SEO doesn’t end with achieving the top rankings! CTR depends on something more such as rich snippets

Geno Thampi

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What good is top when nobody clicks your link?

Top keyword rankingsHave you been tired of reading SEO news and articles related to algorithm updates, best practices to achieve good keyword rankings, importance of social signals and SEO advices from Matt Cutts? Let’s give them a break! You know that there are lots of strategies available today to achieve top rankings even for the highly competitive keywords. However, have you ever thought if just achieving good keyword ranking is quite enough? Working on SEO packages for a client, I came across a scenario where a website has achieved the 1st position in search results, yet the click through rate “CTR” was low considering the monthly search volume reported by Google Adwords keyword tool. At first, I honestly thought that Adwords keyword tool is providing fake information to lure in advertisers for that particular keyword. However, the reality was something different. The reality explains why just achieving good keyword rankings isn’t enough for successful SEO. I cannot reveal that actual keyword because of the SEO outsourcing polices that we follow, so let’s take another example. “Directory Submission” is one of our most ordered services because of its improved effectiveness after the penguin and panda updates. Because of the effectiveness, we have received good amount of testimonials and reviews for the service. The top reviews were displayed on the sales page and HTML schema markup was implemented so that search engines identify them as reviews. After a couple of weeks, the rich snippets for the reviews started to show up for the keyword “Directory Submission Service”. After a week of tracking the analytics, we saw a huge improvement in the click through rates for the query. You want to know the reason? See it yourselves on the snapshot of the search result below:

Rich snippets

As you see, the rich snippets (Review stars and the reviewer information) add more value to the search result. In addition to that, the “Human Vision” tends to have an effect to see the result with the rich snippet first before even noticing the result on the first position. We did an experiment here locally to identify and confirm this. We approached a few random online businesses and asked them to Google-in “directory submission service” and let us know which result they wanted to click first. The result: 90% of them had their eyes pick the one with rich snippets. According to them, the review stars virtually blind them from seeing the other results even when they are on the first position. Here is an interpreted image on the effect:

Review Snippets

Getting rich snippets works, but follow the rules:
I know what most of you are thinking right now. “Why don’t we create some reviews, integrate schema to it and get the rich snippets activated?”  If you do so, you are in great trouble! You may even end up in getting a manual penalty for your website along with a permanent ban on implementing and achieving rich snippets for your website forever.  Google is even tightening the rules for implementing schema for reviews because you need to verify the author of the review using his verified Google Plus account nowadays. The complete list of guidelines can be found here.

Schema implementation falls under onpage SEO and is vital for successful SEO in 2013. Proper implementation of schema to mark up genuine reviews and information would triple the click through rates breaking the competition. So, if you haven’t done this for your website, it is high time you start working on that.

Category :

SEO News

Tags :

rich snippets, schema, SEO 2013, SEO packages, top rankings

About Geno Thampi

Geno Thampi Not a born Shakespeare! But I still write articles and blogs to share my ideas and thoughts on SEO and SMO. Being a part of SEO research team of SubmitINme, I keep my ears and eyes open, and the pen ready to grab, write and share trending topics in search engine .... more info


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