In this article, you’re going to learn the difference between Pogo Sticking and Bounce Rate…
…And following the difference between them, I’m going to show you some proven best practices to optimize your posts for reduced Pogo Sticking and lower Bounce Rate.
Let’s get started.
What is Pogo Stcking?
Pogo Sticking is when a searcher visits a set of search results of a particular query one after another without spending much time on a specific page.
In simple words:
If a user search for a query on Google…
She clicks on a link, spends a few seconds (typically less than 5 seconds) on the page, and then comes back to the search results by clicking the browser’s back button…
…Then she clicks on another link, spends a few seconds on the page, and then again comes back to the search results.
Then again clicks on the 3rd one and she does the same…
…Clicks on the 4th one and she does the same and so on.
This type of search behavior is called Pogo Sticking, and this usually happens when a user doesn’t satisfy with the search results (the user is not able to find what she is looking for).
It’s that simple.
Now let’s hop into Bounce Rate.
What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce Rate is the amount of traffic or users that goes back to the search results (by clicking the browser’s back button) without clicking on any of the hyperlinks or purchasing anything.
In simple terms:
Bounce means to move back.
So when a visitor that causes a bounce on a webpage…
Neither converts nor clicks on any of the clickable elements. She doesn’t take any action.
Before we dive deeper…
Let me introduce you with the difference between these factors.
Difference Between Pogo Sticking and Bounce Rate
|Pogo Sticking||Bounce Rate|
|The user doesn’t spend more than 4-5 seconds on a page.||The user can spend from a few seconds to several hours.|
|The user doesn’t get satisfied with the content of the page.||The user may or may not be satisfied with the content of the page.|
|It is more relatbale to SERPs.||It is only relatable to websites and blogs.|
Now let’s jump into the nitty-grtties.
Pogo Sticking and Bouce Rate are nothing but a way to measure Dwell Time.
You need to understand understand Dwell Time to grasp the idea of Pogo Sticking and Bounce Rate.
What is Dwell Time?
A Dwell Time is the amount of time a user spends on a page.
Pogo Sticking is extremely low Dwell Time on a page.
Bounce Rate can both be extremely low Dwell Time as well as very high Dwell Time.
HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:
Pogo Sticking is always a bad sign for a website.
Bounce Rate might not be always bad.
If you write informational content, and the user is reading a 500 words post and she left the page after 6 minutes without clicking anywhere on the page, it’ll be counted as a Bounce.
Although it’s technically a Bounce, it’s a good bounce not a bad one.
You know why?
Because the visitor read the content, got satisfied, and clicked the back button.
She doesn’t have further search intents behind the query to click on the internal links.
The scenario could be like the following:
You are searching for how to make cappuccino.
You read up on the recipe, finished making it, and finally clicked the back button.
That’s an accomplishment of a searcher’s task and Google knows very well that it’s natural to bounce off the page.
Now, what we can conclude is that…
Bounce Rate is not always a bad thing.
If your article is informational, the user might leave the page after some while.
When the Time on Page (Dwell Time) goes well with the number of words and scroll depth, it usually a good sign.
However, if the Time on Page is too low (a few seconds), it’s a surefire sign of a bad user experience.
So, if a large number of people spend a high amount of time on a page with a high Bounce Rate it’ll send a positive signal to Google.
But if a large number of people leave a specific page immediately (extremely low Dwell Time), it’ll send a negative signal to Google (people are Pogo Sticking).
SIDE NOTE: A high Bounce Rate with a longer Time on Page may not be a good sign for a site that promotes or sells affiliate products but from a search engine’s perspective it isn’t always a bad sign.
Now, you are probably thinking:
What are some tweaks to stop Pogo Sticking and to reduce Bounce Rate (or at least High Dwell Time)?
Before we get into the deets…
I want you to aware of the fact that there’s no separate tactics to optimize your pages for Pogo Sticking and Bounce Rate.
The deal is to maintain the searcher intent and user engagement.
The following tactics will help you strengthen your site for Pogo Sticking and Bounce Rate. If someone gives you separate tactics to optimize your site for both, then it’s just a waste of time and nothing else.
Let’s dive in:
How to Optimize Your Pages to Reduce Bounce Rate?
#1: Heading Tags
Use proper heading tags in order to break down your article into different sections.
This will help your readers skim the content to find or jump to the section they are willing to learn.
But in terms of using the HTML heading tags, do always use the correct tags order.
The order is:
Use H2 as a sub-heading of H1, H3 of H2, H4 of H3, H5 of H4, and H6 of H5.
But one thing you shouldn’t do…
Never use more than one H1.
This may not be a problem from an SEO perspective but it really deteriorates the experience of the users.
SIDE NOTE: Use a Table of Content or Jump to Links (technically called “Anchor Link”) to allow the users to jump to a specific location of a page. The jump links can be added to any HTML element, whether it’s a header element or other visual element. For this, you can either use a WordPress plugin or do it manually.
#2: Short Introduction
Write a short introduction and do make sure the core discussion point of the article gets cleared out immediately.
An introduction should be written in few words and then you should go straight to the point.
And the way you can do that…
Use a copywriting formula that can persuade readers.
You can use the formula “AIDA” to write an introduction for your blog post. This is a very effective method to persuade users, that works and converts really well.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
Here’s how to use it:
Write four different sentences for each of these fragments of the approach.
Write a sentence that will grab the readers attention.
The visceral fat which is not visible from the outside can be more dangerous and life-threatening.
Write a sentence that will invoke interest in your reader’s mind.
Howerver, burning your visceral fat is not hard either.
Write a sentence that will create a desire in your reader’s mind.
In this article, you are going to learn how to burn visceral fat just by eating some specific foods along with some easy exercises for faster results.
And close your intro with an action phrase to persuade the user to read further.
The Action phrase could be like:
Let’s Get Started, or
Let’s Dive In, or
Let’s Jump Right In, etc.
#3: Use Images and GIFs
Images help a lot in terms of keeping engagement.
Consider adding screenshots and some images related to the topic.
Add one or two GIF images to create humor.
This thing especially helps if you are writing about a boring topic.
#4: Insert Anecdotes
You can also consider adding an anecdote (short story) that is relevant to the topic you are writing about.
This helps you create a connection and engagement with your readers.
If you are solving a problem, mention a short story related to the same problem that you’ve experienced before.
And tell them how you’ve coped with that issue.
It’ll intrigue the readers and will help you create a personal connection with them.
#5: Insert a Video
If it’s possible then try to add a video version of your content.
Some people are visual learners. They prefer video content to textual content.
Video content will also help to learn a certain topic faster (you know it needs more time to read).
According to a study performed by Factl, video content (along with list form content) is the second most shared type of content on the internet.
This is one of the reasons why Moz’s Whiteboard Friday is so popular among the SEO community and this is such a power of video content.
#6: Add an Infrographic
If you are writing about a complex topic, adding an infographic will greatly help to maintain engagement.
This thing not only applies to complex and intricate topics but also easily comprehensible topics.
The reason is:
Visuals can help process information 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of data transmitted to the brain is visual.
#7: Use a Responsive Theme
A Responsive Theme is a theme that resizes itself and rearranges its elements in accordance with the screen size of the device.
To check whether a theme is responsive or not, just visit the site from your mobile phone.
You can also check this on desktop using Chrome browser.
Open the website, click on the kebab menu (three stacked dots) at the top-right corner and go to More Tools>Developer Tools.
Click on the Device Toolbar to view the mobile version. If it resizes and rearranges its elements according to the new dimentions then it’s a resonsive theme.
On the other hand, a non-reponsive theme doesn’t make any changes to itself in accordance with the screen size of the device.
SIDE NOTE: You also check mobile friendliness or responsiveness of a page by searching for this code “<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″ />” in the source code of the page (press CTRL+U to view).
Or just go to Google’s Mobile-friendly Test tool, enter the URL and click on “TEST URL”.
The tool will show you whether the page is Mobile-Friendly or not.
Reponsive Themes nowadays are becoming almost ubiquitous.
I mean they can be found everywhere as a DEFAULT feature.
If you are still using a non-responsive theme, you should change your current theme to a responsive one.
It’ll help you retain your mobile visitors as well as engagement (lower Bounce Rate).
#8: Add Internal Links
Your page should have internal links to other related articles and pages on your website.
This helps a visitor stick around your site, find more information on your site related to the topic she is currently reading.
This eventually results in lowering your Bounce Rate since the user will probably click on those relevant links to educate her further.
#9: Link to Popular and Pillar Posts
Another effective way of increasing engagement is to use a popular links sidebar widget or add links to your pillar posts (in-depth content).
If somehow your visitor can’t find any relevant link to click on to read another piece of content, she might get interested to read some in-depth or other popular posts on your website.
SIDE NOTE: You can also consider adding links to your pillar posts in the navigation menu. This is a great place to put links to your important pages since it grabs the attention before the user starts to scroll.
#10: Use a Clean and Slim Header
Make sure the header menu (navigation menu) is clean and not cluttered with too many options.
In the age of minimalism, you should always make sure you are not adding an excessive amount of options in the navigation bar.
Always consider adding only the most important pages to it.
Here are some good elements to add in your site menu:
- Links to In-Depth or Pillars Posts
- Link to your Subscription page
- Link to your Product page (if you have an online course then link to it)
- Link to your Blog section
- Add a Search Bar (this is very essential as it gets prominent at this place and helps to navigate the site more easily)
- Link to your About page
- Link to your Contact page
Now you know the difference between Pogo Sticking and Bounce Rate as well as how to reduce the adverse effects caused by these two siblings.
Here’s what you learned:
The tactics from #1 to #6 will help you optimize your site for “Time on Page” (On-the-Page-Level Dwell Time Optimization).
And the last four tactics from #7 to #10 will help you optimize your site for “Time on Site” (On-the-Site-Level Dwell Time Optimization or the average Dwell Time of the site as a whole).
Did you optimize your site to reduce Pogo Sticking and Bounce Rate?