For small businesses, digital marketing can be an overwhelming venture. Social media, search engines, and marketing websites all present unique marketing challenges. But, the goal of each channel is the same: to get consumers to click through to your website and engage with your content.
Click throughs are a way of measuring how many people see a link versus click a link from organic or paid search results, advertising, and social media. A high click through rate means consumers are buying what your copy is selling. The competitive world of digital marketing can make it difficult for small businesses to generate a good click through ratio on fixed budgets.
Not to fear, improving click through rates is possible. With better strategizing, companies can get a higher return on the money they’re already spending. Let’s look at some reasons why companies see poor click through rates.
You Don’t Have an SEO Strategy
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a nebulous term for the art of getting your content found by consumers using Google, Bing, or the like. There are dozens of critical data points that get fed into the algorithms behind a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Small business marketers tend to get lost in the mechanical nitty-gritty of SEO before they have a clear sense of their overall strategy.
SEO strategy breaks down into two simple parts:
- Who your customers are: Understanding your customer demographic can help you determine SEO strategies, like where to invest advertising money. For example, if you cater to enterprise-level clients, sponsoring posts on Facebook might not be the best strategy.
- What motivates your customers: Use search engine analytics to see what search terms are drawing your customers. (Pro tip: You can also use SEO tools to learn what terms are being used by your competitors.)
Essentially, companies need to have an idea of what content pulls customers in, and thus, what content to push out to keep them engaged. As with any good marketing strategy, search engine optimization requires constant monitoring and tweaking to succeed.
When it comes to click throughs, there are a few SEO components that make a notable difference:
- Quality Content: Search engines value high-quality, informative content and reward it with top SERP positions. The top position has the highest click rate—33% by some estimates—and the rate drops precipitously after that.
- Site Structure: A well-organized website (i.e., how all your site’s pages connect to each other) provides a better user experience. Search engines also have an easier time crawling it and finding the relevant content that visitors are looking for.
- Target Keywords: These phrases are the avenue through which search engines connect you and your customers. Knowing your target keywords can help you determine what content to produce, how to structure your site, and what words to compete on for paid search.
The world of SEO can be overwhelming because the algorithms are always changing, but these basic elements will help you create a solid foundation.
Your Click Through Link Has a Boring Call-to-Action
To get people to click on a link, marketers use a CTA (Call-to-Action) to make it clear why they should click. Whether it’s asking consumers to “Sign Up Today” or telling them they can “Get 20% Off,” the right CTA can inspire people to click through to your site.
Let’s take a look at a specific example and break down what makes a good CTA. Hubspot has collected a variety of standout CTAs, including this one from Netflix:
Image Source: Hubspot
What makes it so great?
- The copy is simple but compelling. “Join Free for a Month” tells consumers a lot of information using minimal space. You know what to expect (“join”). You’re compelled to join because it’s “free.” And you know that it’s a trial (“for a month”).
- Netflix uses bright red and an easy-to-see placement to draw attention to the CTA. Sometimes, companies overcrowd pages and CTAs fall “below the fold,” where they won’t be seen unless people scroll down.
- The featured image does a lot of the work to help convey the benefits of joining Netflix: a loving family happily spending time together.
To find the right CTA, companies can use A/B testing to figure out what words and designs are most compelling. But A/B testing requires time and knowledge or software, which brings us to our final problem.
The Budget is Lacking or Being Wasted
As small businesses, you simply don’t have the web footprint of larger competitors. To compete, businesses often use paid search like Google AdWords. Even so, smaller budget AdWords campaigns can still wind up on the second page of search engine results. Since second page results seldom get click throughs, this money ends up being wasted.
Without the budget to pay for first page results or the web presence to organically show up on page one, what’s a small business to do?
To make sure your paid search budget is being utilized effectively, small businesses need to invest in understanding target keywords.
SEO tools like Wordstream can help you analyze and optimize your current keyword strategies to produce more click throughs. Many companies don’t include negative keywords in their campaigns—words that they don’t want AdWords to associate them with—which can produce a lot of bad leads. Other times, companies compete on highly competitive keywords, while ignoring more niche, longtail terms (i.e. “SEO software” versus “best SEO software for small companies”).
Keep in mind that paid search is not a set-it-and-forget-it program. Without constant analysis and tweaks, any money being put into paid search is likely being wasted.
Click Through to Success
While click through rates aren’t the only SEO metric to consider, they’re a great way to measure the health of your content, CTAs, and SEO strategy. All it takes is good analytics and a willingness to tweak and test your strategy.
Need more guidance? Schedule a 1-hour consultation with one of our experts today to start getting a handle on your website performance.