In this video, my search engine optimization specialist Shea Bailey joined me to talk about what RankBrain is, why it’s important for your SEO efforts, and the ways you can track your other SEO factors.
Why is what people do on your website so important to Google.
Well, it’s important because it helps you rank. So if you want to rank, you need to pay attention to this.
I want to revert back to something we’ve talked to in the past, which is the three most important ranking factors for Google. Those are content, backlinks and something called rank brain.
And you want to know what RankBrain is, right? Some of you may have heard of it, but some of you may not. RankBrain is Google’s artificial intelligence. And what it does is help determine what pages to rank.
So what RankBrain does, is it watches how people interact with the page and then it determines from how people are interacting, how it’s going to rank. That’s about as in depth as I want to go on RankBrain because it’s pretty complicated.
Just know that it is watching what you’re doing, it watches what you’re typing in, and it watches how you interact on someone’s website. It’s taking that information, and it’s using that information to help rank a page.
In the past, before RankBrain, Google relied on backlinks and keywords and stuff like that, pretty much solely to determine how you rank and people could game that system. So Google came up with RankBrain to see more on how people are acting as opposed to really what’s on your website.
Don’t get me wrong, all those things I talked about, the backlinks and keywords, all that stuff that you’ve done in the past is still very important. But just know that RankBrain is taking some of that importance away and putting it in the hands of your users.
So what is it about rank brain that you need to focus on and how can you help RankBrain?
Here are the things that it really monitors to determine how to rank a page, and that’s going to be the organic click through rate.
So what is organic click through rate?
Whenever you’re doing a search or whenever somebody is doing a search on Google and your information pops up on the search results, let’s say there’s 10 results on that page. If you have a good click through rate, meaning the percentage of times that people searching for that keyword that you’re shown for, that they click on your page, that is going to be your click through rate. The higher that click through rate, the better.
So once they get there and you have a high click through rate, the next thing they’re looking at is the time on site or the dwell time.
Basically that means how long are people staying on your page or on your site looking at the information that they clicked on. Obviously, the longer that they stay on that page, the better.
The next thing they’re looking at is Bounce Rate. And, when I say the ‘next thing’, this is not necessarily in order, this is kind of the order I’ve put it. Bounce Rate is the percentage of times that people only look at one page on your website and leave and they don’t come back during that session.
Then there’s another thing called pogo-sticking, where if somebody does a search and there’s the 10 results, they click on the number two result and they look at it for, five seconds, a minute, a minute and a half, whatever, and then they come back to the search results and then they scroll down and they click on the number four spot and then they look at that and then they come back and they click on another one, that’s pogo-sticking, going back and forth between the results for a particular keyword.
That is why it’s important to know how people are interacting.
How can you measure this?
Well, the main way you can really measure this is your Google Analytics, so make sure you have Google Analytics set up.
Then you can start monitoring how people are interacting with your website.
You’ll notice that you won’t necessarily see your click through rate. That’s something that you can see through Google Search Console a little bit, but you can definitely see this on your site.
You can see your Bounce Rates and those will be really good indicators.
And if there’s a particular page that is very important on your website that you feel like you want to drive more traffic to, or you feel like it leads to the goal that you have for your website, or contacting you, then you probably want to focus on that particular page.
You can work on the time on site and the bounce rate. The better those metrics are, the more likely you are to rank for those.
So in essence, why should you worry about what people are doing on your website? What it boils down to is, that it’s going to help you rank higher on Google and it’s going to give your users a better user experience.