In technical SEO, we know of content, backlinks and on-page SEO as significant ranking factors. They are major traffic generators for many websites. However, in the last couple of years, click-through rate (CTR) is also becoming a major ranking factor. And because of this, it comes as no surprise to hear about CTR manipulation as a technique to get better rankings.
With this latest development in search engine ranking, it’s important to further understand what CTR manipulation is and how web properties ranking can be improved with a little help from CTR manipulation.
Is it really a good idea to manipulate CTR? And if so, how do you manipulate CTR?
We will find the answers to these questions and if your campaign is running an CTR strategy, make sure not to forget about our rank tracker!
What is CTR?
To understand CTR manipulation, you first need to understand what CTR means. In simple words, CTR means your click-through rate and it shows how many people who see your ad or product listing end up clicking your call to action button or link. It can measure how well your ad, given keyword or listing is actually performing.
It’s important to understand that CTR doesn’t refer to your number of clicks alone but to the percentage of people clicking your links when compared to those people who don’t.
When it comes to search engine ranking, the main goal is to get a higher click-through rate than your competitors. And this will hopefully send a positive signal to Google and other search engines to place your page higher in the search engine results.
CTR as a Ranking Factor
Of course, there is no point in manipulating CTR and doing all sorts of CTR SEO strategies if it has no impact on Google searches. But the thing is, click-through rate is now considered a ranking factor, although some may argue that it is not. But a number of studies can prove that indeed Google and other major search engines put into account the click-through rate in ranking pages.
As click-through rate keeps emerging in the scene, you can get ahead of the competition by proactively optimizing your CTR now. If your page has a high click-through rate, it sends a positive signal to Google that it has value and is what searchers are looking for. And if you rank higher, the more clicks you will get. It is a case of success leading to more success.
However, when it comes to optimizing CTR, getting started can be tough, and that is the reason why manipulation exists.
What is CTR Manipulation?
CTR manipulation is exactly what its name suggests. It is an SEO strategy where SEOs generate clicks to a website to trick the search engine into thinking that a piece of content or a page is more popular than it actually is.
If you are wondering if CTR manipulation is even possible, the answer is yes. But keep in mind that this technique of ranking higher in search results is frowned upon by Google. So if you want to try and do it, you should really be good at doing it and make sure to approach it considering how the ratio between search results and clicks works.
So we know that CTR manipulation is possible, but does it really work? This question splits opinions because some actual tests get results and some do not. But there is a good reason to believe that if done correctly, it can give you a competitive edge when it comes to Google and other search engine rankings.
While “manipulation” may seem to have a negative connotation, CTR manipulation is far from that. There are, in fact, organic CTR manipulation methods. One good example of this is when you share a piece of content on your social media platform or newsletter and it gets clicked and visitors get redirected to that content you are promoting, which is considered organic CTR manipulation too.
There are many other ways to implement click-through rate manipulation which can be classified as either black hat SEO and white hat SEO tactics. Some of these methods are really effective in manipulating user-generated signals and can help drive traffic to your website.
Popular Methods of CTR Manipulation
We rounded up some common methods for manipulating click-through rates used by us in our tests and the other SEOs we are constantly in contact with.
We don’t recommend some of these methods, but it helps to know that they exist. You should always do your own research before committing to anything.
Automated Software, Click Bots or CTR Traffic Bots
Automated software, click bots or traffic bots are among the most commonly used methods of boosting click-through rates. They perform the simple task of clicking your links on the results pages of search engines, resulting in what many call “bot traffic/data center/fake traffic/fake clicks”
There are many bot services online which can be classified as either a bot service or bot program. If you want to use this method, you have to be very careful as some are pretty shady or may raise a red flag. Google has become more advanced in catching click fraud and traffic generators and clicks through bots generated by IPV4 proxies or data center IP ranges are no longer effective.
GMB Crush Bonus: The battle for attention on the search engines has never been more intense. Google is constantly improving their ability to detect engagement signals over quality clicks.
Keep an eye on where your money goes and be sure to use the best CTR Tool around!
Remember: By knowing how to set the ratio of clicks, which keywords are worth targeting and setting up your right click life cycle you can avoid massive footprints. Understanding the mechanism of CTR is important, but you should avoid copy-pasting other people’s strategies!
Social Media Shares
Social media shares are an organic way of click-through rate manipulation. Sharing your link to these platforms can help increase user signals to your own websites and GMB links ( GMB posts, GMB CID etc..) especially if you have more followers who are active and engaging with your brand.
While it may not be the latest CTR strategy, it can help generate organic click-throughs. Plus, you have nothing to lose when you share through your social accounts as it is free and it keeps your followers engaged.
GMB Crush Bonus: To increase engagement on each of your GMB posts, share the most valuable ones via Facebook and Twitter. Behavioral signals and traffic over your Google posts from different IP’s is what makes a huge difference here. Drive paid social traffic to your GMB CID and GMB posts so you can boost behavioral signals, which will let more of those customers flowing into the funnel. Use YouTube, Twitter moments and Pinterest to expand your content silos strategy and hit these properties up with quality CTR traffic. This is important because it will help to expand your GMB Proximity and keep your business booming.
Sharing your blog post, content, page or video on your email newsletters can also help spike your click-through. This strategy is not something new and you may already be doing this. You aren’t just aware that your effort is already considered CTR manipulation.
Although email blast is slightly different from direct traffic manipulation through search engine results, it definitely has some impact on your click-throughs. If you have an email list, this strategy is worth considering. It doesn’t hurt your overall campaign, but in fact, it can even help increase your clicks.
GMB Crush Bonus: The best way to boost engagement signals over GMB is by setting up a local campaign through GMB posts and blasting an email over it. Google will be pleased with the quality of the interactions. This directly impacts search engine rankings as well. To measure which GMB post type is working better in terms of conversion, including Bitly and or a UTM tag so that conversions can be tracked via Google Analytics.
Paid advertisements particularly on social media platforms are also strong traffic generators if done correctly. Many SEO experts are already using this method.
Whenever you see the Sponsored Posts or paid AD symbol, this is where you can possibly get more clicks and traffic to your piece of content or page.
If you have a budget to spend and if you want to keep constant traffic to your site/GMB, you can take advantage of paid advertisements. By paying for the clicks to your content, in a way, you are already manipulating your click-through rate.
You may consider combining paid advertisements, social media shares and email for optimum results. Doing so gives your content or page a better chance of being recognized by Google and other search engines as a high-value piece or authority piece.
GMB Crush Bonus: You can maximize your conversion rates by running an Ad and testing different locations. If you enable the local extension on Google Maps, it will show from how many kilometers each lead is coming from, so, that’s helpful for knowing which spots have higher traffic levels or are more popular with potential customers! Game-changing insight: You can easily boost your GMB post views by sending low cost traffic, such as display Ad campaigns to it. You can find out which locations are generating the most driving request direction and target your ad from these geo-radius.
Micro Workers CTR Manipulation Services
The number of SEO agencies utilizing services to manipulate CTR is growing, and understanding all the options will surely allow you to ask the right question when working with the next provider.
In fact, some businesses or SEO agencies can implement CTR manipulation for you.
Many agencies are utilizing services or delegating campaigns to third party companies, promising to give their clients a competitive advantage. CTR manipulation works greatly especially when applied on small business site but make sure asking your agency which method or tool they’re using – there’s plenty out here!
The CTR manipulation technique using micro workers has been gaining popularity over the years, because each campaign is based on real people actually clicking your links.
You may think that this is a crazy idea, but it actually works! There are providers who are able to perform small tasks for a small fee, more often just a few cents per click. They can arrange for many people with different email addresses to do web searches and click the links that direct to your local website, YouTube video.
Unlike traffic bots, the Micro workers CTR SEO strategy gives you full control of your CTR traffic or engagement signals. The user-generated signals that people are manipulating will be recorded and counted as natural organic clicks.
To do this, you need to also understand how your organic traffic behaves. This way, you can somewhat emulate the behavior of your traffic but at a much larger scale. To make the traffic to your web page look organic, you need to spread the clicks over time, and the number of clicks should be within your estimated number.
GMB Crush Bonus: If you notice that a certain keyword is increasing or decreasing in search volume over the last three months, then take advantage of this by targeting valuable keywords on demand instead of less popular ones. By mirroring Google Search Console keywords, you can enhance your CTR campaign by collecting and grouping all the organic search terms that trigger a result over at Google to certain pages. This will help boost your natural CTR approach manipulating user generated signals.
Implementing Click-Through Rate Manipulation
Right timing, keywords section and the CTR ratio over keywords, are vital when it comes to doing click-through rate manipulation as a way of gaining a competitive advantage in search results and organic traffic. Optimize your GMB listing to get more business and make sure that every part of the property is fully optimized.
It’s also important to keep in mind that there is no one-strategy-fits-all when it comes to business CTR SEO especially if you have a local small business site. Every local term and the niche you have may have a different level of competitiveness and you should customize your click-through rate strategy based on these different levels.
GMB Crush Bonus: For long term results: Don’t run a CTR campaign without properly optimizing both site-wide or through Google My Business (GMB) listings, this will only backfire with an underhanded approach! To boost the ranking and expand the proximity of your GMB listing, create blog content that is tailored to a local audience and send CTR traffic to it.
The evidence was discovered inside the GMB insight section and validated on over dozen business listings. While our sample size was relatively small, it overwhelmingly points to this as being part of an algorithm shift in GMB rankings.
Despite the changes in algorithm using a combination of GMB Crush, content and CTR tools we were able to expand the proximity of a GMB listing up to 20+ miles with almost no fluctuation during 1 year time.
If you run a business that targets local customers, and your blog isn’t nailing traffic from nearby areas, then you are missing out on an opportunity for huge pools of potential customers who would seek services right at their doorstep.
Here are our top tips:
👉Think of Google analytics & Facebook Audience Insight as the “bones” you need to build your local buyer personas.
👉You can use neighborhood information, online behavior and pain points for specific target market segments to fill in the details. The more detail that goes into this profile, the better it will be at helping content strategists create relevant marketing material since they’ll have a solid idea who their customers are before even meeting them.
👉To layer a local approach on top of your existing marketing strategy, use regional keywords in blog posts. Refresh the website content and metadata to include locally targeted terms. Consider taking a more personalized approach that is location-based including cities and linking out to valuable resources for each area you serve as part of this process.
👉To keep your GMB listing appearing for non-relevant terms, monitor the impact of content via Google insight. Refine blog posts which are triggering listings with different search queries and optimize existing articles that show up on unrelated keywords using GSC’s optimization method.
CTR manipulation works great when you try to rank authoritative domains or low competition keywords, but when you’re working to rank for competitive keywords it can be challenging. When you’re competing with other high-authority sites, it’s important to make sure your content is as authoritative and well thought out.The challenge begins with very competitive keywords and that’s where you need to refine your strategy. This spreadsheet should not be considered in any way as strategic advice or a guarantee of desired results; we’re just sharing some methods tested over time for successful CTR manipulation!
While some SEO experts cannot yet fully agree on the significance of CTR in helping websites rank higher in search engine results pages, we have already seen the results of CTR manipulation across multiple client’s listings.
Every marketer knows that it’s not a single strategy but rather an entire set of complementary tools for achieving success. This includes the right CTR tool, which must be always contextual to your GMB and Site SEO Strategy!
There are different SEO tools that you can use if you want to manipulate your click-through rate but please make sure to do research first before going full in!
We have already listed some of the popular methods just to help you get started.
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