Understanding Pogo-Sticking and Other Website Mistakes to Avoid
Bounce Rate vs Pogo-Sticking
One is not necessarily bad, one is a real problem.
The majority of research (and common sense) confirms that Google understands and accounts for Bounce Rate and adjusts; while aggressively penalizing the Google page ranking (SERP) of websites with Pogo-Sticking problems. There are many website mistakes to avoid and Pogo-Sticking is almost always a “trust” or “content” problem. Consider the quality and relevancy of your Content, and Bounce Rate with Time on Page to get a sense of user behavior and determine if you need to make changes to your website or a specific webpage to avoid pogo-sticking.
Bounce Rate:is not necessarily or always bad. Bounce rate is the % of visitors of a single page on website that didn’t read more pages = BOUNCE RATE. Reasons this can happen: (a) visitor didn’t travel deeper into a site or (b) spent some time on the page and was satisfied, (c) #bookmark or #share on #Facebook. For example, a high Bounce Rate on a Landing Page would be expected, and might indicate a successful result.
Pogo Sticking is always a bad. The user performs a search and clicks a result and almost immediately clicks back to the #SERP search result page to click a different result = POGO-STICKING. This is a direct result of immediate dissatisfaction in the search result. This is a significant negative Google search ranking page (SERP) factor. The user is essentially telling Google…“I did not find what I expected or wanted, and I’m still looking”.
Bounce Rate is more accurately called a key indicator than a direct measure of the effectiveness of a website in encouraging viewers to continue with their visit. Bounce Rate is expressed as a percentage and represents the proportion of visits that end on the first page of the website that the visitor sees.
As a general rule of thumb, a Bounce Rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is excellent. 41 to 55 percent is roughly average. 56 to 70 percent is higher than average, but may not be cause for alarm depending on the website. *a
Reasons for Pogo Sticking and Website Mistakes to Avoid
There are many reasons why someone might not trust a website.
No SSL Security Certificate
According to MOZ *b, as many as 85% of US users will leave a website that signifies it is not secure because it does not have a valid SSL certificate installed. In other cases, the design might be so garish, or monetized, or unprofessional appearing as to raise suspicion. Also, if users are not viewing a Responsive website design which has been optimized for phones and every device; mobile users on smaller screens may also immediately turn-away rather than pinch-and-scroll.
Unclear UX or Unprofessional Design
In other cases, the design might be so garish, or monetized, or unprofessional appearing as to raise suspicion. Functionality is generally more important than design, though both are crucial. Sites not mobile-friendly are penalized by Google. Check to see: “is your website is Responsive and mobile-friendly“.
Not Mobile-Optimized Responsive Website
If users are not viewing a Responsive website design which has been optimized for phones and every device; mobile users on smaller screens may also immediately turn-away rather than pinch-and-scroll.
Website Is Not As Expected
The actual website content should reflect the link and be readable and relevant. If the website content is not what was expected or as advertised in the link, or the website is attempting to manipulate Google search rankings by redirecting web traffic in an unscrupulous manner; user behavior will reflect that and Google will lower SERP ranking – and possibly block the domain entirely.
Website Loads Improperly Or Too Slowly
A website that takes too long to load for whatever reason will lose search value and Google will lower the SERP ranking. A webpage that loads in under 3 seconds is optimal, while five seconds is generally the maximum time a user will wait. Heavy images, broken themes and bad code, malicious software or viruses, client-side misconfigured scripts, and flash; are just a few of the many technical reasons a website can load slowly. And that is assuming there is no problem with the web server.
Consider Content, and Bounce Rate + Time on Page
Consider the quality of your Content, and Bounce Rate and Time on Page to get a sense of user behavior and determine if you need to make changes to your website or a specific webpage.
Install and Use Google Analytics
Make sure your website has analytics. Google Analytics is free and powerful and has extensive free education and training resources online. Google Analytics gives you the digital analytics tools you need to analyze data from all touchpoints in one place, for a deeper understanding of the customer experience.
Google Analytics Solutions offer marketing analytics products for businesses of all sizes to better understand your customers.
Compare Industry Data with Google Analytics Benchmarking
It’s important to note that Google Analytics Benchmarking allows you to compare your data with aggregated industry data from other companies who share their data. This provides valuable context, helping you to set meaningful targets, gain insight into trends occurring across your industry, and find out how you are doing compared to your competition. Feature options are located in the Reporting tab, under Audience.
*a – Go Rocket Fuel; gorocketfuel.com/the-rocket-blog/whats-the-average-bounce-rate-in-google-analytics/
*b – MOZ; moz.com/blog/how-to-make-your-website-more-secure