12 ways to increase click-through rate (CTR) to your startup

Your website is getting impressions. But not many clicks. Why?! And how do you fix that.

Driving traffic to your site and converting that traffic into meaningful engagement is easy when you know how.

Clickthrough rates (CTRs) serve as a pivotal metric in this journey, measuring the effectiveness of your online content and ads in enticing visitors to move deeper into your marketing funnel.

With the vast sea of competition only a click away, understanding how to increase clickthroughs for your startup website can make all the difference in capturing and maintaining user interest.

This article will explore actionable strategies that can dramatically improve your clickthrough rates, ensuring your site not only attracts visitors but engages and converts them effectively.

What is a click-through rate?

Clickthrough rate, commonly abbreviated as CTR, is a vital metric in digital marketing that measures the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns or email marketing efforts.

It is calculated by dividing the number of users who click on a specific link by the total number of users who view the advertisement or email, then multiplying the result by 100 to express it as a percentage.

A higher CTR indicates that more people are engaging with the content, suggesting that the campaign is resonating well with its intended audience.

What's an average click through rate?

Our current website CTR is 2.2% - over double average website click-through rate

Determining an "average" clickthrough rate (CTR) can be challenging, as it varies significantly across different industries, platforms, and the specific nature of the content or advertisement.

Generally, an average CTR for website ads falls between 0.5% to 1%, indicating that for every 100 to 200 views, an ad might receive one click.

However, for email marketing, the average CTR can be somewhat higher, typically ranging from 2% to 5%. It's crucial for startups to benchmark their CTRs against industry-specific data to accurately assess their performance.

A CTR below industry averages might indicate a need to reassess and improve the ad copy, design, or targeting strategy, whereas a CTR above the average suggests that the current strategies are effective and resonating well with the targeted audience.

How do you work out which pages to optimise for a Click through rate optimisation?

Identifying which pages to optimize for Clickthrough Rate (CTR) entails a strategic approach, focused on evaluating current performance and identifying areas with the most significant potential for improvement.

  1. Analyze website analytics to identify pages with high traffic but low CTRs.
  2. Prioritize pages ranking on the first page of search results but with low click rates.
  3. Focus on improving pages critical to your conversion funnel, like product pages or ad campaign landing pages.
  4. Concentrate efforts on pages vital for conversions or with untapped potential to boost CTR and overall digital marketing effectiveness.

Twelve Tips to Improve Click-Through Rate (CTR)

1) Utilize Strong Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

Clear, compelling CTAs guide users on what action to take next, significantly boosting CTR.

  • Make Use of Power Words: Words like "Free," "Now," "Save," "Discover," and "Exclusive" can evoke emotion and encourage clicks. Including these power words in your CTAs can make a significant difference in your click-through rates.
  • Create a Sense of Urgency: Phrases such as "Limited Time Offer," "Act Now Before It's Too Late," or "Only a Few Left in Stock" prompt users to take immediate action, fearing they might miss out.
  • Personalize Your CTAs: Tailoring the call-to-action to the user's experience can significantly increase engagement. Using phrases like "Your Personalized Guide Awaits" or "Start Your Adventure Today, [Name]" can make a connection that generic CTAs cannot.
  • Experiment with Button Colors and Placement: The color and placement of your CTA buttons can impact visibility and clickability. Test colors that stand out against your site's color scheme and experiment with placing CTAs above the fold or near the end of content to see what works best.
  • Offer Incentives: Encouraging clicks by offering something in return can be very effective. Examples include "Download Your Free Ebook Now," "Get 50% Off Today Only," or "Join Free for a Month."

2) Optimize Headlines

Make ad copy and headlines persuasive and relevant to your target audience, addressing their needs and interests.

Creating captivating titles is crucial for boosting click-through rates and engaging your audience. Here's a summary of effective title strategies:

  1. List Post Titles: Incorporate numbers into your headlines to increase clicks by up to 15%, appealing to readers' love for ordered information (e.g., "27 Easy Desk Organization Ideas to Finally Clear the Clutter").
  1. “How To” Titles: Offer clear, instructional content that promises to teach a skill or solve a problem, with credibility through data or examples (e.g., "How to Keep Mice Out of Your Camper").
  2. Question-Based Titles: Directly address the reader's queries with what, why, or how questions, adding a hint of intrigue to drive clicks (e.g., "Why Does My Dog Drag Its Butt on the Ground?").
  3. “Versus” Titles: Compare options head-to-head, helping readers make informed decisions between two or three choices (e.g., "Ahrefs vs. SEMrush vs. Moz: What the Industry Thinks").
  4. Ultimate Guide Titles: When covering a topic in-depth, position your content as the ultimate resource for everything a reader needs to know (e.g., "SaaS SEO: The Ultimate Tried & Tested Guide").
  5. Devil’s Advocate Titles: Challenge common beliefs to spark curiosity and engage readers looking for counterintuitive insights (e.g., "Why ‘Following Your Passion’ Is Horrible Advice").
  6. Direct Answer Titles: Provide straightforward answers to specific questions, promising more depth within the content (e.g., "TikTok Has Over 5 Billion Users. Here’s What That Means").

Each of these title strategies serves a unique purpose in drawing readers in, whether by satisfying curiosity, providing solutions, or offering in-depth guidance.

3) Implement A/B Testing

Regularly test different elements of your ads or pages (like CTAs, images, headlines) to see what performs best.

  • Testing different subject lines in email campaigns to see which one leads to a higher open rate.
  • Trying out various call-to-action button colors on a landing page to identify which one drives more clicks.
  • Experimenting with different ad headlines to determine which generates more clicks in digital advertising.
  • Varying the layout of email content to find out which structure results in a higher click-through rate.
  • Changing the images used in ads to see which one resonates more with the target audience, leading to increased clicks.

4) Use High-Quality Images and Videos

Eye-catching visuals can attract more clicks, especially in ad campaigns. Statistics Demonstrating the Impact of Visuals on Click-Through Rates (CTR):

  • Engagement Lift: Social media ads with images result in a 650% higher engagement than those with only text. This significant increase suggests a direct correlation between appealing visuals and user interaction. (Source: Social Media Today)
  • Video Performance: Including videos on landing pages can increase conversion rates by up to 80%. Videos offer a dynamic way to present information and captivate the audience, directly influencing their willingness to take action. (Source: HubSpot)
  • Email Effectiveness: Emails that incorporate images have a 42% higher click-through rate than those without. Visuals in emails can break up text and make the content more appealing and easier to skim. (Source: Mailchimp)
  • Visual Content Preference: 65% of people are visual learners, indicating that the majority of the audience prefer consuming content in a visual format, thereby increasing the likelihood of clicking through when presented with images or videos. (Source: Forbes)
  • Banner Ad Success: Ads with rich media, including images or videos, see a 267% higher click-through rate than standard banner ads. The dynamic elements of rich media ads can capture attention more effectively than static images. (Source: Google AdMob)

5) Make sure headlines are 60 characters or less

According to Ahrefs, page titles should be less than 580 pixels (about 50–60 characters) to avoid being cut off in the search engine results.

Use something like character counter to check.

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6) Improve Page Load Speed

Ensure your landing pages load quickly to reduce bounce rates and potentially improve CTR.

  • Improving page load speed is crucial for enhancing user experience and subsequently increasing on-page click-through rates (CTR).
  • According to a study by Google, pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that take five seconds to load experience a bounce rate of 38%. This stark increase underscores the importance of quick loading times in retaining visitor interest and potentially boosting CTR.

Strategies to Enhance Page Load Speed

  1. Optimize Image Sizes: Large images can significantly slow down page load times. Tools like Adobe Photoshop or free online tools such as TinyPNG can compress images without a noticeable loss in quality, ensuring quicker load times.
  2. Enable Browser Caching: When browser caching is enabled, a web browser stores copies of web pages on the device. This means that returning visitors will not have to reload the entire page, hence faster access times.
  3. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML: Reducing the size of these files by removing spaces, commas, and other unnecessary characters can speed up the loading process. Tools like UglifyJS for JavaScript, CSSNano for CSS, and HTMLMinifier for HTML can automate this process.
  4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): CDNs distribute your site’s files across a network of global servers, allowing users to download content from the server closest to them. This can significantly reduce page load times for users located far from your server. Cloudflare and Amazon CloudFront are popular CDN options.
  5. Remove Render-Blocking JavaScript: JavaScript files can prevent the browser from rendering a page until the JavaScript has been executed. Removing or deferring large JavaScript files can improve load time.
  6. Upgrade Your Web Hosting: Sometimes, the bottleneck for your site’s performance is the hosting service itself. Investing in a more powerful hosting solution can dramatically improve load times.

Impact of Page Load Speed on CTR:

A study by Akamai found that a 100-millisecond delay in website load time can decrease conversion rates by 7%. This shows that even slight improvements in load time can have a significant impact on CTR and overall site performance (Akamai).

Implementing these strategies can help improve your website's page load speed, leading to a lower bounce rate, improved engagement, and a higher click-through rate.

7) Optimize for Mobile

With increasing mobile usage, ensure your ads and landing pages are mobile-friendly.

  • Responsive Design: Ensure your website automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of any device, providing an optimal viewing experience for users on mobile phones, tablets, and desktops.
  • Compress Images and Media Files: Large images and media files can slow down your website on mobile devices. Use tools to compress these files without losing quality to enhance load times.
  • Implement a Mobile-First Approach: Design your website with mobile users as the primary focus before making adaptations for desktop. This can improve the mobile user experience significantly.
  • Minimize Text Input: Mobile users find it cumbersome to type a lot on small screens. Minimize the need for text input where possible, and use dropdown menus, checkboxes, and toggles to make interactions easier.
  • Touch-Friendly Navigation: Ensure all buttons, links, and navigational elements are easily clickable and spaced appropriately for touch interaction.
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Consider implementing AMP for your site. This Google-backed project is designed to speed up page loading on mobile devices.
  • Test on Real Devices: Use a variety of mobile devices to test your site’s mobile usability. This helps you understand real-world user experiences and identify areas for improvement.
  • Optimize for Local Search: Mobile users often search for local information. Ensure your business is listed on local directories and Google My Business, and use local keywords in your site’s SEO strategy.

8) Match your title tag to your H1 tag

Ensuring the title tag matches the H1 tag on a webpage is vital for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

According to a study by Moz, title tags that closely match the H1s are associated with slightly higher search rankings. This alignment provides consistency and reinforces the relevancy of content, making it easier for search engines to understand and accurately rank pages. Google's algorithms prefer clear, concise, and accurate signals to determine a page's content, and matching these elements can optimize a page's visibility in search results.

Implementing this strategy can significantly impact a site's click-through rate (CTR) and overall user experience, leading to improved performance in search engine rankings.

For deeper insights, refer to Moz's comprehensive analysis on the impact of title tags on SEO [here](https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag).

9) Utilize Social Proof

Including reviews, testimonials, or user count can increase trust and thereby CTR.

The Impact of Social Proof on Click-Through Rates:

  • Incorporating social proof boosts click-through rates (CTR) (Source: OptinMonster).
  • Customer testimonials can increase CTR by up to 34% (Source: OptinMonster, [https://www.optinmonster.com/]).
  • Social validation significantly influences consumer behavior, increasing brand trust and likelihood of website clicks.
  • 92% of people trust peer recommendations over other advertising forms (Source: Nielsen, [https://www.nielsen.com/]).
  • Leveraging social proof enhances credibility, website traffic, and conversion rates.

10) Leverage FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Creating a sense of urgency can encourage users to click through, especially in ads and promotional content.

Leveraging FOMO, or the fear of missing out, plays on the natural human instinct to avoid being left behind or missing advantageous opportunities. This can be particularly effective in digital marketing when timed promotions, limited offers, or exclusive content are highlighted. By incorporating timers, countdowns, or limited availability notices into ads or website content, businesses can create a sense of urgency that compels the audience to act swiftly. This urgency encourages users to click through to not miss out on what is perceived as a valuable or unique opportunity. Studies have shown that campaigns utilizing FOMO can significantly enhance click-through rates (CTR) by presenting users with a compelling reason to engage immediately, driving both traffic and conversions.

11) Optimize for SEO

Use relevant keywords in your ad copy, titles, and meta descriptions to improve visibility and organic CTR.

  • Optimizing digital content with relevant keywords is crucial for visibility and organic CTR.
  • 75% of internet users don't go beyond the first page of search results (HubSpot).
  • High ranking is important; use targeted keywords in ad copy, titles, and meta descriptions.
  • Aligning content with the search queries of the intended audience increases chances of appearing on the first page.
  • Moving up one spot in search rankings can improve CTR by 30.8% (Moz).
  • SEO optimization directly enhances visibility and organic engagement.
  • Using strategic keywords that match audience search intent boosts digital footprint, organic traffic, and conversion rates.

12) Incorporate Rich Snippets

Using schema markup to add rich snippets like star ratings or prices can make your listings stand out in search results, improving CTR.

Incorporating rich snippets into your website's content is an effective way to make your listings more eye-catching in search results. Rich snippets are small pieces of information that can include star ratings, prices, author names, or event dates, which appear under your website's URL in a search result. To implement these, you need to use schema markup - a type of code that you add to your website's HTML. This code helps search engines return more informative results to users. Here's how to get started:

  1. Identify the Type of Content: Determine what type of content you want to highlight through rich snippets. This could be articles, products, recipes, events, or reviews.
  2. Choose the Right Schema: Visit Schema.org to find the correct type of schema markup for your content. Schema.org provides a comprehensive list of schema types and the properties you can use.
  3. Add Schema Markup to Your Web Page: Embed the selected schema markup into your web page's HTML. You can do this manually or use various tools and plugins designed for popular CMS platforms, such as WordPress.
  4. Test Your Markup: Use Google's Rich Results Test tool to verify that your markup is implemented correctly and to preview how your rich snippet will look in search results.
  5. Monitor and Optimize: After implementing rich snippets, continue monitoring their performance and optimizing based on results. Keep an eye on changes in your click-through rate (CTR) and adjust your schema as necessary to improve visibility and engagement.

By following these steps, you can enhance your website's listings in search results, making them more appealing and informative to potential visitors. This not only improves user experience but can also significantly increase your site's CTR.


In conclusion, improving your startup website's click-through rate (CTR) is essential for attracting more visitors and potentially increasing conversions. By implementing the 12 strategies outlined in this article, ranging from optimizing your meta descriptions and headlines to leveraging the power of rich snippets through schema markup, you are laying a foundation for a more visible and engaging online presence. Remember, the key to success lies in consistent testing, monitoring, and adapting your strategies based on analytical data and user feedback. Increasing your CTR is not an overnight task but a gradual process that, when done correctly, can significantly boost your site's performance and business growth. Stay dedicated, be patient, and watch your efforts translate into improved website traffic and engagement.


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