To be honest, getting Internet users to visit your site is quite an achievement. Unfortunately, that is not the be-all and end-all of search engine optimisation. How visitors behave once they land on your site is just as important to your Google rankings. In case you are wondering, visitor behaviour loosely refers to how interesting or useful a visitor thinks your site is after getting there. This can easily be measured by establishing how long a visitor stays on the site.
Google now rightly appreciates that an Internet user who logs on to your site and leaves less than a minute later does not find much use for your site. To put the importance of visitor behaviour to Google rankings into perspective, here are reasons why this metric should be an important goal in your search engine optimisation campaigns.
Why Visitor Behaviour Is Important To Your Google Rankings
Visitor behaviour can now cause your site’s Google rankings to drop. If visitors land on a page that features a convoluted navigation and also falls short of what it promised to offer in the search results, then such visitors will have no reason to hang around for long. Google can notice this, and the end result will be a lower ranking than a competitor who can keep visitors interested for longer.
Visitor behaviour, in this case the length of time a visitor stays on your site, also affects other important search engine optimisation metrics, for instance the probability of the visitor coming back to the site for a second time. If your site can keep the visitor engaged for several minutes, probably hours, that person will not easily forget your site, and will probably bookmark your site for future online searches related to the products or services you are offering. So, visitor behaviour helps boost Google ranking metrics in other important ways as well.
The longer your visitors stay on the site, the more likely it is that they will click on other pages on the site. When a visitor visits just a single page, Google considers that a bounce. To put it simply, bounce rate is a bad SEO metric, you should avoid it. So, if you can optimise your site such that visitors want to see what more you have to offer by clicking on more links, then you will lower your bounce rate and improve your site’s rankings on Google.
The same goes for session duration. When visitor sessions lasts longer, then Google considers your site to be of better quality and more valuable to visitors, and it will rank it higher in the search results. Generally, Google considers a session duration of under two minutes bad for your site. Therefore, it is quite important that visitors stay on your site for much longer.
Search engine optimisation with a goal of improving visitor behaviour is not an underhanded SEO technique that might eventually land you in trouble with Google or wear out over time. Making your visitors stay on your site longer clearly means offering quality content that visitors consider valuable. This is unlike using tactics such as keyword optimisation as bait to get visitors to your site, only for them to leave immediately after discovering that you have nothing of value to offer.
There are many ways to improve your Google rankings through search engine optimisation. However, striving for better visitor behaviour is certainly one of the most effective ways to improve Google rankings. Not only does desirable visitor bevaviour improve loyalty among site visitors, but it lowers undesirable search engine metrics thus magnifying your site’s ranking on Google.