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Bounces vs Clickthroughs: User Behavior & SEO

The best SEO campaign and high rankings won’t help you if you don’t understand user behavior and preferences. Doing things right means the difference between bounces vs clickthroughs. It starts as simple as selecting what keywords and phrases you choose to rank for. If you pick something that your ideal customers and clients aren’t looking for, or if the phrase, your content, and your offer don’t match, that keyword ranking is doing you no good. 

But it goes much deeper than that. What the search engines – Google in particular – want to see, is that when someone clicks on a high ranking search result, they get exactly what they were searching for. They want someone to click on that link, go to your site and spend some time there consuming your content. What they don’t want to see are low clicks (in comparison to other search results on that same page), or worse have someone click through to your site, hit the back button, and then go look at a different site. That second process is called a “bounce” and it means the content on that page didn’t keep its promise.

What does that mean for you as a content provider? Always create your content for your target audience first. If you’re looking at a list of keywords that you want to create content around, ask yourself if a particular search term matches your audience and the content you share. If so, go ahead, if not, move on to a better keyword choice. 

Then sit down and write your content for your readers first. Then, when it’s written and polished, go back and look at the title. Are you using the keyword in the title? If not, see if you can rework it and still have a compelling title. Remember, this will be the headline that shows up on social media and in the search results. The same goes for metadata like the content description and the URL. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, go do a google search and look at what those individual search results look like. 

Last but not least, scan through the content and ensure that you’re using the keyword once or twice in the content and also related words and phrases. Search engines are smart and these latent semantic keywords help them determine what your content is about.  With well-written, targeted content, you will ensure that your audience clicks and sticks, which will help you move up in the search engine rankings. Not sure if that’s the kind of content you’re creating? Ask your readers if this is what they were looking for. If it isn’t, they will tell you.

Of course, you should also review your bounces vs clickthroughs in Google Analytics so you can compare your real data with your general findings.

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