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Streamline Organic: 4 Ways to Improve SEO Performance

 In SEO, SEO Strategy

SEO Basics: Start with the Goal of SEO

With so many different approaches to SEO work, or search engine optimization, it can be overwhelming to know where to focus your efforts. To be sure your SEO strategy makes sense, it’s crucial that the goal be clear. The goal of SEO is generally understood to be increasing your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant searches. Ultimately, that translates to driving more business (leads or sales) from organic search. All SEO efforts should stem from there.

Four Paths to Better SEO Performance

With that in mind, there are 4 fundamental strategies to improve organic performance on any website and to grow your business from organic search. Any one, or any combination of these will lead to better organic results, and all SEO efforts should derive from these:

1) Move your ranking pages and ranking keywords up

2) Rank MORE pages

3) Improve Organic CTR (click-through rate)

4) Improve Organic CR (conversion rate)

1) Move Your Ranking Pages and Keywords Up

What does “keyword rank” actually mean? In SEO terms, it refers to the position your webpage occupies on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for a specific keyword or search term. The higher you rank, the closer your webpage appears toward the top of the search results.

Why is climbing the ranking ladder important? Conventionally, a “ranking keyword” means that your target URL ranks for a relevant keyword search within the first 10 pages of the search results. Higher rank brings greater visibility. Imagine a busy street – people are more likely to notice stores closer to the sidewalk than those tucked away in back alleys. Similarly, users are more likely to click on websites that appear at the top of the search results. As this chart illustrates, there are far more clicks on the first 3 positions than those below. And in fact, we know that users rarely search beyond the first page or two at most.

Line graph showing an average of 30-40 clicks in positions 1 and 2 and
the dropoff all the way down to almost no clicks in position 20 in Organic search results
Clicks vs Rank Position

Beyond just visibility, ranking well for relevant keywords indicates to search engines that your content is valuable and aligns with user search intent. This can further improve your website’s overall authority and credibility.

How to Improve Keyword Ranking

Improving your keyword ranking is about making sure that your website appears as close to the top of the search results as possible for the keywords that are relevant to your business. This can be achieved by optimizing your website’s code for crawlability and indexability, optimizing content, structure, and metadata to match what users are searching for, and by building high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites.

Start with a technical SEO audit to ensure both users and search engines can navigate your site and easily find your important content. Optimize existing content for search. Directly and efficiently answer important user questions. Focus on keywords that rank in positions 11-20. Compare your pages to your competitors’ pages. Iterate through improvements in content, on-page optimization, and link-building.

2) Rank MORE Pages and Keywords

Every page on your site should have a job. If you have pages that do not pull in organic visitors and do not convert, they may just be a distraction from your power pages. Analyze your content. Aim to make more pages work harder for more keywords and more topics.

How to Increase the Number of Ranking Pages

Ranking more pages is about expanding the scope of your SEO efforts to include a wider range of keywords and phrases. It’s about getting more pages generating more traffic for more topics. Expand beyond highly-specific, conversion-ready, bottom-funnel searches. The goal here is to widen the funnel at the top. SEO also excels at attracting top-funnel searchers who may be just starting out on the buyer’s journey, or somewhere in the middle.

This can be achieved by conducting thorough keyword research to identify new opportunities, and by creating content that is optimized for those keywords. Use a multi-layered SEO strategy of keyword research, competitive gap analysis, and content mapping, along with strategic link building to expand the base of keywords for which your site ranks.

With organic search, you don’t pay for clicks, so feel free to write, optimize, and promote content designed to grow brand awareness with answers to high level questions. These people will come back again when they are ready to convert.

3) Improve Organic CTR

What is Organic CTR? Organic CTR (click-through rate), refers to the percentage of searchers who see your organic search result and actually click through to visit your website. Specifically, organic CTR is the number of times a link is clicked divided by how many times the link is shown in organic search results or clicks/impressions.

We look at CTR as a measure of how well your listing entices users to click through compared to other sites ranking for the same keyword.

How to Improve CTR for better Organic Performance

Improving your CTR is also about widening the funnel at the top; getting more users to click on your website’s listings in the search results. This can be achieved primarily by optimizing your title tag and meta description tags to make your listing more appealing and relevant to users, and by using compelling and descriptive URLs. The title tag is usually used as the link to your page in the search results. And the meta description is generally used as the short blurb below the link. As your URL moves up in the rankings, you need users to click! The title tag, and the meta description, can be written almost like ad copy and should scream, “CLICK ME!”

4) Improve Organic CR (Conversion Rate)

In addition to all the above, the practice of SEO should also be concerned with widening the funnel at the bottom – getting more people to convert.

Upon clicking, the page they land on should meet their expectations. Crafting artful metatags paired with well-optimized landing pages can significantly move the needle on engaged users and conversions, making your organic traffic work harder. And here the goal is to widen the funnel at the bottom. Generate more leads from the same traffic.

To illustrate, let’s look at an example:

Table showing growth in visits and revenue in different ranking positions and the effect of growing the organic conversion rate from 2.93% to 3.5%

This chart is based on a keyword with an MSV (monthly search volume) of 5,400. It shows typical click-through rates at positions 19, 10, 5, and 3. We can see the obvious impact on visits and revenue as we move up in rank. In particular, there is a huge jump when we move on to page 1 from page 2. And more importantly, for our discussion on CR, we see the growth in revenue, from a small improvement in the organic conversion rate from 2.93% to 3.5%. And that’s just for a single keyword. The growth in CR would positively enhance ALL your traffic at the same time.

How to Grow CR

The goal of Organic CR optimization is to determine how users engage with your pages, in particular Organic landing pages and conversion pages (form fills, for example). Use GA and Google Search Console to learn about clicks and bounces to those pages. And ideally, you might implement heat mapping software like Lucky Orange or Hot Jar, to see where on the page users click, and how far they scroll, and so on.

Using heat mapping software we get strong clues about what works on a page, and what’s not working. With that knowledge you can test making stronger CTAs (calls to action) or improving their placement.


Ultimately, these four approaches – improving your keyword and page ranking, ranking more pages for more keywords, improving your CTR, and growing your CR – are all critical to the success of your SEO efforts. By focusing on these areas, you can improve your website’s visibility in search results and drive more traffic and engagement to your site and generate more business.

Call the SEO experts at OpenMoves for a free consultation.

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