Working with behavioral factors

It is difficult to believe in it, but a serious interest to behavioral factors has aroused only recently. But in fact, the first patents where there was a speech about the influence of the users’ behavior on the results in a search output appeared in 2004-2005th years.

What are the behavioral factors? It makes sense to be defined at once in order not to mix flies and a cutlet.

The behavioral factors are the sum of indicators about how the users cooperate with the sites. These are those actions of the users which are considered or can be considered with the search engines at sites ranging. Not all similar indicators are unequivocal (about it further) and not it is possible to affect all. But there is something what it is possible and necessary to influence on. At the least, following the pieces of advice which are given below is useful for the majority in itself, irrespectively of ranging improvements.

Having read this article, you will learn what is necessary to change taking into account the following factors:
1. Сlick through rate (CTR) of your site page in a search output.

2. The user’s behavior on your site and the indicator of returns to search

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-Bounce rate

-The depth of view and the average time on the website

3. Social signals.

Сlick through rate (CTR) of your site page in SERP

Сlick through rate (CTR) is a percentage ratio of click quantities under the link in a search output to the quantity of displays. Thus, if the website has been shown by any inquiry to 1850 users, and the quantity of clicks has been made by 76 of them, in this case CTR is (74/1850) *100=4 %. 4 % of users have chosen your link.

To look at CTR inquiries in the SERP may be done in GoogleWebmasterTools and in a new interface GoogleAnalytics.

The same indicator Google uses for its service of the contextual advertising AdWords. If the scheme is presented very simply, then the more CTR snippet, the more chances to receive a higher place in the SERP. Certainly, in the combination with other factors.

Snippet is a “face” of the page in a search output. The majority of search engines allow the users to include the page title, the description and URL address in it.

What can be done with the snippet so that more visitors will move to your site? It is necessary to make it relevant to a possible query to the maximum (more precisely, to inquiries) and to be allocated visually in the search list itself.

The ways of a visual snippet allocation of the site in a search issue:

  • It is obligatory to include the title, the description and main keywords in the meta-tags. The search engine will allocate these words in bold type at the composition by the user.
  • Add a call to action, a phone number, the instructions on a discount etc. in meta-tags. For example, «contact us 123-45-67 and get a 10 % discount on any goods». Figures and «magic words» (“discount”, “bonus” etc.). It operates efficiently.
  • Use special symbols like asterisks, rhombuses, arrows etc in the meta-tags. You should avoid vulgar variants at reasonable care. This way is rather perspective (see below).
  • If on a landing page there is some detailed information on people, the goods, reviews and other sort of it, use the micro formatting possibilities. The list of the supported micro formats is in Google references.Such possibilities of visual allocation, as change of register URL in the SERP, “fast” links and “social” links.

The behavior of the user on your site and returns to the search

Let’s imagine a picture. The visitor passes from the search to the page. There he (she) can be registered, leave a review or to buy something. But the visitor doesn’t do anything from the specified and leaves the site in 5-10 seconds, without passing to other pages of the site. The user comes back in the search instead of it. This behavior unambiguously doesn’t add whists neither to the page nor to the site in the searchers opinion.

Such search giant as Google regularly get a great number of information on the behavior of users on the Internet sites. How does it happen? Due to free tools of Web Analytics such as Google Analytics, BrowserToolBars and others which they provide.

It is enough to tell that according to data W3Techs about 50% of sites among one million of the most visited on the Internet use GoogleAnalytics. Also it would be naive to consider that search engines, in any way, don’t use these data to improve their output.

Of course, this is not an occasion to refuse of fine tools and convenient Browser applications, but the reason to think of changing something on the site. Let’s look at the typical indicators which are connected with users’ behavior such as a bounce rate, the depth of view and the average time spent on the site. And at the same time we will also dispel some myths.

Bounce rate

For certain you had to read scholastic reasoning of web analysts about «ideal landing pages» where the user receives everything he (she) needs at once and instantly leaves (bounce ratel 100 %). Alas, in practice similar may be achieved very seldom. Therefore, bounce rate matters and it shouldn’t be great.
Usually high bounce rate (70 + %) says that passage of the user to your site was an error. What are the reasons of it and possible decisions?

  • Advance the pages only by obviously target words. It is less banal formulation of a hackneyed rule «give people that thing what they have come for».
  • If the keyword has a high bounce rate, it makes sense to refuse of it at all or to create a new landing page for it which will satisfy a corresponding requirement.
  • Be concrete in the titles to the maximum. Otherwise a bad title can become the only thing that visitors will read on your page.
  • It is necessary to use the expressive images corresponding to a theme of your page.
  • Avoid excessively long texts. One kind of a huge long text can already frighten off the visitor.

The depth of view and the average time on the site

There is one more myth. The longer the visitor is on the site, the more pages he (she) has looked through the better. Alas, it can say only about his (her) persistence in search of what is reliably hidden in the bowels of unsuccessfully designed and painted site.
Users frequently can’t find what they need, they can’t add the goods in the basket, be registered, pay etc. And they simply leave a site. What are the necessary tips to be given in this regard?

  • Carefully think over the basic templates of users’ behavior at a design stage. The help of a good usability expert (not a designer or a programmer, namely a usability designer) is simply irreplaceable.
  • Remember the main usability rule: «Don’t make the user think». The accurate structure of a site or a separate page, a clear navigation, clear titles, laconic, but full texts, short forms of registration and many other things will help the user with his (her) search. And you get a positive reputation in the opinion of search engines.

It is necessary to notice that the testers of search quality in some of their tasks estimate not only the page maintenance, but also its visual registration. Of course, it is a core. It proves once again the importance of a good design. Remember, however, that the main appraiser of the quality is all the same your user.

Social signals

These are the darkest place in a chain of behavioral factors. The theme of social media is concerned to be “fashionable” among the clients. And there, where there is a demand of the customer, there is also the supply of the manufacturer born, even if we have got nothing to offer objectively. Therefore, if we don’t want to enter on unsettled ground of assumptions, let’s fix only indisputable facts:

  • Social signals influence on ranging. In particular, it was confirmed by the Google and Bing representatives in the late 2010.
  • It is very important to understand that till the zone of influence of these factors is strongly limited and in a greater degree it concerns such things as news or searches in real time. It has also been confirmed by the representatives of search engines themselves. As well as that for a great bulk of searches the traditional factors

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Working with behavioral factors

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