Larry Kim of MobileMonkey

Larry Kim

CEO of MobileMonkey

Founder of MobileMonkey and WordStream, his tools are used by over a million marketers worldwide. The company employs over three hundred people and manages Billions of dollars of ad spend on behalf of tens of thousands of customers.


Raising Click Rates With More “Clicky” Headlines

My approach to SEO is based around raising your click rates. There’s a few reasons for this, one is that if you can make your links more “clicky” or more interesting and raise your SEO CTR then you’ll be moved higher in the rankings.

Expert session

Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Larry’s success

Raising click rates with more “Clicky” headlines.

Result if you follow the steps in Larry’s session

Improved CTRs on your listings and better ranking from the algorithm by using emotional triggers to produce better titles and descriptions.

Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more

Expert session snapshot


You know, say you’re only getting 10% click through rate in that top spot. Well, then Google notices and it says like holy smokes, like there’s something wrong here. You know, this listing should be getting a 30% click through rate, but it’s only getting 10. We should probably demote the listing a little bit, because it’s just not the click through rate, isn’t commensurate with what you would expect for a first page listing. 

So, you know, because the whole nature of the surface winner take all this, you know, there’s winners and losers, you really want to get those click through rates, you know, up and higher than your competitors. For those two reasons. 

One, even if it doesn’t impact your rank at all, having a more cookie title will mean you know, double your clicks. You know, and if you believe as I do that, you know, there’s a machine learning feedback loop in Rankbrain that kind of reorders based on click through rates, and other engagement metrics. 

Then you will also see your rankings improve. In fact, all you need to do on average to raise your position by one spot on the on the first page is to beat the expected average click through rate for your given spot by 3%. 

And then you’ll be noticed and be promoted to the next spot. And that’s sort of the averages that I’ve completed in my research. Are you following me so far, Liam?

Yes, you just said 3% and there’s obviously probably tools that you get really advanced to be able to track these things. What are some of the things that you’re doing to get people to click? What are the things that you’re seeing working?

Well, there’s big things and little things. Why don’t we start with kind of the basics and then move on to the advanced things. 

The first thing you need to do is, you need to find a pay per click advertising guy and make friends with him or her. Because, you know, in pay per click advertising, which is actually my background, there is no links. You know what I mean? 

Like, AdWords was a machine learning system since day one, okay, there was no like Rankbrain update in the last, you know, year or two. Like since 2002. These ads were all scored based on their click through rates. You follow? 

So, you know, they’re these pay per click advertising guys, they’re really good at raising the click through rates of the ads that they’re serving.

Now, it’s kind of a similar concept, because the ads in the organic listings, they kind of look identical these days with the expanded text ads, they have the same number of characters, same headline length. So basically, you know, you want to use all these tactics that the paperclip guys are using and AdWords to raise the click through rates, I can summarize a few of the really hot ideas. 

Number one is to use these SEO headlines where it’s like, you know, where you take the focus keyword and you kind of repeat it once or twice. Those do okay, but not great. Okay?

So if you think about a percentile score, the score, you know, like 66 percentile, kind of, you know, achievement. So meaning you’re not likely to do terrible, but they’re not likely to do great. 

The reason why I know this is because it’s the same idea in pay per click advertising where you do dynamic keyword insertion. Are you familiar with this? 

Where you kind of stick out, you pare it back, the query that the user put, like in the headline of your ad, and that tends to generate sort of like upper middle class results, not spectacular, not terrible. 

So, basically, you know, I think that’s kind of the old way of doing it. It’s kind of you know, it’s low risk, kind of moderate return. What I advise people to do is kind of throw the old playbook of like, these keywords having title tags, basically, because the title tag really is the thing that makes you want to click, right? 

And instead go with a slightly less keyword heavy approach and instead leverage, you know, emotional triggers. So, you know, like, the one example that I use a lot is just for like, divorce lawyers, okay. 

So like, the SEO guy might say, okay, well, divorce lawyer, Boston, you know, dash, you know, sign up for a free consultation for divorce, your divorce proceedings. It’s like kind of putting in a couple keywords in the headline and it’s like, yeah, it’s kind of what they’re looking for. 

But what you can do instead is leverage emotional triggers. And do something like, you know, like, you don’t even have to include the word really, you can just say, Who Is he sleeping with, you know, get revenge and a smile on your face. 

You know, Boston divorce lawyers, you see, I’m saying like, so you could just…I think you’re unmuted, by the way. 

I think you could leverage these ideas to kind of really raise the emotional triggers like fear or anger or laughter or you know, or shock like just different emotional triggers that make people want to click. There’s like seven or eight of them.

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