Isn’t it your dream to see your business website at the top of the SERPs when users search with relevant search queries? I know it is; we all dream alike. Now let’s consider a situation where you are indeed ranking at the top of the result pages when searched with most of your keywords. And without a shadow of a doubt, you are getting quite a heavy traffic. But is the design of your website attractive? What about the navigation, for instance? Or, is your content providing the information your visitors are looking for?
These are just a few of the innumerable elements you need to perfect in order to appease the ever-inquisitive Internet users. And if even one of these elements fails, your visitors will not think twice before hitting the back button and clicking another result. This behavior is known as “Pogo Sticking”, where a visitor abandons you and moves to another relevant resource. You should not mix this up with “Bounce Rate” which occurs when a visitor simply leaves after going through a web page of your website, without viewing any other page.
When a website succeeds in satisfying its visitors, its pogo-sticking rate tends to be low. However, it’s not compulsory for a website with a low pogo-sticking rate to have a low bounce rate too. A website like Wikipedia that solely focuses on offering information has an intense amount of daily traffic. However, a Wikipedia page satiates its visitors with every possible info, they exit the page after they are done, and do not go back to another relevant resource. In this way, Wikipedia has a high bounce rate but a low pogo-sticking rate.
The problem starts when search engines like Google start considering the pogo-sticking rate when ranking a website. As I’ve mentioned earlier, a successful website can have a high bounce rate. But a high pogo-sticking rate is simply intolerable.
You can take a look at what Moz founder Rand Fishkin has to say about Pogo-sticking rate in his Whiteboard Friday session video:
Therefore, your main goal should be to keep the pogo-sticking rate as low as possible all the time. How are you going to get this done? Let us take a look at some useful ways:
#1. Avoid Pop-ups & Distractions
Many websites still prefer the extensive use of pop-ups to increase the rate of newsletter subscriptions. But isn’t it annoying to ask someone to hand over his email address even before he has started looking for the info he wants? Similar are the cases with embedded audio or video auto-plays when entered a web page. Try to place yourself on a visitor’s place, and you’ll realize that pop-ups and other distractions are actually extremely evasive.
#2. Internal Search
In most cases, web visitors prefer the Search Bar instead of going for the complicated menu options. Why? This is because the menu option will make them go through pages they are not interested in, and the search bar on the other hand will give them the exact thing they want. Make sure that your website does have the Search Bar, and at a location that is easily viewable and accessible.
#3. New Windows for External Links
I’ve seen in numerous websites that when a relevant link is clicked, it opens in the same tab or window. Visitors leaving your website unintentionally can also be counted as pogo-sticking. Therefore, you need to make sure that all the links open in a new tab or window. In this way, they will get access to additional information without having to leave your website.
#4. Improve Coding & Design
Visually appealing and highly functional – your website is dead without these two criteria. You cannot stand out in the race simply with great content; you have to take the game a step further by creating a website that is aesthetically pleasant and functionally sound. Only then can you expect your visitors to love your website, and not go for another resource.
#5. Mobile Support
This is one point that is getting talked about a lot in recent times. A desktop website must be integrated with responsive methodologies in order to get viewed via every mobile device. A failure to mobile-optimize a website will frustrate your mobile visitors, and they’ll move to a website that is easily viewable and navigable in their mobile devices.
These are a few ways by which you can decrease the pogo-sticking rate of your website. So you better not delay; now is the time to act!