One of Google's ranking factors is engagement and this refers to how users actually interact with your website. This is an extremely important factor because Google has always insisted that their main aim is to provide the very best results to their users.
So, the way that users actually use and react to your site is very important and they openly measure these metrics. They are used to determine how to rank your site in comparison to other competing sites.
Therefore, if you want your site to rank higher, you need to actively work on improving your engagement metrics.
The first user engagement metric we'll cover is click-through rate or CTR. This is how often people actually click on your site from the search engine result pages. In order to improve your CTR, you should craft interesting and attention-grabbing titles and descriptions. Of course, you shouldn't try to make every title pure clickbait, but you should make it interesting which would spur potential visitors into choosing your site over your competitors.
Next, social signals are another ranking factor and this is undeniable. Many people opt to use social media such as Facebook in order to search for businesses as opposed to Google. So, Google pays a lot of attention to how users interact with your website's social media profiles. This includes likes, comments, shares, etc. As a result, it is extremely important that you have active social media pages for your website and create an engaging content strategy. You should also interact with users in a timely and positive fashion.
Dwell time is another factor and it refers to how long users actually stay or dwell on your website's pages. As you can imagine, users that stay longer on your site as opposed to your competitors will be positively viewed by Google. This can result in higher search engine rankings. There are many ways that you can increase your dwell time such as by creating extremely fast loading pages that have engaging and well-laid out content.
You should add relevant graphics and video and ensure that your content is easy to read and understand. Be sure to also include lots of internal links so that your users continue to explore your site when they're done reading the page. Now, that said, your content should be focused on the user intent since long pages that don't deliver what the users are looking for will result in low dwell times.
Another important factor is return visits. Yes, Google does pay attention to how many return visitors your site has and it is a ranking factor.
You can easily see your return visitors in Google Analytics by checking your audience overview.
You should aim to have a minimum of 15% return visitors.
In summary, user engagement is very important when it comes to SEO and it directly impacts your rankings. Remember, you're not only trying to optimize your website for the Google algorithm but real people. Once your visitors love your website, Google will reward it.
Making sure Google's Engagement metrics go in your favor is very important for SEO and will continue to be important well into the future.
For more details, check out my Engagement SEO video: