30 Strange SERP Secrets = Breakthrough SEO Traffic + CTR

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  • SEO
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Hi fellow Warriors,

Would you like to know the secrets of getting #1 Google rankings again and again and again...

... and again and again and again...

... and again?

Well, even if you say yes, that's not what I'm going to talk about here anyway...

You know, getting #1 Google rankings is good and all. But it's kind of boring...

Know what I mean?

I mean everyone knows how do it! What's the challenge in that?

Some people even get top rankings in 24 hours or less.

Totally boring...

So, what I want to share with you today is about how you can get more SEO traffic without even touching your rankings.

Awesome right?

You know, it's commonly accepted that the #1 placed website in a search engine results page gets a lot more traffic than the #2 placed website...

... Normally.

But that's not always the case.

There are instances where the #2 website or even the #3 website can get more traffic than the #1 placed website.

What are those instances?

When the #2 or #3 websites are more highly optimized for clickthrough rate than the #1 placed website.

Thus, here are 30 strange SERP secrets that you can take and apply right away to increase your CTR in the search engines, and explode the search engine traffic coming to your site... by some amount at least...


Your Title

Your title is the thing that often stands out most prominently on the search engine results page. It's also the thing that visitors click on from the search engines to get to your site. As such, it's important to optimize your title for higher clickthrough rate.

Here are a few tweaks that will help you get better CTR results from your title...

01. Include the keyword you're targeting. Obvious, but sometimes people don't do it. I have no idea why. The keyword you're targeting gets highlighted when people search for it, thus giving more attraction to your search listing. And having the exact match keyword you're targeting in your title helps you to rank easier.

02. Hyper-target your keywords. If you're targeting a specific group of people, let's say male car buyers in Toronto, don't just have the keyword phrase 'where to buy cars' in your title and rank it for the Toronto region. It's better to have "Where to Buy Cars in Toronto for Men" in the title. It speaks directly to your target audience.

03. Capitalize all the letters of the keyword you're targeting. Don't capitalize your whole title though. This will make it seem spammy. Capitalizing the letters of the keyword you're targeting will help it stand out in the eyes of the searchers.

04. Include numbers in your title. Including some numbers in your title can often draw the eyes of searchers to your title. Especially when no other results on the page have numbers in them. Odd numbers like 1, 3, 5, 7, etc. can do really well, as can percentages.

05. Include symbols in your title. Various symbols can help your title to stand out and get you a better CTR. Symbols like $, %, !, <, >, etc. Especially when your website is the only one on the page with those symbols.

06. Include special snippet symbols. These symbols stand out even more than normal symbols. This is what they look like:

Here's a cool tool you can use to help you generate those symbols:

??? Saney: Google Snippets Preview Tool ??? Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool / UTF-8 characters in Breadcrumbs - How to increase Snippet CTR

07. Use some text art. Using text art in your title can help draw some attention. Not too extreme text art of course. Simple ones, like ^_^V and such...

08. Have specific call to actions. Call to actions like "Click Here" or "Read More Inside" etc, may help you tremendously.

09. Test your title for CTR with PPC. Consider purchasing PPC ads and testing various titles for CTR. Find the title that provides you with the best CTR and use it in the title of the web page you want to rank.

10. Stand out from the competition. Let's face it, if everyone is doing all that I mentioned above in the SERPs already for the keyword you're targeting, you're not standing out. You're blending in. Sometimes you need to see how your competitors are formatting their search listings and do something different to make yourself stand out.

Your Description

11. Use compelling ad copy. Don't just use any old description for your search engine results. Try to use compelling ad copy if you can.

12. Use persuasive synonyms. Instead of using words like 'learn', use words like 'discover'. Use persuasive synonyms that arouse curiosity, and encourage people to find out more.

13. Use cliffhangers. Don't put all the details about what you have to offer in the description. Include just enough, and let the rest be a cliffhanger that encourages people to clickthrough to find out more.

14. Use symbols. As with your title, use symbols in your description as well.

15. Use special symbols. These symbols stand out even more than normal symbols. This is what they look like:

Here's a cool tool you can use to help you generate those symbols:

??? Saney: Google Snippets Preview Tool ??? Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool / UTF-8 characters in Breadcrumbs - How to increase Snippet CTR

16. End with several dots. Ending your description with several dots can have an effect on searchers and encourage them to clickthrough to your site to find the conclusion. Like so...

17. Use appropriate keywords. Optimize the keywords in your description for the words you are targeting. This is because the search engines highlight the keywords the searcher is looking for, and this will make your description stand out.

18. Test for CTR with PPC. Test various versions of your description by purchasing PPC ads and finding the version with the highest CTR.

19. Have a call to action. Include a call to action that tells searchers to clickthrough to your site.

20. Use it all up. Some people only have very short meta descriptions. This means that you aren't taking up very much space in the search results at all. Try to take up as much space as you possibly can. You get 150 to 160 characters for your description, so grab every single character you can get.

Your URL

The URL is something that people often think nothing much can be done about. But in truth, there are a lot of things you can do with it...

21. Buy a short domain name. Short, catchy domain names can often get you a better CTR in the search engines and help you rank better too.

22. Have a descriptive URL with words. Make sure your URL shows your page title in the form of words separated by hyphens. Don't keep your URL using numbers.

23. Use breadcrumbs. Using breadcrumbs is pretty neat and makes your listing stand out from the rest who aren't using them. Here's some info on how you can include breadcrumbs in your listings:

Rich snippets - Breadcrumbs - Webmaster Tools Help

Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are something like the below:

They are designed to enhance specific listings, including those for:
- Authors
- Business and Organizations
- Music Albums
- People
- Products
- Recipes
- Reviews
- Restaurants
- Videos

24. It's quite a long topic, but Google talks more about how you can include rich snippets for your page here:

Rich snippets (microdata, microformats, and RDFa) - Webmaster Tools Help

Google Plus

Having an author page on your site and linking it up with your Google Plus account can result in a load of benefits for you. It helps you stand out in 4 main ways as seen in the picture below:

25. It displays your picture is the search results. This can lead to a significantly higher CTR as you stand out in the search engines. Try testing different variations of your picture for a better CTR.

26. It includes your name with a link to your Google Plus profile.

27. It includes the number Google+ circles you are in. This draws more attention, and adds credibility to your listing too.

28. It includes a link to more of your work. Pretty neat.

Search Tactics

29. Get double listings. Get two listings on Google instead of one, and you'll attract a bit more attention, as well as take up more real estate on the search results page.

Here's an example of this:

The way it works is this. If you have two webpage results from the same domain on one page, Google will bring them up together so the second result will come under the first.

It's not too hard to achieve either. Here's how I normally do it:

Step 1 - Have two webpages on the same domain targeting the same keyword. They should have different unique content though.

Step 2 - Link both of the webpages together so that they interlink to each other.

Step 3 - Build backlinks to both pages targeting the same keywords. Don't forget to vary anchor text.

30. Wouldn't it be awesome if people saw your website looking like this in the search results:

This type of results are called sitelinks, and according to Google...

We only show sitelinks for results when we think they'll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn't allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don't think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user's query, we won't show them.
No one knows for sure how Google determines whether a site gets sitelinks or not because it all depends on what they think. But here are some general practices that have worked well for me:

Step 1 - Ensure you have good on-page SEO.

Step 2 - Have a sitemap, and make sure your site is structured well using categories and sub-categories.

Step 3 - Submit your website, sitemap, etc. to Google Webmaster Tools.

Step 4 - Have a good navigational structure.

Step 5 - Have a good amount of content, have good content (or terrible content), and have some good backlinks pointing at you.


Getting a good CTR from your search engine results means that you are literally getting more traffic with the same amount of work.

That's pretty cool if you ask me...

Do you have any other cool tips for getting a higher CTR from your search listings?
#breakthrough #ctr #google #secrets #seo #serp #strange #traffic
  • Profile picture of the author Warock
    Nice for your strange tips that I learnt.
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  • Profile picture of the author dannybriggs

    Great information.. Thanks for sharing this tips.....

    Thanks and Regards,

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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Yeah some great ideas here.

    Those rich snippets are fairly complex - I bet few people are using them as a result!
    ÖŽ FindABlog: Find blogs to comment on, guest posting opportunities and more ÖŽ

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  • Profile picture of the author rihsatnum
    This is a good article realy good article I bookmark this I need more time to read this. thank you for posting.
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  • Profile picture of the author nampara17
    Great Tips for getting ranked. I like the ideas behind varying the format of the title and description tag to try to 'stand out' on the SERP. This is a neat trick and I know there has been a lot of psychology behind trying to work out what draws peoples eyes to results.

    Do you have a list or posting of your tools that you use to help with the SEO side?
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  • Profile picture of the author dandok
    Thanks for the post. I'm completely new to the SEO world and am working hard to get my site higher in Google. I'm in a local market (bail bonds), and as you an imagine - the SEO shenanigans are crazy! I don't know how some of these guys get away with some of the stunts they pull. But I don't want any Google "surprises" so learning proper SEO from the ground up let's me sleep nights. I'm working on implementing the rich snippets and breadcrumbs. I think they will make a tremendous difference. Thanks again from Set'Em Free Bail Bonds in Dallas.
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  • Profile picture of the author manishak
    I liked the idea of special characters. But I don't think that people use special characters while searching for some info.
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  • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
    Some insightful stuff!

    My Guitar Website | My SEO Blog - Advertising spots available.

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  • Profile picture of the author sivagopi
    That was a great info and I believe this will not be suitable for all niches. As some niche has to be really professional like real estate, services etc
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  • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
    Not to be a hater...but do you really want your description tag to look like a Craigslist post:

    Would you click on something like that?

    The two best ways to get a better organic CTR are:

    1. Add Google authorship (as the OP described)

    2. Use copy from Adwords advertisers in your niche for your title and description tags:

    After all, they've done all the work for you (testing copy). You know that type of copy generates clicks or they wouldn't be using it.
    Find Awesome Keywords...Without ANY Tools
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by Backlinko View Post

      Not to be a hater...but do you really want your description tag to look like a Craigslist post:

      Would you click on something like that?

      Lol, that's the ugliest pile of SERP title/description I've ever seen.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    /\ Lol, I'm glad someone said it.

    I was told to use symbols on Craigslist too. Untill I actually tested it on my own. The well written headlines always out perform the headlines with symbols/shapes/icons. And I tested around 300 different headlines.

    They key is to trigger different emotions than your competitors. And I can't sacrifice text space for icons. Otherwise I lose that connection. I'm not saying to never use symbols, but do not go crazy with them. Sometimes a vertical slash makes things look cleaner, sometimes I'll use an arrow (on craigslist but not google), most of the time I stick to clean text. It always looks more credible.

    ps. I'm in a totally different niche than the OP (home improvement) so my testing may be completely irrellevant. I don't honestly know.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Regular Google Sitelinks aren't difficult to get, all you have to do is create a closed internal linkwheel with the keyword as anchor-text, last page on the wheel points back at the first page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Ross
    Using special characters is really strange. Thanks for sharing such a useful information.
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  • Profile picture of the author jessegilbert
    I agree on the targeted synonyms, definitely. it can only really help as far as I can see especially if worded coherently. AS for spinning and special characters no comment.
    I do think the special characters could work for some blog posts, definitely.
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  • Profile picture of the author flyingeagle
    google authorship is no longer use .. CMIIW
    Data Center Indonesia | Jasa Sablon Kaos | Batu Safir
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