Is bounce rate a factor of SEO?
Bounce rate is one of the underestimated factors when it comes to internet marketing. What impact does it have on the Google rankings? Well, the answer to this question is not yet defined as Google does not give us a clear answer about the same.
SEO experts have been debating about the relevance of bounce rate for a long time now but still, several things are still not yet understood about the topic. Some optimize their websites for lower bounce rates hoping to improve their ranking but does it really work? We will find out, keep reading and find out some of the things you should know about bounce rate and if it affects SEO or not.
What does bounce rate mean?
Bounce rate can be defined as the percentage of people who visits your site and then leave without even clicking on another page.
A similar concept in SEO is pogo stick which means when a searcher uses a certain keyword to search something on google and immediately leaves after clicking a certain website. The amount of time that the searcher should spend on a website before hitting the back button is not yet specified so getting the clear picture about the impact of bounce rate can be a little bit complicated.
Does the bounce rate really matter?
I think they do, put yourself in Google’s shoes and try to think about it. You are responsible for interpreting the actions of millions of users on a very big scale, won’t you make some assumptions about the actions of some users and why they left a certain website so fast? I mean one visitor visits the site than another up to a thousand and they all leave in a hurry, won’t you feel like there is something wrong about the website?
Nevertheless, it is normal when people also found what they need on your page already. Therefore, it is hard to tell what is a normal bounce rate like.
If bounce rate matters, why does Google care about it?
Everybody wants their sites to be on the first page of google right? Google usually does the ranking of the first page using certain keywords and their hope is that the site on the first page has the most relevant information that is useful to the users. That is what Google is designed to do, to provide the most relevant information to the users in need. Now put yourself in Google’s shoes again and think about it.
The site that ranks on the first page of Google usually gets the most traffic and it is some kind of reward that Google gives to the website with the most relevant information. Imagine if the users visit that website rewarded for having the best info only to leave even before even 5 seconds are gone and visit the 2nd link instead.
Will not that make up for a conclusion that there is something wrong with the site? I mean if 90 percent of the users leave the website in a matter of seconds isn’t that weird for a site with the best info? What could a user have gained within such a short time? I believe Google might not continue to reward such a website if users leave within a matter of seconds.
Its purpose is to produce 10 best diverse answers to the keyword that a user used. So if the users leave that fast it can only mean one thing, the content for the keywords is not quite right or the information on the page is not relevant and does not have any relation with the keywords used. That website will be removed and replaced with a better website.
How does Google measure the bounce rate?
This is the reason why there have been so many debates by the SEO experts, Google does not tell us how the bounce rate is measured or whether it is relevant to the rankings or not. So the above assumptions might be correct or wrong.
Maybe Google does not care about the bounce rates after all. I think Google refuses to disclose this information for a reason.
Maybe they think if they disclose this kind of information, most people will reverse engineer and ensure that their websites have zero percent bounce rate.
If they go ahead and succeed then this will mean the first page will be loaded with pages without any meaningful content like 1st generation search engines. This will make it very hard for the users which Google does not really want. They want to continue being the most dominant search engine because they help users get the most relevant information and profit from the relevant advertisements.
How can I decrease my bounce rate?
Decreasing a website’s bounce rate can be kind of difficult as each website is different and everything differs from one site to another. I believe the easiest way to decrease your bounce rate is simply by creating a website that is user-friendly and has related information that is very relevant to the users.
- With related information at the bottom of your page, your user who read till the end and found your initial page useful might click on another page.
- You can also split your long-form content into different parts and your excited users will follow each page part by part
Think about it, the aim of Google is to provide the best information to the users and that’s why it rewards the site with that by making sure it is the on the first page. This is why nowadays content marketing has taken over internet marketing.
The competition is very high and you need to make sure your website is more emphasized on the audience than what you are trying to advertise or sell. Imagine yourself as a user searching for something on Google won’t you want to get the best and most relevant information?
Establish content that will leave your visitors glued to your website not leaving after 3 seconds. This will definitely improve your Google rankings. And if you can’t do it yourself, then consider hiring a digital marketing agency to help you out.