The Engagement Factor In SEO
Saturday, February 21st, 2015
The SEO industry has traditionally relied heavily on data, provable results and historical data. For good reason. This information can be used to make predictions and calculations as well as demonstrate results to clients and illustrate why certain SEO techniques are effective or important. However, this doesn’t account for search engine results entirely. It is becoming more apparent that there’s a factor that’s much harder to quantify. That factor is engagement.
There are two main kinds of engagement to consider. The first is onsite engagement – these areas have been shown to have important sway over your site and they all add up to create a sense of usability and ease:
- How long visitors spend on a website, not necessarily the longer the better but long enough to show their needs are being met.
- How high the bounce rate is.
- Whether visitors return to your website more than once.
- How fast your site is to load. This makes it much easier for visitors to navigate.
These all represent an improved engagement with your website, showing that your website is holding people’s attentions and satisfying what they were looking for – which is Google’s ultimate aim.
Another significant, though less quantifiable, factor is offsite engagement. This can come in a variety of ways such as:
- People talking about your brand on social media, and linking to your website.
- People searching directly for your brand on Google, rather than a keyword.
- Brand amplification, i.e. your articles or press releases or products being spread throughout the internet.
This creates direct engagement with your website but it can be difficult to quantify these factors and show a direct correlation to an increase in rankings. This can pose a definite challenge – some offsite engagement areas are not traditionally in the realm of standard SEO. They can come under the purview of social media management, brand management or press / media management.
To get the best SEO results, there needs to be a holistic and integrated approach to online marketing. Search engines are aiming to find the authoritative online brands / content resources for each specific topic and they are getting much more sophisticated at identifying their targets. Onsite engagement and offsite engagement are not going to go out of vogue any time soon.
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