Today I wanted to discuss a couple of SEO Ranking Factors that I know a lot of people do not understand. Many of the major ranking factors have been around for years, like keyword optimized title tags, the number and quality of backlinks to your site, and keyword-rich domain names.
But these two factors are fairly new in importance, and most people are not aware of them.
According to Google Analytics, “Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors.”
Google (the search engine) is not omniscient, so there is no way for them to know your actual bounce rate – the one that is seen in Google Analytics or other analytics programs. But they do know your search engine bounce rate – how many people click your site from their search engine results and then come right back.
So it is important that you watch this metric and try to figure out what is going on if you have a high bounce rate.
TIP: If you have new site without much traffic, BE CAREFUL when you go to Google and click your own site from the results page. Some people will do this several times a day to check their site, or even to login to WordPress.
But if you do this, make sure you visit a few pages on your site and don’t go back to Google using your back button. During this critical time before Google is sending you much traffic, you can affect your rankings by the ‘bouncing’ you do unintentionally.
Matt Cutts from Google has been talking about this for years, but now the speed of your site is starting to become a more significant factor in their ranking algorithm.
You can read some of the studies that Google, Amazon, Yahoo and others have done which show significant increases in traffic, page views, conversion and revenue when the speed of the site was improved.
Google Analytics has even added ‘speed’ as a metric that can be reported in their newest version. You need to make a simple change to the Google Analytics code on your site (or use the latest version of the free “Google Analytics for WordPress” plugin). Then you can click “New Version” in your Google Analytics dashboard and you can get the option to see “Site Speed” in your “Content” reports.
If you want more information on how to optimize a WordPress blog, this is an excellent report that will guide you through the entire process. The information in the sales letter alone is worth more than the cost of the full report.