Google rankings don’t just look at how well you’ve optimized your site. User engagement also plays an essential role.
Optimizing your website for crawlers and bots is just one part of ranking well on a Google search. Many business owners and new marketers overlook the fact that the way real people behave on your site matters too.
So, which comes first, user engagement or better search engine rankings? It turns out, the two actually go hand in hand. You know that higher rankings on Google can lead to more engagement by presenting your content to more people, but to get thank ranking and engagement, there are a few things you need to know.
AI and Ranking
Google’s machine learning algorithm measures user engagement carefully, and its artificial intelligence (AI) weighs engagement as a significant factor in determining how to rank your site. Google measures a variety of user engagement metrics, such as how long users typically spend on your site, whether they click to other pages on your site, and how often users return to your site. Other user engagement metrics to watch include click-through rates, social shares, and comments on blog posts.
To take advantage of these insights, make sure that your content really engages your target audience. Well-researched and visually-appealing content will draw more users in and will result in a big boost in user engagement that the Google algorithm is sure to notice.
Ways to Measure Engagement
Now that you know how much engagement can impact your search engine rankings, you must start measuring and monitoring engagement on your site. Start by monitoring click-through rate.
The click-through rate is a percentage found by dividing the number of clicks a given link gets by the number of total impressions. Taking note of this will help you understand what your users are most interested in on your site. You can start thinking of how to replicate similar content that will keep them coming to your site.
You can also start tracking your bounce rate to monitor user engagement. The bounce rate shows you how often users leave your site after viewing just one page. The lower your bounce rate, the more successful your site is at engaging users. This is essentially the opposite of click-through rates. You’ll want to eliminate the type of content that is making users leave your site.
Ways to Boost Engagement
Even if you’ve managed to create a pretty engaging site, you’ll likely find areas where you can improve as you continue to measure and monitor your engagement metrics. Boosting engagement is a continuous process. You have to keep testing and tweaking things over time to stay relevant in our fast-paced world.
One trick that often helps to boost engagement is adding video. Many people today simply prefer watching a video to reading a blog post, so a well-made video could keep users on your site longer than written content.
Voice search optimization presents another growing opportunity for boosting user engagement. Voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and others have gained popularity and you can take advantage of it. Include structured data in your site, as that will help you show up in voice searches as well as typed searches.