Website Behavior Metrics and How They Affect Your SEO
Some people get frustrated that they don’t immediately see the results they want. This can even make them jump ship from an SEO strategy that is working and would eventually put them at the top ranking.
How do you know whether your SEO strategy is working when it doesn’t immediately put you at the top of the rankings? One way is to look at the website behavior metrics of your site visitors. If the numbers look good, then your SEO strategy has put you on the right track to climb to the top ranks and stay there. Here are the numbers to check.
Google’s business is giving people the best search results. How do they know which ones are the best? One way is with the click-through rate (CTR). This is the measurement of how often people will choose your website when it’s presented in a list of search results. As a number, it’s the number of times someone clicks on your website divided by the number of times your website appears in the search results, usually presented as a percentage.
However, in SEO terms, it’s a little more complicated. From decades of analyzing SERPs (search engine results pages), Google knows that the CTR depends heavily on your position in the SERPs. For example, the top-ranked search result typically has a CTR of 25-30%, while the second-ranked position typically has a CTR of around 15%. If Google notices a top-ranked search result is underperforming while the second-ranked result is overperforming, Google may move the one up and the other down in the future.
Time on Site
But the search engines have learned that CTR isn’t the only measure of a site’s usefulness. People might click on a site and realize it’s not at all what they thought, or that it doesn’t include the vital data they’re looking for. These people are going to quickly close or back out of the site.
To account for this, search engines use the length of time that visitors spend on your site as another measure of the quality of your site and its fitness for its ranking. The longer people spend on your site, the better you’re going to rank.
So you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to increase the time spent on site. Part of this is providing a good user experience with sensible design.
You can also increase time on site by providing interactive opportunities, such as media to watch and other engaging elements on the site