How User Friendly Your Site Is Affects Your Rankings

Stephen McCance September 17, 2014

Click Through Rates, Bounce Rates and Session Durations all count towards your Google ranking. Something we’ve suspected for a long time but it has now been confirmed following a detailed study by Moz.

It is something that has been suspected for a few years now by search marketers, and it now appears to have finally been proven. A recent study undertaken by Moz (the search marketing news website) suggests that the way in which your website attracts, converts and keeps the interest of your visitors does in actual fact affect it’s rankings.

The metrics it is thought Google are using to measure this are mainly Click Through Rate (CTR), Bounce Rate (BR) and Average Session Duration (ASD). For those people unfamiliar with the abbreviations in SEO, use our comprehensive glossary to look them up. In this scenario the CTR is the percentage of people who actually click through your website from the organic search rankings. The bounce rate is the number of people who visit your site, view only one page and then leave and the ASD is the average of all the time visitors spent on your website.

It is easy to see why Google would hold these statistics in such high esteem and rank a website in that way, after all it is something we look at on a daily basis to determine how well a website is performing. If users are finding a site useful/interesting then they will browse around multiple pages, spend longer on there and are more likely to return again in the future.

There will of course be anomalies to this formula, popular sites that rely on social sharing such as ‘The Lad Bible’ will naturally have a high bounce rate. People visit, view the post that was shared and the majority leave straight away, by enlarge their content is viewed on mobile devices so this isn’t surprising.

So go ahead and check out your Google Analytics stats if you haven’t done so already. As a guide you should be looking for statistics in the region of…


Bounce Rate – Under 50%

Average Session Duration – 1-3 Minutes

Click Through Rate – Over 5%

(Please note: This isn’t set in stone, it is very much dependent on the type of site you have. These are purely rough estimates)

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