We all know high-quality organic traffic trumps everything else.
Social media, PPC, paid social and more still don’t come close to the effectiveness of organic Google traffic. It’s just fact.
Around 8 weeks ago I was looking at how I could increase organic traffic to my website and brand Rugby Warfare. I needed more high-quality traffic that would convert and by convert I mean buy more of my rugby clothing range.
I could have just upped my spend on social media and advertise more through influencers but my 7 years of SEO knowledge was telling me otherwise.
I needed a goal, a target, and a big challenge.
I did some keyword research and found the term “Rugby Training” had decent volume (3000 searchers per month UK).
The problem? Huge sites were flooding the first page.
But f*** it, I rolled up my sleeves, wrote a monster 5o00 word piece on rugby training and designed a page of pure beauty. (You can view the page here)
I did everything from cover rugby training in-depth, cover related subjects like strength and conditioning and more. I made sure all on-page tweaks were done. I left no stone unturned.
I spent hours outreaching to rugby blogs to get links. I mean hours. Stupidly long hours.
I managed to get 10+ high-quality links and it got shared a lot.
I hit a roadblock.
The page started ranking, quickly rising to 8th in Google… then stopped.
No movement for MONTHS.
I could have spent more hours outreaching to get more links but my time was spent on doing SEO full-time as a job.
The rest of my time was spent talking to manufacturers, sorting out the logistics of new items arriving, making new designs for Q4 and packing orders. (The joys of running a company all by yourself!)
Doing SEO all day didn’t help. The last thing I wanted to do was grind from 7pm–2am doing outreach again.
I spent my time growing the brand in other areas but I knew I had to do something.
I couldn’t let this drop, I knew it had potential and this was too much traffic to give up on + I wanted to see if a small site like mine could outrank other rugby giants.
THE CHANGES I MADE
I’m a big fan of Brian Dean of Backlinko and around this time the SEO community was going on and on about user engagement metrics for SEO. Brian published a post covering this topic too.
Rand from Moz even did a little test and got his mozzers to all click on a page that was ranked at the bottom of page 1 in Google.
The results? It shot up to 3rd position in Google for a while. All from a higher CTR.
This caught my attention and at the time I had beta access to a new plugin called YoRocket.
I won’t bore you with all the details but essentially it helps you improve the CTR of your titles by giving you recommendations and telling you if your title is missing key factors such as:
So here’s what happened.
My title before the change and title after the change are below.
Old Title: Rugby Training: The Ultimate Guide
New Title: Rugby Training: How to Catapult Your Performance In 8 Weeks
Yep, big deal.
Added a few cool words like Catapult and Performance.
Look I know what you’re thinking: “Scott, I just read this entire post for you to tell me you changed a few words in your title?”
Yes, you did, but hear me out. The results speak for themselves.
So I made this change around 6 weeks ago. For around 4 months before the change, the ranking was 8th.
I compared the last 6 weeks of traffic data to the 6 weeks before the change.
Here’s what Google Analytics showed me:
155% increase in traffic overall and a 194% increase in new users!
So what happened in those 6 weeks?
This is my take on how this all works and why my traffic increased so dramatically.
- My Click Through Rate (CTR) for the page at 8th position (according to Google Search Console) was between 0.5–1.5%. Not ideal.
- My CTR after the title change at 8th position? 13.5%.
That’s roughly 10x better than before.
3. Google clocked these results and thought (or what I think they thought):
“Holy fuck, this page is performing much better in the search results page than our algorithms predict, push it up!”
4. My ranking shot up from 8th to 2nd (now 1st) and has been there since. The huge increase in traffic is of course due to it being ranked 1st compared to 8th but the higher CTR was the reason the ranks improved. With a better title, the result is pulling in a lot more clicks than that means more juicy organic traffic for me.
CONCLUSION & TOP TIPS
CTR being a ranking factor is real people. You can check out this infographic on Search Engine Land on some actual real stats.
I recommend you all go to Ahrefs site explorer immediately and check to see what blog posts/pages you have ranking between 4th and 10th.
Here are the steps on how to find target pages to optimise for better CTR in less than 5 minutes.
Go to Site Explorer
Click “Organic Keywords” on the left sidebar
Filter via positions in Google (1st position first)
Scroll down to 4th-10th results. Find a decent volume keyword.
Find some keywords with decent volume that would bring in a spike in traffic if their ranks improved.
I tend to go for 4–8th position keywords.
This is due to the fact that more than 60% of the organic clicks go to position 1–3 in the results.
4th + gets hardly any slice of the cake, you need to be in the top 3.
And there you go! A quick and easy way of getting more organic traffic with less than 15 minutes total work.