User Engagement: One of the Most Overlooked Factors of SEO

There are many ways to affect the performance of your site that are within your control. From link building to tagging, there are a handful of tactics that can improve your search engine ranking in a performant way. That being said, one of the best and most impactful factors of SEO and site performance is user engagement-a factor which is not so easily manipulated and therefore often overlooked.

One of the main reasons engagement is often overlooked is because it’s a user-based metric, meaning it’s difficult to directly influence as a publisher and requires genuine participation efforts. Factors of user engagement include things like the amount of time spent on the site, bounce rate, page views, and total number of visits-all of which significantly drive search ranking.

With the continuous development of algorithms such as Google Penguin and Panda, spam-like SEO tactics become more detectable and less effective. As detection of SEO tactics on search engines like Google become more efficient, emphasis on organic site performance then becomes more important.

The idea then becomes to create a kind of marriage or unity between your users and your content that drives a natural flow of traffic to your website. As the algorithms of search engines continue to be modified in a manner that caters to human thinking, you can expect to see an increased emphasis on user engagement in the coming months.

As an authentic form of online participation, user engagement will depend on things like relevance and content quality. The goal is to have content that is engaging enough on its own to inspire users to participate, share, comment, and more of their own accord.

A requirement moving forward for sites that have yet to incorporate substantial levels of user engagement is to focus more on cultivating a relationship between existing content and engagement metrics. By focusing on popular content that offers some form of utility for users, a certain level of engagement will come naturally that in turn allows for a valuable measure of traffic that search engines rank desirably.

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