Google Instant’s impact on Impressions & CTR:
Your website’s Impressions can increase and Click-Through-Rate can decrease with the new Google Instant search. A Google user/searcher can sometimes get distract from the suggestions listed in Google Instant and hence Impressions and CTR of a website fluctuates. I will try to explain you below in an easy manner how this new system affects these two things and how to adapt from these changes.
Let us first understand how impressions of a site increases. For example if you want to search for ‘Halloween Costumes for children’, Google starts displaying/previewing websites in its search results page right from the beginning of your search phrase letter ‘H’ to the end of your search phrase letter ‘n’. Here, websites that will get displayed to each letter of your search term: ‘Halloween Costumes for children’ gains impressions.
Confused? Check out the below images:
In the first image, you can see Google Instant displaying results for [Halloween] after typing only the partial search [hallow]. This means the Instant system actually predicts and suggests search results automatically for every letter you type inside the search field even before you completely finish typing the word [Halloween](as shown in the second image). In the above two examples, the first two results [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween & www.halloween.com/] gains impressions because Instant is quickly bringing the results even before you completely type your search term: ‘Halloween Costumes for children’ .
This is the basic criteria for a website to increase its Impressions with the new Google Instant Search
Now, take a look at the below pictures that depicts how Click-Through-Rate(CTR) Decreases.
In the right image,www.justkidcostumes.com ranks no.1 for the keyword ‘halloween costumes for children’. It means this website can only reached by searchers if they completely type the query. But if searchers divert to other websites Google Instant suggests in the drop down list as shown in above pictures, it will decrease this website’s click through rate (CTR).
These are the chances a website can increase or decrease Impressions and CTR.
Simple and Effective ways to Adapt to these Fluctuations:
Google’s Webmaster tool can help your website by tracking the number of impressions and CTR it gets via Google search. So when you list out the keywords that shows your site’s impressions areas/position, you will understand how near or far your website is appearing in Google’s search results. And when you find your website positioned at certain point to a keyword your website has ever displayed before and that the keyword is also near to your business, you can start optimizing to rank for that keyword.
If you notice your website’s CTR decreased due to above reason, start optimizing your website to rank for the keywords/phrases that majorly affects user’s distraction which can be collected from the suggestions/predictions box. In the above example ‘Halloween costumes for kids’ is the top distracting key phrase for which the CTR decreasing website has to be optimized for.
Also, it is now the time to optimize your keywords for multiple short phrases. It doesn’t mean that long tail keywords have no importance. But that, is another story.
What strategies are you trying to your SEO/link-building Campaigns with this new search enhancement?
Please share your thoughts below.