It is highly speculative and controversial to say that Google looks at engagement metrics for your site. But if they do, then they look at things such as:
Total Traffic: Websites with 1,000,000 users a month are probably more attractive somehow than a website that covers the same topic but only gets 10,000 visitors per month. The more popular site will likely get better rankings more easily. This may be considered a brand factor. Google clearly shows preference to larger brands.
Bounce Rate: If someone goes to your site and then leaves without clicking on a second page, then that is considered a bounce. You should always get a user to click 1-3 times minimum. That is a goal.
Time On Site: Better time on site indicates a more engaging site. It indicates that visitors are finding what they were looking for. This deserves better rankings.
Page Views: A higher average in page views also indicates a more engaging site that people are choosing to explore further. A good sight the site should rank well for relevant terms.
Conversions: Obviously a site that converts a high percentage of visitors is offering what people are looking for. The problem is, comparing different business models, conversions are not always clear. But tracking events on your website can give you lots of good information about the quality of user experience.
What People Do After The Leave Your Site: Are people leaving your site and continuing to search for the same thing? This indicates they may not have found it on your site. They may just be shopping around, but the fact that they didn’t end their search with your site tells Google that your site isn’t the ultimate authority deserving of #1 rankings.
All of these are very good indicators of the user experience your site offers. Google has come out at times and said that they don’t use these metrics, but there have also been test performed by many SEO professionals over the years that demonstrate strong correlations between solid performance in these metrics and improvements in search rankings. Of course correlation does not indicate causation, but most SEO professionals agree that Google considers these factors.
So, it is strongly recommend that you keep these factors in mind when creating content and do everything you can to capture user interest and create user engagement. Keep them on your site and get them to click from the landing page to another page.
The Takeaway Here Is That
User Experience Is Key!
Never Take Your Eye Off Of The User Experience.
Next In the next lesson we will discuss readability of your content, what it is, why it matters and what to do.