With changes to the way Google presents search results, we’re seeing an increasing trend towards low click-through rates to websites. This is because searchers are getting at-a-glance answers from search queries in the form of featured snippets, paid advertising and knowledge graph data. This is great from the searcher’s point of view, but fewer clicks to your website can’t be good, can it?

We’ve also become accustomed to measuring the success of our online marketing initiatives by the activity happening around our website. Any decline in activity never looks good.

There’s no need to worry. Like many aspects of web, a decline in click-through rates may seem counter-intuitive, but it simply requires us to adapt to the new landscape. Here are two important ways you can benefit from the low-click era.

1. Optimise your website for higher conversions from Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

One of the major changes to Google’s search engine is the improvements to the local search experience. The features go far beyond organic links and now include Google My Business (GMB) profiles and ‘local packs.’

If you have GMB setup, a searcher can find your business, hours of operation, contact details and even reviews without having to visit your website at all. It effectively becomes the new home page for your website.

Local packs provide a short list of options related to the search query according to the proximity of the searcher to a business. This is why we’re seeing much more search traffic based on phrases like “(product or service) near me.”

Here’s how to optimise…

  • Ensure all GMB listings are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Use Google Posts to promote sales, events and special offers.
  • Create an FAQ in the SERP by answering Google Q&A in GMB profiles.
  • Add Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) to your GMB profile to measure traffic.

2. Use SERPs to build your brand

Branding is one aspect of marketing that often doesn’t get as much attention as it should. Why? Well, it’s difficult to measure and report on. However, it has long been proven that branding has a significant influence on consumer buying decisions. It takes time and multiple exposures for people to begin to recognise your brand.

Here’s how to optimise…

  • Make sure your branding collateral is professional and consistent, especially in your GMB profile.
  • Look for opportunities to secure ‘featured snippets’ which hold the coveted position zero in SERPs. These put your brand in a position of expertise, trust and authority.

Finally, adjust your expectations rather than hanging on to the past. The SEO landscape has been in a state of significant change for some time and will continue to do so. Our strategies shouldn’t focus solely on getting website clicks. It’s much more important to build a recognised, trusted brand and to attract the right customers.