Running a successful online business has never been easy. Choosing the right name, the right design, and functionalities, picking the right hosting, implementing SEO and all other bits and pieces can be a challenging and time-consuming job.
But without careful planning every step of the way, you can’t really expect to be successful and to see all your ideas come true.
If we assume that the base is set, and your shiny new website is finally online, don’t think that the job is done. Your SEO strategy might be spot on from the start, bringing you a lot of users at an expected pace but can also need some adjustments.
Either way, SEO is a category that needs to be addressed now and then in order to work properly.
The reason is simple, Google often changes ranking factors and search algorithms, making your hard-worked strategy, that worked just fine the day before – obsolete.
One of the factors that can help you with your SEO is user behavior. The purpose of a search engine is to give the users an answer for a question or a solution to a problem.
If your website does that, then the overall user experience will be better, boosting your visits and time that users spend on your website.
Understanding your users
In order to scratch the itch of your users, you first have to understand their needs, and how they interact with your web page. This is why statistics are so important.
They help you understand visitors’ interaction, how they came to your website, and which pages they engage the most.
The other part of the medal is that Google takes user experience as a factor for ranking your website in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
This factor is also known as “relevancy rankings” and good interactions almost always means that your website is relevant to a user’s query.
And if you think about it, it does make sense. Every search engine, Google included, wants to provide the best user experience, which in this case translates to the most relevant results to your search.
User experience – the metrics that matter
The most important part along the user experience journey if user behavior. This is why a good SEO strategy needs to monitor and improve user behavior on your website.
For us to understand how to have a better position on SERPs, we need to understand the metrics that are relevant, and that Google uses to determine user experience.
To put it simply – no matter how much traffic your website is attracting, if users are not satisfied with the information they get, your engagement will drop, and so will the user experience.
Users want the most relevant answers to their questions, as quickly and accurately possible.
With that said, there are three key user behavior metrics that can help you improve the overall user experience: click-through rate, bounce rate, and time on page. Let’s go through each of them and see how we can improve them.
User behavior: Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate measures the ratio between visitors that click on your link and the total number of impressions (users that saw your link).
This is the easiest way to measure a user’s relevance because it means this is the best result of all given in SERP. Normally, there is a direct connection between page rankings and CTR, and search engines love pages with high CTR.
The way to improve CTR starts with content optimization. Your title tag and description must be on top of their game. This is the first thing that users see, and it must be a perfect or at least a close match to a relevant query.
Content improvement is the next step. Improving the quality of your content is always a good thing, and it will give you good results, especially in the long run.
SERP features are also becoming more and more popular and getting neck to neck with organic search results. Features like rich snippets, breadcrumb links, videos, and knowledge graphs can have a high impact on the click-through rate by offering more information than other results.
User behavior: Bounce rate
The bounce rate measures the percentage of users that come to your page and leave without opening any other pages.
This is a pretty good metric that tells you about user behavior on your web page: are they clicking your menu, opening links, and interacting with website elements, or just coming and going.
If your bounce rate is high it means that users are not getting the answer they wanted, or your content is not engaging enough.
With the bounce rate, there are a lot of different ways to improve it. Your page speed is one of them, and before any optimization, you should pick a good hosting provider.
That way you’ll make sure that your website does not slow down with high visitor surge. Hosting providers like Hostinger offer different plans that can adapt to any type of website, so make sure to check it out.
No one likes a slow website, and make no mistake, if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, your bounce rate will suffer.
Your content should match your page title and description, so don’t mislead your visitors, because it can be a shortcut to a high bounce rate.
A clear picture of your message is something you should put upfront. The big headline, concise and obvious, without any confusion, that is what your visitors should see when they land on your page.
Use descriptive subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs that speak for themselves, and that is easy to digest.
User behavior: Time on page
These metrics can give us a strong insight into the content and relevance of our web page since it measures the average time that the user spends on a page.
It’s also straightforward – if your time on page is high, your content has more relevance to users, and the opposite – if the time on page is low, users don’t see your page as not matching the user’s query.
In order to improve time on page, you must know that content must be relevant and provide simple and seamless interaction. If you enrich your web page with interactive elements like images, videos, infographics, facts, and FAQs, you can draw the user’s attention even more.
Try to make key points visible and try not to bury them below tons of text. Your idea should be clear and visible to every user, with other relevant answers and similar topics offered in the same way.
Do not be afraid to take a peek at your competitors and see if you are missing any key elements that might also work well on your website. Try to put yourself in the visitor’s shoes and ask what is missing.
Understanding the behavior of your visitors
If you want to have high search engine ratings, you must understand the user behavior of your visitors. The way to a successful website and good SEO strategy goes through great user experience.
Make sure to know what your visitors are doing, and why are they doing it in order to excel in your SEO and improve your metrics.