of being featured as part of a query result. This is why you should use keyword research tools to help plan schema tags for the different parts of your page.

These days, Google also takes schema tags into consideration when users type in their search queries. This is to say that parts of your page’s content can function as answers to those questions if they contain the right keywords to answer the exact query.

Google Knowledge Panels are one such example.

Using Schema Tags for People Also Ask Section | CTR Manipulation | One Search Pro Digital Marketing Malaysia
Attaching schema tags to FAQs can help them appear as answers in Google’s ‘People also ask’ list. Source: Google

Outsourcing Your SEO Process

When you don’t have the time or resources to be doing your own CTR SEO manipulation, outsourcing is always an option. Many SEO agencies, like One Search Pro, can provide CTR manipulation templates and CTR manipulation tutorials as part of our SEO methods.

As an established and possibly the best digital marketing agency Malaysia has to offer, our creative agency provides reasonable SEO service prices to fit the size and requirements of your company.

One Search Pro Marketing SEO Strategies | CTR Manipulation | One Search Pro Digital Marketing Malaysia
Agencies like One Search Pro can help you understand SEO better.

Wrapping Up on CTR Manipulation

Despite having the word ‘manipulation’ in it, the process of CTR manipulation can actually be done organically without raising any alarming red flags.

However, as a website owner or administrator, you have the choice in determining which CTR manipulation methods you want to employ, as long as you know all the implications of that particular method and the costs involved.

CTRs are a key part of how Google ranks pages, and there are definitely plenty of benefits in getting more clicks for your links. Contact us at One Search Pro to understand how this and other SEO techniques can help increase your website’s traffic and reach – leading to actual conversions!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Traffic Do You Need for CTR?

You need traffic that comes from various sources like social media, other websites, and search engine results. They should preferably be human so that search engines like Google can track user behavior to know that the clicks are real and organic.

What is The Best Time to Implement CTR Manipulation?

The best time to perform CTR manipulation is when your page is not moving up in ranks in a search results page or SERP and appears to be ‘stuck’ in place even when you have regularly practiced other SEO or online marketing efforts.

How Does SEO Affect CTR?

Increasing your CTRs is a part of the SEO strategies that will help increase your page’s visibility and ranking in a search engine results list.

Therefore, CTR manipulation can be considered an important, if not vital, component of SEO, as search engines take into consideration the number of clicks a website gets when they’re determining where you stand in a SERP.

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