User Engagement and SEO
On some level, most SEO and digital marketing professionals know how important user engagement is. Consider this: The search algorithms have a simple role… to provide the end user with the best, most relevant answers to their queries. Google and the other search engines want to offer users meaningful results. As such, they try to reward the content that gets people clicking and interacting.
If your website doesn’t provide users with relevant information—if users don’t find it worthy of their engagement—then your SERP rankings are liable to drop, as your site is effectively replaced with something deemed to be more relevant.
That’s the simple summary of user engagement and its relationship with SEO, but of course, there’s quite a bit of complexity contained within this topic.
Different Types of User Engagement
You’ll naturally want to focus on content that promotes user engagement, yet it’s important to note that user engagement comes in many different forms. Some of the most common examples include:
- Click-through rates. This is the entry-level user engagement you need—e.g., people seeing your website in the SERP and actually clicking on it.
- External forms of engagement—linking to your content, sharing it across social media platforms, etc.
- Dwell time. Once someone clicks through to visit your site, how often do they stay there?
Tracking the Right Metrics
Each of these types of engagement is meaningful, and worth pursuing. Taking a strategic approach to user engagement requires SEO professionals to actually monitor and measure their progress, which means knowing the most useful metrics. Here are a few to consider, all available in Google Analytics.
- Pageviews. This measures the total number of visits to your page within a set span of time.
- Top content. This metric helps you determine which piece of content has received the most engagement.
- New visitors. Are you actually growing your audience, or are all your pageviews coming from the same people?
- Bounce rate. How often do people visit your site and then immediately navigate away? You want to aim for the lowest bounce rate possible.
- Time on site. How long do people spend reviewing the content on your site? More time equals a higher level of engagement!
- Conversions. Are your website visitors signing up, calling, emailing, etc.? This is one of the most important engagement metrics of all!
How Engagement Impacts SEO
It’s important to note that not all of these metrics are Google ranking factors—though a couple of them, like dwell time, are.
While they are not all directly impactful to Google’s algorithms, they can certainly make a big difference with regard to your overall ranking. More precisely, having good engagement numbers proves that people are connecting with your content and finding it to be useful—and again, that’s what Google and the other search algorithms prize above all else.
A good approach for SEOs is to stop thinking in terms of the algorithms and what they want—to stop chasing these different ranking factors—and instead focus on simply creating content that will cultivate engagement, across these different metrics and categories.
It’s by giving your end users what they want that you can ultimately satisfy the search algorithms and achieve robust rankings.
Connect with Driven2020 to Learn More
It may sound straightforward, but of course, there’s nothing easy about developing content that generates engagement. That’s why we encourage companies to work closely with an SEO and digital marketing partner, like Driven2020.
We’re here to offer a data-driven, no-fuss approach to content creation and search engine optimization. Reach out to Driven2020 today to discuss the solutions we can offer.