SEO Updates – September 29, 2023

🗓️ Circle this date on your calendar: Monday, October 2nd. It’s not just any day; it’s our final quarterly webby of the year! Even if you can’t make it to the live event, we’ve got your back. Simply sign up, and as soon as the event wraps up, we’ll whisk the replay link straight to your inbox. We can’t wait to reconnect and chat about all things digital marketing.

🔬 SEO Mad Scientist Back in Action 🔬

How Impactful is CTR for Local Rankings? We’re Closing the Chapter.

We’re back with the final test update in our CTR manipulation test. The core focus of the experiment was to see how far we could push rankings by manipulating the Click-Through Rate (CTR) of Google Business Profiles. To perform the experiment we adopted a dual-pronged strategy, manipulating search engine interactions and simulating genuine user engagement.

The experiment was built around four crucial keywords, known to trigger local pack results, in order to increase the visibility of your listing. We carefully structured and calibrated both our approach and interactions to emulate user behavior and avoid the potential risk of over-interaction.

Our CTR tests analyzed 2 GBP listings in dramatically different areas – Hawaii and Tennessee, and industries – realtors, and accountants. If we were able to increase visibility in both cases, we could better generalize the impact of CTR manipulation.

First, we actively searched for our profile using the targeted keywords (below) in order to signal an increased interest in the business profile. We repeated this over the course of the 4-month test. Next, we interacted with the profile posts, enhancing visibility and reinforcing the profile’s relevance to Google algorithms. We then took it a step further by visiting the website directly from the Google Business Profile, aiming to boost ‘dwell time’—a metric that affects search engine rankings.

Keyword #1: Listing Agent 

We don’t believe in saving the best for last, so we’re whipping out this baddy first.

The term “listing agency” saw movement from the beginning, but the final results really demonstrate the power of CTR.

In nearly 4 months, ATGR went from a dismal 15.0 to 7.91 with only CTR! Imagine if we took this test a step further…

Keyword #2: Realtor Franklin 

While the term “Realtor Franklin” didn’t explode in a full green grid, CTR took this listing from a forgotten 20+ ranking, to the map pack in the more populated part of the map. If we combined our CTR strategies with our work like building brand prominence and relevance, this could be a much bigger impact.

Keyword #3: Accountant Honolulu 

While many of the green nodes are out in the ocean swimming with the fishies, the cluster of green in the center is smack dab in the center of Honolulu. In some of the most competitive areas of the grid, CTR turned it green!

Keyword #4: Payroll services Honolulu 

This test term showed the least movement of all our grids, but many nodes jumped 10+ spots. Our book shows the viability of CTR.

However, it also demonstrates that CTR should not be used as a standalone strategy. If you are going to put our tests into action, make sure you’re supporting it with solid SEO basics like building the brand and relevance.

For this test, we leveraged a CTR tool to speed up the process. This is how we used the tool…

The tool takes the target keyword and googles that keyword then goes to the maps and searches for your Profile. Once it’s found the profile, it goes through the GBP posts and engages, goes back to the Profile, and hits the website link. Next, it simulates reading a page for about 30 seconds and simulates the same process 2 more times on 2 different pages (you can set up it to interact with 5, 10, or 15 pages… ). In the end, it leaves the website and continues the same process with each target keyword, as frequently as configured, ensuring all keywords are covered efficiently.

We tested this exact process with the CTR tool 4 times, and we consistently saw a ranking impact within 7-10 days on average. Some CTR rounds gave us quicker results, but we couldn’t pinpoint a reason for this.

While we can’t put a numerical value on the impact of CTR, the success of this test reinforces our confidence in CTR to increase rankings and visibility.

It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t manufacture engagements willy-nilly. The effectiveness of CTR lies in combining meticulous keyword selection, simulated engagement, and strategic Google interactions to boost CTR.

Have you used CTR in your local campaigns?

This Week in the LCT Facebook Group

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