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Implications of Bounce Rate, Session Duration, Pages Per Session?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by dragiia, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. dragiia

    dragiia BANNED BANNED

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    In your opinion, do these things affect a site's ranking? If so, do you think it would be worthwhile to hold off on marketing a site to let these metrics increase as a result of better targeted traffic through organic clicks?
     
  2. chickensalad

    chickensalad Registered Member

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    They do, but not as much as you think. You should treat this more like customer feedback - if people are bouncing, arent sticking around and not clicking anywhere else on your site, you should try and fix this first.

    People are already finding you organically, which means they're already targeted. Marketing now will cause the same effect - targeting people who come to your site and aren't getrting what they're looking for.

    To help - put yourself in your consumer's shoes. What are they after? What are they thinking?

    And be honest - are you providing this?
     
  3. dragiia

    dragiia BANNED BANNED

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    I know these things. My site is an Amazon affiliate site, so while my main purpose is to get my visitors to leave by clicking on an Amazon link, I can't help but think at the same time, this could be hurting my rankings.
     
  4. the_demon

    the_demon Jr. Executive VIP

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    @dragiia: Just make sure your Amazon links open in a new window. This will in many cases have your users leave your tab open in their browser further increasing time on site.
     
  5. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    While they affect you site rankings, you could also view a high bounce rate with a high session duration as a sign that the visitors who come to your website find what they are looking for and then leave. For example, if a visitor clicked on your link and viewed an article for about 2 or 4 minutes (which is about how long it should take to consume a short article) before leaving, this could mean that you have successfully answered their questions since they spent the time to reading your article. This is all a part of understanding your target audience.
     
  6. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think these things apply more when you are on page 1.
    I think once you are ranking for some terms, if you have a high bounce rate, then you wont keep your positions - ie if google sees returning visitors they will assume the user is not finding the answer on your site, and demote you.
     
  7. dsan996

    dsan996 Regular Member

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    I understand that the OP is asking about GA metrics. In my opinion those metrics shown in Analytics do not affect the rankings directly. Instead, I think that there are two different kinds of bounce rates:

    - SERP bounce rate: when a user hits your result in a SERP and then leaves the site without navigation, returning to the SERP with your page as referral. This bounce affects your rankings because Google can notice that the user has returned to try another result meaning that your page was not enough relevant to the query.

    - Analytics bounce rate: this one will raise when a user visits your site and leaves without navigation, no matter if the user returns to the SERP or goes somewhere else. It can not affect your rankings because it does not demote your SERP result to favour another one.
     
  8. concourse

    concourse BANNED BANNED

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    These metrics are definitely relevant, but no one really knows just how Google weighs them. Bottom line is that if you have a high bounce rate or very short session durations, people are obviously not paying attention to your site, which means it probably has little authority.