Through a highly qualitative approach towards predictive B2B content marketing, we as an agency have achieved tremendously high search rankings for ourselves. And we are always on the lookout for tactics to test to improve.
A new study by SEMRush has listed various factors that lead to high search rankings, of which the one’s with the most weightage rely on the on-site navigation and the behaviour of the site visitor. The signals include but are not limited to
1. Time on Site
2. Pages per Session
3. Bounce Rate
For instance, the study found a correlation between a low bounce rate and high search rankings. We already know that smart content marketing works wonders for a site’s experience and value to the end user. The study finds that sites that rank higher typically experience 40 seconds of extra time on site and attract visitors to browse through three to four pages on the site.
In analysing over half a million search queries, SEMRush determined that the most important factor was the number of website visits to a specific page, not necessarily being the home page. The study also found that referring domains of context indicate authority, backed by the navigation experience of the visitor entering from the referral link. If the behaviour is off, the referral link – regardless of how strong – is instantaneously discredited. One area that had a surprisingly low impact on search rankings was website security, which is indicated by an HTTP URL. Even then the study recommends a HTTPS version of your site as customer data must be protected at all costs.
The study further concluded that content writers and content marketers were more important that ever, with long-form content being considered as authoritative, well researched, and of the intent to clarify a query. The content would be longer depending on the number of queries words commonly associated with that site.
While these findings do not necessarily reflect anything new, the difference here is that the move was applied in the past as simple filler to check some boxes. Now Google is emphasising that the user experience and behaviour on a site must reflect the relevancy and value of the site – measured with time on site, a low bounce rate, and an interest to read more pages in a single session.