Does Website Engagement Affect SEO?
Google does not speak definitively on the relationship between website engagement and website ranking, but per the common knowledge of how the search engine robots interact with websites, the answer is yes.
- Sites that are updated more often
- Sites that have a low bounce rate
- Sites that have a long session duration
- Sites that have a higher click through rate (CTR) on a search engine result page (SERP)
Now let me explain.
Sites that are updated more often rank higher
When you publish a blog post, that is an update to your website. When someone leaves a comment on a comment that you approve, that is another update. When you respond to their comment, that is another update.
This is an example of the rate which your website is updated occurring due to engagement.
So the more comments the more websites updates, and the more website updates, the higher your website ranks.
Sites that have a low bounce rate rank higher
A bounce is when someone arrives on your site from somewhere else, then leaves you site without visiting a second page.
In theory a bounce shows a lack of engagement. Of course it is also possible the one page they did visit answered their question and they had no need to visit another.
However, going with the common perception that “bouncing” is bad for your SEO, sites with a lower bounce rate have higher engagement.
Some simple ways to encourage people to turn the page, is write your articles in two parts, where each part in on a different page, and to read the read the visitor must click through to another page.
Sites that have a long session duration rank higher
The short answer to this is video, but video that either entertains or educates (ideally both).
People scan webpages really fast, so a video of only one minute provides much greater engagement.
Per a story on the HubSpot website, 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website.
Sites that have a higher CTR on SERPs rank higher
CTR = Click Through Rate
SERP = Search Engine Result Page
Fortunately this is a lower ranking search signal, because the click through rate from the search engine result page to the webpage is in not indicative of the webpage quality, but this is a factor, and also is a measure of engagement.
The two things affecting your SERP CTR are:
- The position you show up in. Higher is better.
- How enticing your meta description is.
Website Engagement DOES Affect SEO
So there you have it.
What else affects your website SEO? Quite a bit.
Contact us to learn more.