Sonia Mazzotta will be speaking at the next BrightonSEO conference on the 22nd of April 2016.
Because CTR (click-through rate) is one of Google’s many ranking factors, we should pay attention to what makes users click on a link and why.
There has been a lot of discussion on the importance of a good title, description, keywords, content, etc., but we haven’t really considered what else contributes.
Trust is definitely one of the factors that triggers users’ actions, whether sharing a post, trusting an author or brand, or simply emulating their peers’ actions.
Review mark-up contributes to the CTR because of the visual impact that it has on users. It is estimated that it can cause an increase of about 30%, but it may also be included by Google in its ranking algorithm because it makes it easier to recognise the semantical connection between a query and the website’s landing page.
It’s also particularly important because the new voice search (Google Now) would be particularly sensitive to the mark-up, which makes much more sense to Google.
There are other types of mark-up which need to be considered, such as products, applications and recipes.
It’s not difficult to add the mark-up, as Google provides some examples and you can test the code with the testing tool.
I also think that it’s more important to attract users with a visual mark-up rather than being obsessed with ranking at the first position: if I increase the CTR because of it, I am already doing a good job.
If I can implement it, track it, and then show that there is an increase in visits, conversions, or any other KPI, I have done my job well.
But let’s not forget that it’s not just about the visual impact of the marked up result: it’s about trust too. This is especially true when we look at local businesses.
According to a survey released by BrightLocal in 2013, 85% of consumers read online reviews, forming an opinion faster than they would have done only a few months earlier.
Almost 80% of users consider online reviews as much as personal recommendations, which makes it very important for SEO staff who are working on local SEO.
An authoritative personality within a certain field who shares an article also gets a lot of attention. People who follow him or her certainly trust what that person has to say, and there is a high probability that they will share or read that article. This increases the exposure and earnings of shares and backlinks.
Increased exposure = increased CTR = fulfilling KPIs!
We should keep this in mind when we need to plan a content marketing strategy, making sure that the right personalities are going to be involved in the project. Providing the right content from the most relevant influencer for the right audience is the key to success in SEO.
In conclusion, Google offers us the chance to highlight our landing pages with eye-catching star ratings, which give important trust signals to the users. This means we should plan our content marketing in a way that includes relevant, authoritative personalities as a trusted source for our articles.