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Where Do SEO and the Importance of User Retention Intersect?

In digital marketing today, you are likely to encounter two seemingly unrelated terms over and over again. The first is search engine optimization, or SEO. You’re probably already aware that this term refers to a set of activities aimed at making your website’s pages as attractive as possible to search engines like Google so that they will rank at the top of the results listings. User retention simply describes the ability to stay in touch with people that have already met you for the first time, as opposed to user acquisition—meeting brand new contacts.

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SEO practices, due to their nature, mainly focus on user acquisition. The goal is to put your web pages at the top of search results, attracting the attention of people who are searching for a certain keyword phrase. The vast majority of those search users will have never encountered your business before, and so the page title and description that appear on the search results page need to clearly state what your website is all about and how it can benefit those users. But SEO also intersects with the critical topic of customer retention, and here are a few examples of how that happens.

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Visitor Stay Time

Visitor stay time is an enormously important metric that Google uses when deciding how highly a web page should rank on the results page. Because this metric measures the amount of time that an Internet user remains on your website after arriving at it, it’s really a small-scale measurement of customer retention. If a visitor to your site leaves after just three seconds, you’ve failed to retain that customer’s attention. If he stays for several minutes and navigates to several other pages on the site, on the other hand, that shows that you were able to keep his attention and communicate with him for a significant amount of time.

User Retention Leads to Acquisition

At least in the field of Columbia SEO, therefore, user retention actually contributes directly to additional user acquisition! The better your website is able to keep users engaged, the more prominence Google will give it on the search results pages, thus leading to additional clicks and views. This circular benefit is a great example of a key philosophy that drives Google’s current approach to search results ranking: using feedback from real human users, not a mathematical formula, to determine how relevant and valuable any given website will be to other human users.

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Conversion is the Goal

For an SEO agency in Columbia, SC, it can be easy to fall into the trap of seeing great search results rankings as the final goal. In reality, that’s only the important first step in a process. Columbia SEO providers that focus on rankings and don’t work to turn the client’s website into a “conversion funnel” will not, in the end, give the client what they are really looking for. Once the user arrives at the client’s website, he should encounter skillfully created calls to action; clear statements of the company’s offerings, services, and value for the customer; and easy routes to a direct connection with a company representative. Without these elements, a website is doomed to lose the average user, in which case all of that work spent on user acquisition was wasted.

User Retention Is About Quality

In the end, the single factor that will boost a website’s user retention most, allowing it to capitalize on all of its investment in user acquisition, is high-quality content. In today’s intensely competitive Internet landscape, a website that is tossed together using a template has little to no chance of capturing users when there are so many competing websites ready to serve them more effectively. Your website needs to look great, work great, and have the services of an expert SEO agency in Columbia, SC powering it to success.

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Keep the Contacts You Make

With the help of a Columbia SEO firm like PalmettoSoft, you can do both: achieve high rankings on the search results pages in order to capture the attention of new contacts, but also give those contacts what they’re looking for when they click through to your page. This approach will result in longer stay times, more conversions, and in turn higher rankings with Google.

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