SEO Tips 2021: Duration and Bounce Rate Myths – Best Guide
[limitations of google analytics, Average Session Duration, Bounce Rate Meaning, Definition, Accuracy]
Many SEO gurus told me that bounce rate and durations are strong ranking factors. It was when I was starting my SEO career. But surprisingly I discovered that my content didn’t rank well even after having good duration and low bounce rate. In this regard, Matt Cutts once said that Google doesn’t use Google analytics data as a ranking factor. It is natural because not all of the website use Google Analytics. If google have different way of finding the actual Duration and Bounce Rate, it is a different issue.
limitations of google analytics; What made me think that the Google Analytics data are useless?
There were many visitors on my website from multiple channels. Some of my articles were flooded with traffic. The traffic source was social media. But they were extremely failed ones. I wondered why it does happen. The duration was good. The bounce rate was not bad. Despite all these, the ranking of those articles did not improve at all. Surprisingly some of my articles became successful though I didn’t even care about them. Those articles were with no backlinks and even no visitors from social media. My concern was to understand how those metrics influence the success of the articles.
What do these Google Analytics metrics mean?
The idea of metrics is not clear to many of us. When it comes to duration It doesn’t matter how long a visitor stays on your website. Rather how much time he takes to make the first click after entering the website matters. It is actually counted as the duration in analytics. I experienced this personally. I visited one of my analytics-enabled websites and left after 3 seconds. But the analytics showed that the visitor was active for 5 minutes. Another time I entered that website, I quit it after 1 minute. But according to the analytics, the visitor was active for 2 minutes. Actually, that time was counted after I made my first click.
Bounce rate means the percentage of the visitor who left your website without clicking on another link. They might have read the whole article and left. But it will be a 100% bounce rate as they didn’t click on any link of the website.
Does a higher duration mean a better website?
We cannot say for sure that the ranking of the website depends on the duration. But the lower duration definitely negatively affect the ranking of the website. Again don’t think that this is the duration of the Google analytics that shows you. Google may have other ways to count the real duration. But they are not bound to show you the data. Google has other effective signals that show that this article is good or this article is bad.
In this article, I have tried to focus on some factors through which we can predict the ranking of our articles after analyzing Google Analytics data. I understand that some of them are not quite straightforward. But I tried to help you out to write your articles with better content from the angle of Google Analytics.