SEO and Stickiness

SEO and Stickiness

I have been conducting research on SEO techniques by building a number of sites and then conducting different forms of search engine optimization for them. Much of what I have found is what various articles have indeed said, however these bare reiteration. First it does appear that Google is measuring the bounce rate by detecting how long it takes for a person who entered a site to return to their search (at least that’s my assumption). I believe this because any site that I raise in ranks but that has a poor design and a high bounce rate drops in rank rapidly. On the other hand sites that are left alone and has viewers stay on them for a long time rise in rank.

Although there are only a few sites measured for this and there are many other factors making the confidence level on how stickiness impacts rank uncertain it would make sense that Google would care about this measure. Radfish (2005) wrote that Google does already use stickiness within its AdSense to determine the relevance of an ad to a specific area. Radfish further stated a belief that Google might actually utilize Urchin Tracker to read what users do on a site and so rank the site with this.

In other words it is important to insure that your site will have a high level of stickiness before you begin your SEO marketing campaign. For small sites and businesses many of the methods done to determine this are not available as they are well outside their budgets. However PPC and rich media marketing tactics can be used to gauge this fairly cheaply.

Begin by building a few landing pages and directing different ads to different pages. See which customers stay longest and which are the most likely to become conversions. View click streams to determine weaknesses and strengths within the website and make adjustments, dropping and adding new landing pages.

Interactive elements can increase stickiness but only if they make sense for the site. Having a unique look which speaks to the users you are trying to draw, and easy to navigate elements is perhaps the most important thing for creating stickiness more so then any technology.

Of course your attempts to build stickiness and SEO should not interfere with your attempts to gain conversions. Remember that conversions are the reason for most (with the exception of ad based revenue sites) websites. If your SEO drops a few position places but your site gets a higher conversion rate then it may be better off.

This same thinking can be reflected in the title which if well written can draw more clicks then tittles which would get a website a higher position. Balancing these things is often difficult as its impossible to say for certain what it is that search engines are looking for in a website, so one can’t know how much their rank would rise or drop from different tittles and how much conversions would increase. Conversion and click through rates could be tested using the tittles in PPC advertising. If there is a drastic difference between click through rates and conversions for different titles it would likely be better to go with the title that has a better conversion rate rather then the one that fits your keywords perfectly.
Radfish (2005, July, 12)

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