Are you a business owner or marketing manager concerned about the SEO rankings for your website? Are you left scratching your head at what Google tracks to determine their rankings? Google’s algorithm looks at over 200 factors when deciding which sites to rank for which queries.
So, if you’re ready to move past keywords and up your SEO game, then you need to pay attention to the right engagement metrics. Don’t worry if you don’t know what numbers are the important ones you need to pay attention to. We’ve got you covered, so keep reading to learn the top three metrics that matter.
Do Engagement Metrics Matter?
Too many business owners track the wrong metrics online when it comes to their digital marketing strategy. If you’re more worried about your followers on Facebook than your click-through rates, then you’re tracking the wrong numbers.
When it comes to click-based SEO many experts disagree as to what numbers are even important. This is because Google doesn’t come right out and tell us how they determine their rankings. Their algorithms look at the overall aggregate data gathered from billions of websites and then determines which ones should be ranked on page one.
However, those of us who follow the data believe that Google tracks certain interaction information throughout their SERPs. This information is valuable to Google to show them what people are clicking on and how long they’re sticking around to read the information. So, let’s jump into the three engagement metrics that matter most when improving your Google rankings.
1. The First Click
When someone asks Google a question, they offer up the top websites that answer the question. Google gets this information from countless site crawlers and even human readers who tell the algorithm which sites have great information.
As a business that has positioned itself as the top search engine in the world, Google wants to give the best search personalization it can so that people have a great user experience on their site. So, they take their algorithm information and search data very seriously to ensure they’re only ranking top-quality sites.
You can help improve your overall rankings by creating quality and engaging content on your site. Gone are the days of short 300-word blog posts with thin and weak information. You need to create long-form content that dives deep into each subject and shows you’re the expert in your industry.
In addition to creating great content, you also need to pay attention to your rich snippet and meta descriptions. These will be the enticing factors that will get more users to click on your site, as opposed to the other options listed in the search. Regardless of how you feel about engagement metrics, this is important to increase traffic to your site and bring more leads to your business.
And, when you create great content, you’ll start to see your articles improve in the rankings and over time, you’ll soon start to earn that first click. However, that’s not enough as we’ll show you.
2. Long Click
Once you earn that first click and your overall organic traffic starts to improve, you want to keep visitors on your site. The second metric that Google watches is how long people stay after they click.
Do they check it out and bounce right back to their search looking for a better article? If so, this tells Google that you don’t have great content and will start to decrease your spot in the rankings.
However, when you work hard to create sticky content that keeps readers on your site, then you’ll start to see your bounce rate decrease. And this will signal to Google to keep ranking you as you’ve earned the long click.
You can also increase the length of time users spend on your page by improving their overall experience. And you can do this by ensuring that you have a fast loading time, your site is mobile responsive, and by linking to other relevant content on your site.
3. The Last Click
Finally, have you ever had this experience? You ask Google a question and find four or five different options you want to check out. So you start with the one that sounds the most interesting and start clicking on each one.
However, eventually, you land on the perfect article that answers your questions and you’re done with your search. At this point, you don’t go back to Google and keep checking out the other articles with answers to your question. This is because you found the right one and you’re done clicking.
This signals to Google that the last article you clicked on and read was the best article that matched your query. This last click metric is important to Google, as they will start to improve the rankings on that article to the top of page one, as more and more readers signal to their algorithm that the article has the best information for that search question.
Improve These Engagement Signals to Improve Your Rankings
These SEO tips will help you improve your engagement metrics in Google’s eyes. However, it can be overwhelming if you’re just starting to improve your rankings.
We said in the beginning that you’re probably tracking the wrong numbers. To get the right numbers for each of these engagement metrics, you can find all the information you need in Google Analytics. But, you’re growing a successful business and you don’t have time to worry about click-through rates and SERP positioning.
You need to work with an expert to help you refine your content and grow your audience. If you’re ready to improve your SEO game, then reach out to me today and I’ll send you my free book, all about on-page SEO.