For the longest time I didn’t know how to reliably determine if a title & meta description had a better click through rate (CTR) than another variation.
Turns out it’s very possible.
You can actually test what variations of a meta title and description are best for CTR using Google Search Console to view a page’s CTR over time.
If you want to learn how you can use Google Search Console to compare title and meta description variations to decide which is better step by step then keep on reading.
If you haven’t already, you need to sign up and link your website with Google Search Console so you can track your site’s performance in Google’s search results.
Start by going to Google Search Console and then in the sidebar expand “Search Traffic” and select “Search Analytics”, this should take you to a report that looks something like this:
With this you can view your clicks, impressions, position and most importantly for us clickthrough rate for your Google search results. By default, you’re probably looking at the clicks metric for your queries, let’s change that to look at your CTR for your pages.
You should now be able to see your CTR for all your different pages, but to test variations of titles and meta descriptions you want to look at one specific page’s CTR. This is easy to do, just click the arrow next to the page you want to isolate:
Once you’ve done that, you should now see a graph for your page’s clickthrough rate over time. Hovering over the graph will show you your CTR for a point in time:
What this tells you is how your click through rate for the page you are viewing is performing over time. If it’s going up, your click through rate is getting better. If it’s going down, your click through rate is getting worse.
Using this information, you can now test different titles and meta descriptions to see which performs better.
Here are our top suggestions to make sure you get the most out of this trick:
- Make sure you run your experiment for typically at least a week, preferably two. You need to give Search Console time to change your search result’s appearance as well as collect enough data to come to a significant conclusion.
- Don’t test more than one thing at a time or else it will skew the data.
- Similarly, make sure there’s no external factors occurring to influence the data within reason such as volatility with your search positioning or co-aligning with media publicity.
Using this neat trick it’s easy to figure out what works and what doesn’t for your own business’s search results.
What’s your best performing page title? Let me know in the comments below.