According to new market research, website traffic is the most influential factor when search engines determine search results. When many users visit a website, Google sees that site as one of high authority and value.
According to SEMrush, the world’s leading competitive research service for online marketing, user behavior signals such as time on site, pages per session and bounce rate also influence website rankings, since they indicate website quality and relevance for users. Backlinks also are extremely important for rankings.
One of the main indicators of a website’s popularity is its number of visits. There are a lot of ways for visitors to find your website: organic search, paid ads, social networks, direct visits, referring domains, emails, etc. After excluding organic search and other traffic data, we see a strong connection between the number of direct visits and the page position on the SERP. This could indicate that Google prioritizes domains with more authority and consequently more direct traffic when ranking. Direct visits are fueled by your brand awareness, so building a strong brand image should be an essential part of your promotion strategy. Of course, social media, events, sponsorships and other tactics can help fuel your web traffic.
The researchers analyzed several user behavior signals, including bounce rate, the time that the user spends on the website in general and how many pages per session the user opens. These statistics help identify user behavior patterns and can provide information on whether your content is engaging, whether the navigation on your website is convenient and how users generally react to your website.
It is clear that high-ranking pages have lower bounce rates. This could be the result of the level of trust that users have for top-ranking pages, or it could mean that the lower-ranking pages are less relevant. And though Google reps declare that all user behavior signals are too noisy to be considered during the page qualification, a high bounce rate could indicate that the page content is irrelevant, which is bad for both users and search engine bots. These results indicate that users tend to spend more time on websites that rank higher in SERPs. This could be explained by the same fact: users trust top-ranking pages more than lower-ranking ones. Just like the bounce rate and time on site trends, these results confirm that users tend to visit more pages on websites that are in the top of organic search results.
Read The Full Story About Raising Your Online Profile