RankBrain is entirely user-oriented, making it incredibly difficult to plan for. What it measures is the manner in which prospective visitors of websites interact with the search results.
Such a comprehensive method of measuring user interest might seem somewhat complicated, but in truth, RankBrain only quantifies two specific attributes to gauge the appropriateness of a listing. Firstly, the program analyzes dwell time–which is precisely how long a user spends on the page. The more accurate the content is, the more likely it is for the user to spend more time perusing. The second factor that gets measured is the click-through rate, which gets evaluated as a percentage that identifies explicitly how many users opt to visit the link in question.
So, how would one need to optimize their content for such a precise evaluation method?
RankBrain’s interest in dwell time is arguably more influential than the click-through rate, given the fact that many individuals tend to click through several links before finding the result they want. Studies have shown that the sites that rank highest on Google search results are the ones with an average of three minutes and ten seconds, precisely because of RankBrain. Improving the duration of visitation is crucial to developing SEO, and luckily, there are more than a couple of ways to ensure such a focus.
Keep Them Interested and Coming Back For More
One such method is to use visitors’ short attention span to gain an advantage. Users tend to become more engaged with content written interactively. For example, phrasing content with a question and answer format is likely to keep a visitor focused and intrigued. Additionally, say things like, “Look: Insert relevant and semi-dramatic statement here,” or, “The bottom line is this–insert the bottom line here.” When bolded for emphasis, these can draw the eye and help the reader skim content more efficiently, encouraging them to stay on the page longer.
Improving Click-Through Rates and Maximizing Dwell Time
Keeping users on a page is one thing, but improving click-through rates is essential to guaranteeing that the dwell time becomes relevant in the first place. Google won’t keep a good website buried under pages of previous links, nor will it allow a bad site to be featured uppermost on the listings. The problem therein lies with how “good” and “bad” are determined; in general, these are based on click-through rates. Click through rates aren’t as challenging to improve upon as one might think, though.
Use the Right Stimuli
By merely incorporating pathos-oriented titles, adopting an archetypal storyteller perspective, and utilizing lists, anyone can improve their click-through rate. People have strong subconscious reactions to specific emotional stimuli, like fear or love, and preying on this internal reaction ensures that click-through rates will skyrocket. That is especially true for content that comes from a place of relatability–written from the perspective of a friend, or a cynic, or even a jester. Such material tends to speak to people in a way that maintains interest and engagement. That said, anything too clunky or wordy is bound to discourage intrigue, so using numbered lists or bullet points is an efficient way of helping visitors skim content to maintain interest.
Make the URLs Descriptive
As a final tip, one aspect of user-based ranking that tends to fall by the wayside is the URL. Having a descriptive URL generates up to 25% more traffic as well as an increase in dwell time, but the majority of websites tend to leave their URLs as generic standbys. By merely rectifying this mistake, any site can improve their current listing.
Improving SEO based on RankBrain isn’t that hard–anyone can do it! In fact, utilizing these aspects of RankBrain can give any site an edge up on the competition. RankBrain has the potential to provide the insightful website owner a significant advantage.