Most Important Ranking Factor – User Engagement – How to Achieve

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The SEO concepts have changed a lot in past few months. In the last few years it was a proven fact that getting more and more back links with correct anchor texts is the main factor to rank higher in search engines. But now this concept is changed after latest Panda, Penguin and other Google Search ranking Algorithm updates. I have seen myself that now you need very few or no back links to rank higher. If all this is true, then what is the most important factor to rank higher in search engines in 2013?

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User Engagement with your website is an important SEO factor in 2013 and onwards.

The answer of this question is “User Engagement”. If your site is of high quality and your site visitors like to stay or interact with your site, then you are the winner. Let me explain this in little more detail.

Following are some parameters that can determine your website quality and ability to produce good user engagement.

1) How much time your visitors are spending on your website?

2) How many pages per visit they are visiting?

3) Do they like, share and comment on your website? See your Facebook likes, tweets and Google Plus values.

4) What is the percentage of your loyal or returning visitors? How many people are coming back to your website after their first visit.

5) Are your website visitors subscribing to your mailing list or RSS?

Above mentioned are few points that help search engines to determine quality of your website. At the same time you, yourself, can determine quality and worth of your website by looking at above parameters.

Let’s See How Can You Achieve This Goal of Maximum Visitor Engagement With Your Website:

1) Produce Unique, Useful and Interesting Content: The most important thing is great content. Some people think that “just unique content” is enough. That’s why they spin already written articles several times to product unique copies that successfully can pass copyscape.com duplication test. Then they use this “unique content” on their websites in the hope of getting higher rankings and traffic.

a) The good content should be unique, interesting and useful for the reader. Make your content interesting by adding good pictures, related videos and citations.

b) If you can make your own videos then it is a great signal for search engines that you are making efforts to produce high quality content. This can surely give you higher rankings.

c) While writing the copy, just forget about keywords density. Write in your natural style. After you are finished with writing, review your content and correct over usage of keywords to avoid keywords spamming.

2) Interlink Your Content: You want to increase the time of your visitors on your website. Interlinking your content will help you in this regard. After you have written your article, interlink it with other articles or posts of your website. These in-text links have usually higher CTR and readers are more likely to click on them to visit other pages of your website. This will increase average visit duration and decrease bounce rate that is a good signal for search engines about your site quality.

3) Show Related Posts At End of Your Posts: At the end of your article, you must mention related posts links. This will encourage visitors to read more about the topic in similar topics. This is a great and simple way to increase average visitor time on your website. If you are using WordPress then you can use this plugin to show Related Posts at the end of your posts, automatically.

4) Don’t Forget To Add Social Media Sharing Buttons: People love to share interesting and good content with their friends using social media sites. You must add social media sharing buttons to help them share your content easily. I recommend you to use floating share buttons that move while your page is scrolled, so that they are always on the screen and easily click-able. I recommend you to use this social media sharing plugin for your WordPress blog. I think it is enough to add Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons. These are the real back links that you need in 2013 and onwards to get good search results ranking.

5) Make Your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ Pages and Share: To gain trust of your readers, make your twitter account, a facebook page, and Google+ profile. Use your real picture and share your accounts on each page of your website. If your content and website is great, people will like to connect with you using your Google+ account. They may also want to follow you on twitter and would like to become a fan on your facebook page. These all factors are recorded by search engines and they give it importance because these are the recommendations done by real people and not by robots.

6) Set up Feedburner RSS and Email Subscription for Your Blog: People like to get updates of interesting websites using RSS Feeds and Email lists. Make sure you have made it easier for them. I recommend using Google Feed burner tool to help your visitors subscribe to your feeds and get email reminders when you are posting new content. If you are using Google Feed burner tool, then you can get number of subscribers from using webmasters tools too. This will help Google to gather quality signals from your website. If you are not sure how to set up all this then read this post.

If you are able to get good number of people in your list, then the number of returning people or loyal readers to your website will increase. This is a positive signal for search engines about quality of your website.

7) Make Sure Your Hosting Server is Always Up and Efficient: The user interaction and engagement with your website is badly affected if your website is very slow or your hosting server is down for most of the time. Make sure that you are using right hosting server for fast and efficient website loading and browsing.

I am using Hostgator’s Shared Hosting for all of my websites. They are cheaper (around $3.7/month), fast and reliable. Use Coupon Code 25PercOffH to get 25% discount while buying Hosting from Hostgator.

If you are using Godaddy hosting server, then read this post about Godaddy Hosting.

These were few steps that you can take to increase average visit duration on your website and decrease bounce rate. I would like to hear to your thoughts in comments.

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