How to Boost Your Rankings by Engaging Users

It is widely known among SEO experts that user engagement is vital to the success of a website. After all, when no people are willing to interact with our sites, they are doomed to a poor SERP position.

The primary goal of all search engines is to provide those searching for answers with the best ones possible. If they believe your website doesn’t do the job well, they will find one to place higher. To avoid this unpleasant scenario, you are encouraged to boost your rankings by engaging users.

Improving the overall site design, incorporating quality content into it, and adding interactive features are only some of the ways to appeal to the mass audience.

How Can We Define User Engagement?

Simply speaking, user engagement is a term used to explain the process of interaction between visitors and a website. The speedier the site, the better its content and layout, the more likely the audience will find it attractive and return to it. High user engagement equals a lower bounce rate, and thus, better ratings. There are different types of user engagement, including:

  • Click-through rate, or CTR for short
  • Dwell time
  • Third-party actions
Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Excellent click-through rate is what makes further interaction on your website possible. It’s defined as a ratio of users who click on a result on SERPs and represent engagement on the most basic levels. Meta descriptions, informative titles, and well-written content all contribute to a good CTR. The first two are especially important, though, as it is them that will serve to convince searchers your site holds the answers they need.

CTR in Google Analytics

Dwell Time

Dwell time is considered the time one uses to “dwell” on the web page post clicking before returning to the search results. It’s measured by search engines and has a role in determining their efficacy. While searching for something, it’s typical for users to click on the first result. Naturally, if they are satisfied with the answer given, they’ll stay on the page longer, thus proving that the search engine has done an excellent job of matching them with the best possible result.

Dwell time could affect your rankings; therefore, it’s essential to do everything humanly possible to improve it. Longer content for one could cause visitors to spend more time on your website. As long as it is something that piques their interest, that is.

Third-Party Actions

While you can certainly boost your rankings by engaging users on your own website, a lot of traffic can also come from third-party sources. Possibly the most valuable of all ranking factors are backlinks. Google, for instance, considers these as proof that your site contains high-quality material, which in turn causes your posts to position better. Backlinks, also known as inbound links, link to your content by the authors of other websites. There’s a great sense of achievement in knowing someone thought your piece was worthy enough to use as a source for their own, which surely is a bonus.

The importance of social media is not to be neglected when talking about increasing website traffic. Although it doesn’t directly affect SEO, what it does is improve click-through and conversion rates. Furthermore, social media presence helps keep users engaged while also building brand recognition.

Engagement Metrics to Keep an Eye On

Despite not affecting the actual rankings, these metrics are an essential indicator of how engaged the visitors are. As a website owner, you should keep an eye on these numbers to note any changes. While there are no good nor bad numbers, sudden increases or decreases could signal you are possibly doing something wrong.

Pageviews

The more pageviews you’ve got, the more appealing the visitors find your site. It’s that simple. While it’s entirely normal for these numbers to constantly fluctuate, keeping up with trends is vital. Any drastic changes, both up and down, are worth inspecting. Have you done anything to cause such discrepancies? Try to determine that before taking the next course of action. If you’ve suddenly begun getting more views, chances are you are doing something right, so keep that up. However, if you notice a significant decrease in visits, the time to make specific updates has probably come. To check your view count, go to Audience > Overview in Google Analytics.

Keep track of how engaging your content is

New & Returning Visitors

Are the efforts to boost your rankings by engaging users working in your favor? Well, the graph showing you the percentage of new vs. returning visitors will be able to answer that question. See this for yourself by, yet again, going to Audience > Overview. Here, you’ll be able to keep track of the balance between the two kinds of users. Ideally, it would be best if you had a high rate of returning users, as those are the ones genuinely interested in what your site has to offer. Of course, new faces are equally important, if not more. After all, some of them have the potential of becoming loyal visitors.

Top Performing Content

Regularly check Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to see which of your pieces the users favor. Dedicate time and effort to keep the best-performing content constantly on the top of the list.

Bounce Rate

Those just entering the SEO world may wonder what a good bounce rate is. Truth be told, it largely varies. Not all of our goals are the same. Our businesses differ, so does our content and plenty of other things. The rule of thumb suggests that too high of a bounce rate is never good. But what exactly is considered too high? It’s hard to say. What some would consider unacceptable, others may consider decent. Nevertheless, like with all other engagement metrics, tacking track of changes is essential. You’ll also be able to do so under Audience > Overview.

Time Spent on Website

Are the visitors suddenly spending less time on your website? Perhaps the long pieces aren’t persuasive enough to convince them to stay. Or maybe they are pretty content with everything you’re offering, causing them to spend extensive periods of time browsing. Pay attention to the duration of sessions regularly, and adjust the content based on your audience’s preference.

Conversion Rate

Conversions are considered completed activities that cause a user to turn into something like a customer. They can range from minor ones, be it a newsletter sign-up or completing a survey, to major ones that bring revenue (an example are various purchases). Both minor and major conversions are essential to keep an eye on. Using Google Analytics, you’ll be able to set up conversion goals and stay up to date with them.

Practical Ways to Boost Your Rankings by Engaging Users

Through improving user engagement, you allow your website to continue to grow and, therefore, assume the best possible position on SERPs. With that said, let’s dive deeper into how to make sure the site you own is the one your audience truly enjoys browsing through.

Speed up the Website

How many times have you visited a certain site only to notice it takes ages to load. If you are like many of us, you’ve probably grown tired of waiting and decided to leave the page altogether. Research suggests that, in the case of slow-loading or unresponsive websites, most users decide to take to competitors for information. If you wish to increase the dwell time and grow a loyal audience, speeding up your site is the way to achieve that.

Fix Errors

Nothing less infuriating than pages that load slowly are the ones that show errors upon visiting. Work towards fixing those by regularly inspecting whether the site and its features are fully functional.

A website showing an error message

Incorporate Engaging Visual and/or Audio Content

Much like all of us absorb knowledge in different ways, we also absorb content differently. Some of us are better at interpreting visual and audio content than we are at interpreting a written text. A good example of this are people who prefer watching movies to reading books. To appeal to those, you’re best incorporating video and audio files into your website. Just bear in mind that these may slow your site a bit, so be wary of the amount you put up per page.

Create Quality Content

If your website relies heavily on written content, make sure the one you create outshines the competition. Do extensive research before writing any piece and think about how it could help your audience. Try to include details other sites haven’t mentioned, as they will help you stay relevant. Provide searchers with answers to questions they may be looking for, all while making sure to support your facts with hard evidence and practical advice, and don’t forget to follow basic SEO principles! Writing quality content will surely earn your pages better SERP positions if you wish to boost your rankings by engaging users.

Write content with your audience in mind

Improve the Design of Your Website

Your website may look impeccable on PC but be poorly optimized for phones. Considering more than half of searches come precisely from these devices, it’s crucial to improve the aspects of your mobile design. Upon completion, have someone test the site. If they happen to have trouble navigating, keep adjusting the looks until they’ve been perfected. Remember, a good website should be completely user-friendly. The layout should be comprehensive, visuals balanced, loading times low, and the site responsive.

Link to Relevant Pieces on the Site

If you are writing on a topic you’ve already touched upon, make sure to link to it in your latest piece. Internal links are golden standards of SEO, which help your pages rank higher and add to the simplified user experience. You are also encouraged to tag your posts, as well as categorize them based on similarity.

Include the Search Bar

The search bar makes navigating through the website a hundred times easier and faster. By quickly inquiring about the information they need, your visitors will surely find themselves feeling happier and, therefore, better engaged.

Introduce Interactive Features

Augmented reality is a huge part of our lives these days. More and more websites are beginning to incorporate AR features. For example, some eyewear retail sites allow their customers to virtually try on glasses before purchasing. This tactic helps attract more traffic and, along the way, helps increase the conversion rate. At the same time, various interactive features are also able to improve the overall user experience. Live chat, for instance, is an excellent option to have, but if you aren’t capable of getting a real person to engage with customers, you might achieve the opposite of what you want.

Get Your Audience to Subscribe to Emails

Convert your visitors into returning ones by leading them to subscribe to an email list. Create a pop-up subscribe box, or place it somewhere on the site for the followers to see. Of course, you’ll still have to focus your attention on the quality of the actual content, as that’s what will convince them to sign up in the first place.

Put Effort into Creating Surveys

People love data. Therefore, it isn’t surprising for a good traffic-driving strategy to be collecting data through surveys of various kinds. However, instead of keeping the information for yourself, you are advised to publish it on the site. In addition to leading to a satisfied audience, this tactic will also increase inbound links.

Boost Your Rankings

Last Words

Although we are familiar with plenty of SEO aspects, it still remains a mystery in some ways. Perhaps it’s due to its complexity, the constant changes, and various factors that play into it. Either way, placing high on SERPs is crucial, and one of the sure ways to achieve that is to boost your rankings by engaging users. Hopefully, this article has helped you gain insight into what could make your audience want to come back for more. The only thing left to do for you now is to apply the learned.

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