Almost all SEO professionals are aware of the importance of user engagement associated with their success. The chances of SERPs dropping are considerable if the users not coming to our sites and taking action in some way. It is the objective of a search engine to give the best answer possible for a query the user is looking for.
What is USER ENGAGEMENT?
A visitor to any of your digital properties takes action on that platform as opposed to browsing passively or exiting immediately to find a better source of information is called as user engagement. There are various types of engagement such as CTR, actions from outside sources, and Dwell time.
Click-Through Rate (CTR):
Entry-level engagement that is required for further engagement to take place. CTR requires optimal SEO best practices to show up on the first page of SERPs and give searchers the content and answers they are looking for.
Apart from having superior content, focus on the types of content titles and meta descriptions to encourage users to click through to your site. You will benefit from using Google Search Console to track it.
Actions from outside sources:
Most of the valuable engagement happens from outside sources such as:
- Linking to your content
- Driving more traffic to the site
- Sharing your pieces on platforms to increase your reach
- Encouraging users to engage in different ways
Inbound links are still a top SEO ranking factor. Though social media sharing itself is not a ranking factor, it directly affects SEO as it helps drive more traffic to the site and encourage more visitors, more links and more conversions. Sharing, liking, commenting, and subscribing also are styles of user engagement that occur on third-party sites– but can benefit your overall digital presence.
Dwell time is an inherent measurement that helps search engines determine if a searcher’s needs were met with the results the search engine provided. Searchers will input their query, click through to a top result, and stay on a site that satisfies their needs. For search engines, it’s a measure of their effectiveness.
Lets us now discuss tactical ways to increase user engagement here in the blog.
1. Speed up Your Site + Make It Responsive
Make sure your landing page is fast. According to the Unbounce study, “If your landing page is too slow, almost half your potential visitors admit they’re less likely to make a purchase.” On average, 25% of users will find a competitor with a faster site.
2. Eliminate Basic Technical SEO Errors
Nobody likes a site that is mired with technical issues. Especially the 404 errors. You may lose traffic and money also in the long run if such redundant pages are kept on the site.
3. Give People Different Ways to Engage in Your Content (Text, Video, Audio)
Most of us learn better through visual, auditory, or tactile styles. Give it a thought when you create content. Though we focus on the written word online, we all absorb information in different ways.
Use video with text transcription to reach new people or recording your written blogs for people to listen to instead of reading. Infographics or other visual representations of data will help.
4. Produce helpful content
Always create in-depth and useful content to serve the user’s needs and wants.
Focus your blog on productivity. Dig deep on how-tos and tooltips, give examples of some of the best ways to automate things that normally require manual work, and also present good information on the science of productivity as a whole. When you create useful content that helps your target audience do their jobs better – your site will become a destination for them.
5. Clean up your Navigation and site design
Perform a check every quarter to make sure that your website design, navigation, and content makes sense for users.
6. Improve internal linking and suggested posts
Always help people find the content that is most relevant to what they are currently looking at on your site. Start with internal linking within pieces of content on your site and suggested posts. While mentioning something that you have already written about, link to it. Categorize and tag your posts so you can refer website visitors to something similar once they are done reading.
7. Site Search Option
Having a good on-site search option lets users search all the content available on your website to find the best fit to serve their own needs. After that, you can use your site search data to write more content.
8. Clear CTAs to the Next Stage of the Funnel
Do not try and shove your users down the funnel before they are ready. While creating the content on your site, if it is a top of funnel, informational piece, use your CTA to direct people to the corresponding content that’s in the middle of the funnel. Thereon, you could encourage people to the bottom to buy.
If you have the ability for a live chat option, allow users to ask questions to a real person who is an expert. Or you can create automated chatbot scripts that can help answer top questions on your site and make users feel like they’re getting more personalized treatment. If they cannot find answers to their questions elsewhere on your site, the chatbot can keep them on your site and engage with suggested content.
10. Collect email address + Engage With Email
We recommend you to keep returning visitors coming back by delivering your content directly to their inboxes via emails. You can have a ‘subscribe’ box or pop up on your site, or you can collect email addresses by gating middle- to bottom-funnel content and then following up with useful content based on your target audience’s needs.
11. Create Surveys and publish the data
Keep engagement trending upward on your site by regularly publishing the data you are producing. Not only will it drive more engaged traffic, but it will increase your inbound links, too.
In conclusion, user engagement is an essential part of SEO. Since SEO is a commixture of many components, analyzing just a single component will not give the complete picture of SEO heath. Make sure that all the elements and components need to be in place and fixed the right way to best serve users’ needs and increase engagement on your sites.