Impressions vs clicks.
Do you know the difference?
There is a difference and an important one.
If you find generating website traffic challenging despite extensive keyword research, you will find this article helpful.
By the time you are done reading this guide to impressions vs clicks, you will know the difference between high impressions and high clicks. You will also discover how to boost your Click Through Rate in order to get more traffic.
How to Avoid Picking Keywords With High Impressions & Few Clicks
There’s a good chance that a component of your job involves identifying keywords you think are valuable for a website, creating content that targets those keywords, and then running campaigns to try and get that content ranking. You’ll know from experience that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to run these campaigns.
It’s vital that you choose the appropriate keywords at the start of a campaign. Unfortunately, thanks to the continuous changes Google is making, it’s easy to make mistakes.
In this article, I’ll discuss how to select appropriate keywords so you can avoid developing a content marketing campaign around a keyword that won’t generate many clicks. Hopefully, there will be some tips here that will help save you time and money.
Let’s get started boosting our understanding of impressions vs clicks in order to generate more website traffic.
The Story With Click-Through Rates
If you thought having your website appear in Google search results guarantees that it will be clicked, think again. Statistics as of June 2019 showed the majority of Google searches, 50.33%, actually end without a click on an organic or paid search result.
There also appears to be an upward trend. This 50.33% was actually an increase from the 48.96% recorded in the first quarter of 2019:
These statistics reflect just how many fake high volume keywords there are to be.
The good news is that there is a way to help ensure you don’t fall prey to this trend: Avoid picking keywords with high impressions and few clicks. But to do this, you’d have to identify what these keywords are.
Let’s take a look at high impressions vs clicks:
Identifying Keywords with High Impressions, Few Clicks
Keywords with high impressions and few clicks are fairly easy to identify. Keywords with high impressions are those that appear many, many times in search engine results. Keywords with high impressions and few clicks, then, are those that don’t tend to get clicked despite their visibility.
One of the reasons this happens is this: Google itself provides the data needed in the search results.
Here’s an example:
When I search for the weather in Las Vegas, this is what I see:
When I search for football scores, the same thing happens.
These are the results when I type in Real Madrid:
In both cases, you don’t see an organic result above the fold.
In the football example, for instance, you get a Knowledge Panel and a Sports Answer Box. In the Knowledge Panel, you get basic information on the football team.
In the Sports Answer Box, you see a long list of the scores from the team’s recent matches:
The point is that, in both of these examples, Google has organized the information to make it easier for people to access it.
But don’t be quick to blame Google for the fewer clicks on your site. The search engine, after all, is only keeping its promise to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Google, in short, is just being the good guy for users.
How To Avoid Picking Keywords with High Impressions, Few Clicks in Three Simple Steps
Bearing this in mind, the increasing trend of Google searches ending without a click is not at all surprising. Since Google’s mission is not about to change, we return to the fact that the best thing you can do is to avoid picking those keywords with high impressions and few clicks.
So how do you avoid these?
There is no need to be confused when it comes to understanding impressions vs clicks.
Here are three simple steps:
Step 1: Do a Quick Search
This is a no-brainer. If you have a term you wish to target, do a quick search of that term first. You want to check if it comes with the issues that I mentioned above. If it does, move on to the next term. Don’t waste your time trying to rank for the first term because you will most probably get few clicks, if any at all.
For example, if you’re blogging about Real Madrid, instead of using the keyword “Real Madrid” and getting the results above, it may be better to use the keyword “blog Real Madrid” instead.
These are the results you will get in this hypothetical example:
If, for instance, you’re blogging about the latest on Las Vegas, including its weather, it might be a better idea to use keywords similar to “Las Vegas news”.
These are the results if I type in that keyword:
Step 2: Check Out the Cost Per Click
So you know, from the above exercise, that Google doesn’t organize the results when you type in the keyword “blog Real Madrid”. But just to be sure, check out the cost per click of the keyword, too.
But what’s the relevance of the CPC? CPC refers to the cost that an advertiser pays to the publisher (in this case Google) for every click on that particular ad. The higher the CPC, the better for you. A higher CPC means advertisers are interested in that particular keyword. And where advertisers are interested, Google is less likely to do the “organizing” discussed above.
Let’s check the CPC of “blog Real Madrid.” To do this, use the free Google Chrome extension Keywords Everywhere.
The CPC is $4.26. That’s quite a lot of money per click! Now compare this with the CPC for “Real Madrid:”
You can see the CPC here is only $0.27. Compared to the “blog Real Madrid” example, not as many people are interested in advertising for the “Real Madrid” keyword. Therefore, you can expect Google to play with that keyword and do some organizing itself. As we’ve seen above, that’s exactly what Google did.
Let’s take a look at the “weather in Las Vegas” example:
As you can see, the CPC is also low, which gave Google the incentive to do some organizing.
Step 3: Optimize for Longtail Keywords
Longtail keywords are just longer and more specific search phrases.
There are some keywords that, at first glance, look perfect. But when you take a closer look, they provide a low clickthrough rate (CTR). The CTR is a ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it. CTR can be used to assess how well your keywords and ads are performing. In short, the higher the CTR, the better for you.
So let’s give an example. When you look at the search volume on Google for the term “business development,” the term looks good. There are approximately 90,500 searches a month for that term. That’s quite a lot!
But upon closer look at the CTR, you don’t get as high a number of clicks for ranking content as you might expect.
In fact, the longtail keyword “business development strategy” has more total clicks than the term “business development,” despite producing many times fewer impressions – just 8347.
Some other common search terms that typically have high impressions, but a low clickthrough rate, include:
- Concepts: Non-specific or general terms such as “business development,” “marketing” or “education”.
- Abbreviations: “FYI,” “DIY,” and other similar terms
The general rule is the more specific the keyword, the better. This is where optimizing for longtail keywords can really help you.
You don’t even have to look too far to search for those phrases that can work! On Google, just type in your desired keywords. You’ll find a lot of longtail keywords appear in the suggestions box below the search bar.
You can then review these longtail keywords. Look at the search results and how the content is structured. If you decide to move forward with creating the content, use a scheduling app to assign the work to your writer.
Use a keyword research tool to find longtail keywords. You can use Ubersuggest or Ubersuggest alternatives.
Work with Google and Google Will Work for You
Google’s penchant to organize data, while useful to readers, is not always helpful for content creators or marketers. The majority of Google searches, remember, end without a click on either an organic or a paid search result.
Despite this, Google is a necessary tool and can work for you once you know the tips and tricks to follow. So much of making Google work for you is in using the right keywords – and the right keywords are definitely not those with high impressions and few clicks!
Impressions vs Clicks: FAQ
What is the Difference Between Impressions and Clicks?
Although impressions and clicks are both metrics measured in advertising, clicks bring you traffic. Impressions tell you who saw your information, but unless search engine users click your link, you don’t generate traffic or sales.
Wrapping Up: Impressions vs Clicks
Remember the basic tips I have walked you through in this article:
First, do a quick search. If you see a Sports Answer Box or a Knowledge Panel when you search a term, then move on. Next, check out the CPC. The higher the CPC, the better the keyword. Third, optimize for longtail keywords. The more specific the keyword, the better.
In closing, this guide explained the difference between impressions and clicks and how to boost your Click Through Rate.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers and search engine marketers discover the difference between impressions vs clicks and how to increase their Click Through Rate so they can generate more website traffic.
I look forward to your views. When you do keyword research, do you keep impressions vs clicks in mind so you target keywords that can get you more clicks?
Nico Prins is an online marketer and the founder of Launch Space. He helps companies develop their digital marketing strategies. He’s worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to startups helping them develop content marketing strategies that align with their business goals.
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