A few weeks ago I gave a keynote at a marketing conference.

After I walked off the stage, this guy came up to me and said:

“Great talk, Brian. I actually looked at your rankings today and noticed that you outrank huge sites like Forbes and Wikipedia.

How the heck do you do it?”

Here’s what I told him:

“The fundamentals — like link building, keyword research and on-page SEO — play a big part.

But my real secret weapon is that I’m one of the few people in SEO that focus on CTR.

It’s like an SEO superhack.”

And today I’m going to show you why click-through-rate (CTR) is HUGE for SEO right now…

…and a quick tactic that you can use to take advantage of it.

In fact, CTR is one of the big reasons I rank #2 for the keyword “backlinks”:



Why is CTR such a huge deal?

Two reasons:

First, higher CTR=higher rankings.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Google uses CTR as a ranking signal.

And I’m not basing this solely on my own experiments.

Several industry studies have found a strong correlation between CTR and Google rankings.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise…

If lots of people click on the same result, it sends a strong message to Google:

“Searchers want to see  this page!”

And Google pushes that page’s rankings to the top.

Second, higher CTR=more traffic.

So let’s pretend that Google doesn’t use CTR as a ranking signal.

You should STILL focus on CTR.


Let’s say you rank #3 for a keyword that gets 1,000 searchers/month.

The #3 spot usually gets 10% of all clicks. So that’s 100 visitors/month.

But let’s say you write a kick-butt title tag…

…a title tag that doubles your CTR.

That means your CTR shoots up to 20%. Which is 200 visitors/month.

Look: I’m terrible at math.

But even I can tell you that this one simple thing just doubled your traffic.

That’s the power of CTR.

Question is:

How do you improve your CTR?

I’ll have lots more details on this in my next email.

But for now, I want to show you a simple tactic that you can use to significantly boost your CTR.

In fact, this is the same tactic that Pinterest uses to optimize their CTR.

How do I know?

Well a few months ago I noticed that Pinterest changed many of their title tags to this format:

“1000+” + “images about”  [keyword]  + “on Pinterest”

Here’s an example:


Why does this title work so well?

A simple reason: it contains a number.


Adding a number to your title tag can make a HUGE difference in your CTR.

That’s why 90% of my title tags contain a number. It works.

For example:

A Backlinko reader (David) recently changed his title tag from this:

“The Ultimate Web Design Checklist – things to do when launching a website”

To this:

“Ultimate Web Design Checklist – 128 tasks to create an amazing website”

And David’s organic traffic shot up by 71.68% (!).

organic traffic increase

(Note: David used a handful of techniques to improve his title. Numbers were just one of them. But adding a number made a big difference)

Bottom line?

Adding a number to your title tag can seriously improve your CTR.


I’ll send you more actionable techniques to boost your CTR next week.

But for now, let me know:

Do you want to improve your CTR and get more traffic?

If so, hit “reply” to this email and let me know.

I obviously can’t reply to every message. But I read every email that I get.

So let me know that you’re ready to boost your CTR.

And I’ll send you more CTR-boosting content next week.