Everyone knows the number and quality of links to a website is the leading factor in higher search rankings. However, there are lots of factors that can easily be overlooked – website metrics many business owners might not even be tracking.
These lesser known metrics aren’t quite as powerful as others. Still, taken together, they often make a significant difference in search engine placement. That’s especially the case dealing with competitive search terms that attract a great deal of interest from rival websites.
Three Vital “Lesser Known” Website Engagement Metrics
1. Dwell Time
Dwell time refers to the total amount of time someone spends on your website after clicking in – it can also be referred to as session length. It’s the opposite of the dreaded bounce, what happens when a user immediately leaves a website without interacting with it in any way.
It’s easy for Google to monitor things like dwell time because most users will use the browser’s back button to end up back at search results when they’re done. The longer your average dwell time, the more compelling your site and the more likely it is to rank high.
2. Return Visits
Many sites depend strongly on new organic traffic – especially in the B2B realm. Enterprises can learn a lot from B2C shops and small entrepreneurs that constantly strive to bring the same readers back again and again.
These return visits establish a pattern of loyalty to your site … and they’re great for rankings.
Return visits are more likely to translate into conversions. They show that your site has staying power and can hold users’ interest in the long term. The majority of traffic for an established site should come from new users, but return visits could be anywhere from 15% to 25%.
3. Blog Comments
In a world full of comment spam and duplicitous characters, many marketers – working in both B2B and B2C – are tempted to turn off comments. While this can save you some frustration, it also deprives you of a valuable metric that can bolster your search position.
When people leave comments, it means they will spend more time on the page. They are also more likely to return, potentially several times in a given day. Sure, sometimes this means they are arguing on the internet. For the most part, though, it’s all the same to Google.
Boosting these three Web metrics will often go a long way to making your website a growth engine for your business.
Luckily, compelling Web content can easily influence all three of these metrics. The more informative, helpful, and comprehensive your content is, the better. As one metric rises, many others are likely to follow.