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You’ve got a great website. It describes your business, is engaging, and helps consumers understand why they need your product or service.
Now you’re working on ranking it highly on Google. You know that there are dozens of ranking factors, many of which are not known. You may have heard that website traffic can make a difference.
Does website traffic help your SEO ranking? Sometimes it does, and other times it doesn’t. Let’s take a look at why.
In the past, raw traffic data was an indicator that a website was very popular. That meant it was probably highly relevant to consumers, so Google would rank it more highly.
Not anymore. People started to use computer programs to send fake traffic, known as “bots”, along with irrelevant traffic from paid clickers, to their website. Now Google is much savvier and will definitely not give you a ratings boost simply for raw traffic.
In addition, irrelevant traffic doesn’t help your business. Don’t fall for a marketing firm that says they will dramatically increase your traffic without specifying what kind of traffic it is. It’s easy to pay for or create links that will bring in completely useless clicks to your website.
What you want is interested, ideal customers visiting your website. That kind of traffic not only helps your business grow but also can help boost your SEO ranking.
So does website traffic help SEO? There definitely are times when website traffic helps increase your page ranking. If your website is popular and highly relevant to a specific audience, that will lead to a higher ranking. Here are some specific metrics you can look at.
Direct traffic happens anytime someone comes to your website directly without a referring link. That means they have it bookmarked or type it directly into the browser. If you have a lot of unique (not the same person) direct traffic visitors, that signals to Google that your domain has high authority and is trusted by users.
How do you build direct traffic? The biggest step is to ensure that you’re building overall brand awareness as you market your company. You want your business to be memorable! You should also ensure that your website address is short, memorable, and related to your business name. That way, people will remember it and type it directly.
Obviously, the more time someone spends on your website, the more relevant and engaging it is to them. That’s why Time on Site is an important measure of how well your site is doing. A higher Time on Site can lead to a better SEO ranking.
Take a look at the Google Analytics reports for your website. You’ll want to find the average time on site as well as the amount of time people spend on specific pages. If certain pages are very popular, take a look at them and see what’s different. Try to incorporate those best practices into your other pages.
At the same time, if a page has a particularly low dwell time, you might want to revamp it or even remove it from your website altogether. It depends on how important the content is and if you can uncover what’s making the page underperform.
A bounce is anytime someone leaves your website after viewing only one page. Every website will have visitors that do this, but the lower your bounce rate is, the better. For example, research shows that the top search results often have a bounce rate of 49 percent or better.
If you have a large percentage of your visitors bouncing after seeing only one page, there’s something not working with your website. For example, maybe you need better calls to action, or your content should be more compelling.
A website full of pages that talk about how great you are as a company is not going to capture anyone’s attention or get them to view multiple pages. Instead, focus on your ideal customer’s pain points and how you can solve their problems.
If a high bounce rate is a bad thing, then it stands to reason that a higher pages-per-session statistic is a good thing. The more users explore your website and visit a variety of pages, the better.
How can you encourage this behaviour? One of the best options is to include links to “related articles” partway down the page of each blog post. That encourages people to read more blog posts instead of leaving after just one.
Of course, you need a strong call to action on every page of your website, whether it’s to contact you or to view another page of your website. Contacts lead directly to new customers, which is the bottom line, but even visiting another page of your site helps.
The simple truth is that highly relevant traffic from people who are interested in your product or service helps your business grow as well as boosting your SEO ranking. After all, a website that’s useful and engaging is exactly what Google wants to serve up to its users.
If you want your website to rank more highly in search results while bringing in ideal leads and customers, we’re here to help. We’ve helped thousands of small businesses grow and excel through digital marketing. Contact us today for a free consultation!