How user interactions affect SEO rankings
User interactions are the corner stone of SEO rankings. Fundamentally websites are built to be used by people. By people, I mean normal people who are busy, distracted and just want to their search intent addressed. So Google and other search engines put a lot of emphasis on how a website is used. The better people are able to use it, the higher it will rank. Let us discuss a few user interaction Google ranking factors and the role they play.
Bounce rates are the percentage of people who come to your website and leave immediately, usually within one second. They spend no time on your website. The higher this number the higher the probability that your website did not address their search intent. So Google will deem this website to be a bad fit for the specific search term.
If your bounce rates are caused by a slow loading speed, then there is a high chance you may lose your traffic gradually over time.
This is the inverse of bounce rates. If people should stay on your website, the question becomes how long do they have to stay on your website?
The higher the dwell times the better the website basically. There are a couple of tips you could implement today to increase your dwell times.
- Use good quality images and visuals. These make your content less boring, more dynamic and are an overall better experience. If possible make the images and visuals yourself using services like Canva
- Show rather than tell. We get so caught up in giving people information. We flood them with data but we don’t show them how we got that data in the first place. Personally if I am reading a website and someone claims something, I would love to see the studies and research behind the data. Without those, my interest quickly wanes.
- Long, in depth content. This is a quick cheat that can improve your dwell times. Sometimes your dwell times are because your website content is thin. People consume it quickly and leave your website. You could try having longer form content that goes deep into topics. However, avoid the temptation to add fluff to your website
Number of comments
Comments on pages are an indicator of interactivity. In a sense they can also be an indicator of page quality. Comments often include questions and requests for clarifications and these also count as content.
Think about it this way, if someone asks a question in the comment section and it is well answered, then there must be a chance that many other people had the same question.
So Google will pay attention to the question and may rank the page higher because its users may also have the same question. Remember this question is only asked and answered on your website so your website will have the added advantage.
Always allow comments on your comment section. But take the time to moderate and remove spam comments and address good questions.
“Its so good people are coming back for more”
If it is good, people will always come back for more. That is the basic behavior of people. This applies to websites too. Google and other search engines know this too. That is why they pay such keen focus to your repeat traffic.
You keep people coming back with the following tips.
- Consistency – people will always come back if the quality is consistently good. That is why companies like McDonalds have such a huge following. Customers know that every time they go it, they are going to have a burger that tastes just as good as the previous one they had.
- Quality – Again, people don’t come back for mediocre
It is really that simple. Repeat visitors simply means there are good user interactions and thus the SEO rankings will be improved.
This is good news for those who put an emphasis on brand awareness campaigns. The more people who just directly navigate to your website, the better the chance that you will get and SEO boost.
So its okay and actually advisable not to put all your eggs in one SEO basket. The more you advertise out there, be it on social media and other websites, (with a focus on branding the better). People will see your website address in the advertising material and navigate to your website directlly.
This is another reason to have memorable and easy domain names. The easier it is for them to find you, the more the direct traffic, and the more organic traffic Google will give you.
If SEO is a serious endeavor for your, then you need to optimize your website for RankBrain. More and more it is becoming a crucial ranking factor. This is the reasoning behind improving user interactions for SEO rankings
But what is this RankBrain you may ask?
This is the AI that Google uses to sort search results. It tweaks and modifies the Google search algorithm all on its own, something which used to be done by Google engineers. Then it looks at how the people searching on Google interact with the new search result.
Its two main jobs are
- Understanding keywords
- Mearsuring satisfaction
In the past, close to 15% of the searches on Google were of Keywords that they were not familiar with. As a result, they had to scan their index to find the exact match of they keywords. RankBrain changed everything because it is learning to understand and figure out what exactly you are saying.
If lots of people respond well then the website is up ranked.
This it does by looking at the factors mentioned above like;
- Bounce rates
- Dwell times
- Organic CTR
Here are some tips to better optimize for RankBrain
- Because it can better understand user intent, it changes the keyword research and usage process a little bit. You can now ignore long tail keywords for example.
- Put focus on CTR.
- Use numbers in your titles
- Optimize your descriptions
Google is getting smarter and smarter. But the fundamentals haven’t changed. It is all about giving your users a good experience and adequately addressing their needs. So my advice would be, instead of focusing too much on the technical, just put yourself in your user/customer’s footstep and try to actually help them with their problem
If you are having trouble with your SEO of would like to rank higher, you can contact us. We help businesses leverage SEO to drive business growth. Click here to learn how we can help you.