Did you know that the average American will spend 42 hours this next year sitting in traffic?
That’s almost two days’ worth of morning commutes, traffic jams, and rush hours spent sitting in the car, waiting for the vehicle in front of you to crawl ahead.
Traffic on the highway and the byway is not the kind we typically enjoy.
On the other hand, when it comes to content development and driving readers to your brand, traffic is the goal. We welcome, and work toward, a steady flow of visitors to our content who will engage with it, tell their friends, and send them over to check it out.
Contrary to what we may have been taught, bringing more traffic to your site is not done by building links or even creating more content. It is accomplished through optimizing for organic search click-through rate, which can lead to a greater ROI. Let’s discuss.
How to Increase ROI On Your Content: First, What is Measurable ROI for Content Marketing?
How does a content marketer even begin to measure ROI (return on investment)? There are a few factors to consider.
First, make an estimate of the outgoing costs for your content marketing; this can include employee pay, distribution costs (if any), and publishing or software use costs.
Next, calculate how much revenue your marketing has brought in.
Here is a simple equation to use when thinking about your return on investment (originally found in The Guardian):
(Revenue Generated – Cost of Content Marketing) / Cost of Content Marketing = ROI.
Another way to look at ROI is by understanding the return versus the investment.
- Return = leads, revenue, conversions, brand awareness
- Investment = cost of producing and sourcing content, time spent planning, advertising costs
3 Simple Ways to Boost CTR and Increase ROI on Your Content Marketing
So, what are the best ways to boost organic CTR and increase ROI? And why does it matter? Jump in as I tackle these questions!
1. Create a Catchy, Authentic, Engaging Headline
Clicking through on content is the reason we develop writing pieces in the first place—as writers and marketers, if no one is reading what we produce, what’s the point?
Especially when you consider that most readers quickly scan headlines, and then move on without reading further.
Only about 40% of readers will go beyond the headline in a typical story, which makes it even more important to start with an engaging title to pull the audience in and make them want to stay.
If the goal is to invite readers in, then the headline is the welcome mat and cup of coffee—the message should be, “Come on in and sit down. I have something awesome to tell you”.
What makes a good headline?
Here are 8 key tips to get you started:
1. Start with a rough draft, also called a “working title”
Working titles are specific, focused, and maybe a bit imperfect. Using phrases like “how to” and “x number of ways to” can be a good starting point for creating a focused title. Create an emotional hook by using words that have power behind them.
2. Present the truth
Don’t put facts or promises in a title unless you can back it up with authoritative links and trustworthy statistics. Setting high expectations in the beginning, and then not following through, will disappoint your readers and encourage a sense of distrust.
3. Make it pop
The type of “catch” you use in your title will depend on the audience you are addressing. A lighter topic can be an appropriate setting for witty words and alliteration, while stronger words should be reserved for specific settings.
4. Keep it simple
Everyone’s headline is going to be different in length, but if your goal is to rank well in search, a good guideline is to keep a title under 70 characters. However, research has shown a title with eight words saw a 21% higher click-through rate then average. Headlines that included odd numbers, a hyphen, and a questions mark saw increased engagement.
5. Practice optimization for social and search
It can be challenging to optimize for both search and social, but with a few tweaks, it can be done. With a focus on keywords that are relevant to your audience placed as close as possible to the beginning of the headline, there is a better chance your title will be optimized for both.
6. Break up with keyword-heavy titles
If only four out of ten readers are moving past the headline to absorb content, it makes sense to put thought and time into developing a relevant title. Bogging titles down with keywords takes away the opportunity to create something fantastic and attractive.
Try the free Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule, which will give your headline a score and rate the ability it has to drive traffic, shares, and SEO value. The site can help you strengthen weak parts of your title so you can present your audience with the very best welcome mat/coffee combination.
7. Get in with the “in” crowd
One way to contribute to an increased CTR is by forming your headline from the perspective of one of these personas (Search Engine Journal):
A SEO-focused title might read, “Raising Kids: Getting through the Toddler Years”, while the comedian version could be, “Got Mushy Brain? 3 Tips for Getting Through the Foggy Years of Raising a Toddler!”
8. Invite everyone over for the party
No one wants to be left out, so gathering together all the components of an awesome title is the best way to be the content hostess with the most-est.
- Start with the specifics: 4 Ways to…, How to Make…, 5 Brands Who…, 10 Stats That…
- Add an emotional hook: Brilliant, Unreal, Must-Follow, Inspiring
- Follow with the content description: Infographic, Quotes, Stats, Strategies
- End with the subject: Social media, Kids, Marketing, Writing
Examples of Fabulous Headlines:
4 Brilliant Brands Who are Killing it in Social Media
Don’t Waste Time Raising Well-Mannered Kids: 4 Experts Share What Really Works
2. Target Specific Channels
Although it may be tempting to write 2,000 words on “the perils of raising temper-prone toddlers” and then share it across every available platform, that may not be the best approach for increased ROI.
To avoid killing your ROI, and instead increase ROI on your content, Neil Patel suggest finding 1 to 3 channels where your content will do the very best and sharing across those mediums.
Why be specific? Because audiences on different channels will behave differently from each other. Content that has a lot of engagement on Twitter might not work as well on LinkedIn or Google+.
Deciding where and what to post will take time. It may help to analyze how past content has performed and look at the number of people who engaged by way of visiting, commenting, and sharing.
3. Use descriptive metadata
Metadata on your website includes:
- Alt tags (given to images)
- Title and meta description (should include keywords)
- Search-friendly URL
A descriptive metadata is one SEO factor that is within your creative control, unlike backlinks and off-page factors.
Here is an example of a meta description from Google:
While meta description tags may not be important when it comes to search engine rankings, they play a crucial role in gaining click-throughs from SERPs. That is one reason to include relevant keywords and write it in an engaging way.
When it comes to creating a user-friendly URL, SEMrush suggests keeping the page name to a length of 3-5 words, including relevant keywords, and being descriptive but meaningful. SEMRush
Content, especially across social media channels, is filled with images, which makes the addition of an alt tag that much more important. And since content that includes relevant images gets 94% more views than content without, it’s safe to say visuals are a vital addition to CTRs.
Alt tags offer a simple way for your images to show up in search results, so don’t overlook them.
Putting It All Together to Increase ROI On Your Content
Boosting the click-through rate and return on investment with your content doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With a bit of research and the right tools, you can create the catchy headlines and descriptive metadata that will have readers flocking to your content quicker than you can say “search engine optimization”.
The key during the content creation process is to draw the right audience in (construct engaging headlines), utilize the best mediums (target specific channels), and give them what they need in their search for answers (write descriptive metadata).
If you have been looking to increase the CTR and ROI with your own content, connect with Express Writers today to find out more about our awesome services!