In simple terms, engagement is the ability to hold a user’s attention. In terms of SEO, it is a measure of the time spent on a page. Although Google has not officially declared it, there is evidence suggesting that this search engine giant rewards sites with high user engagement with a better ranking.
- Traffic and Engagement Metrics
- Search visits
- Total visits
- Direct visits
- Global rank ‘
- Time spent on site
- Bounce rate
- Page views
A study by SimilarWeb revealed a positive correlation between engagement metrics and search rankings. A Backlinko study on 1 million search results also revealed a similar correlation between bounce rate and rankings.
Google’s reasoning is that if a user spends more time on a page, it is likely because they found the page useful. And as Google only wants to provide the best possible results to its users, it will rank sites with high engagement rates higher in search engine results pages (SERP).
So how can you improve your site’s engagement? Here are five tactics you can use to give a boost to your existing content in search engines:
A) Format your articles for easier reading
Good formatting can instantly improve the readability of your page. This, in turn, can improve your engagement rate. According to eye-tracking studies, the following three formatting tactics can help improve the readability of your content:
Shorter paragraphs: Limit each paragraph to 2 or 3 sentences at most. You can even use one-sentence paragraphs if necessary, but use them sparingly, or your article will look like a bullet-point blog without the bullets. Shorter sentences: Long sentences are difficult to follow on screen. Where possible, break long sentences into several shorter ones. Subheadings: Web users don’t read, they scan. To make scanning easier, use many clear and informative subheadings to guide readers down the page. Bullets: When you have a lot of data – statistics, facts, ideas, examples – in a single paragraph (like this one!), it’s easier to scan if you list them with bullets.
Here’s an example of bad formatting:
Knowing about the law of attraction is a huge advantage in itself. Most people live their entire lives without ever realizing that their thoughts create their reality. When one discovers this universal truth, the whole world begins to open up. After much work and practice, you will begin to see results that will change your life and will last long due to the techniques and strategies taught here. There are many ways to use the law, including daily affirmations, visualizations, goal setting, changing thought patterns, and of course, using the universal pool of information.
Here’s an example of the same paragraph, but with good formatting (here are a few ways to improve the block of text):
Most people live their entire lives without ever realizing that their thoughts create their reality.
After much work and practice, you will begin to see results that will change your life and will last long due to the techniques and strategies taught here.
Here are a few ways to use the law of attraction to your advantage:
Daily affirmations Visualizations Goal setting Changing thought patterns
B) Use Bucket Brigades
A “bucket brigade” is a copywriting technique designed to capture a reader’s interest and keep them on your page.
Essentially, it involves breaking an idea into several sentences, using a trigger word or phrase (as simple as “Look.” or as long as “The secret to good copywriting is this”), then ending the sentence with a colon.
C) Use Images throughout Your Content
Including professional, high-quality images (photos, graphics) in your content is a simple yet effective way to increase engagement. Firstly, images help you show an idea, not just tell it (a picture is worth a thousand words, right?).
Secondly, images can help break up content into different sections, making it easier for readers to consume and engage with your content. Large blocks of text can be daunting and overwhelming, and readers may lose interest quickly. However, by including images strategically throughout your content, you can create visual breaks and guide your readers’ eyes down the page.
Thirdly, people love beautiful images. High-quality, professional images can add aesthetic value to your content and make it more visually appealing. This can make your content stand out and capture the attention of your audience.
Overall, including images in your content is a simple yet effective way to boost engagement and improve the user experience of your website.
Another tactic to improve engagement on your website is to write in the inverted pyramid style. This style of writing involves putting the most important information at the beginning of your content and then following up with additional details and supporting information.
This approach works well because many readers tend to skim content and may only read the first few sentences before deciding whether to continue or move on to something else. By providing the most important information first, you can quickly capture your readers’ attention and encourage them to keep reading.
In addition to formatting and writing style, reducing your bounce rate is another important factor in improving engagement on your website. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page.
A high bounce rate can indicate that visitors are not finding what they are looking for on your website, or that the user experience is poor. To reduce your bounce rate, you can take several steps, including improving website usability, creating a clear call-to-action, and optimizing page load times.
Tools like Crazyegg, Optimizely, and Google Optimize can also help you identify areas of your website that need improvement and conduct A/B tests to determine the best course of action.
In conclusion, improving engagement on your website is crucial for increasing traffic and achieving higher search engine rankings. By incorporating tactics such as formatting, using images, and reducing bounce rate, you can create a user-friendly and engaging website that will keep visitors coming back for more.