The term Pogo-sticking in SEO is used to describe what happens when a visitor clicks on your website from Google or other search engine and then exits your web page, returning to the search engine results page (SERP) to head to a new website to find what they were looking for.

This kind of pogo-sticking happens when a site ranks high on a search engine but still fails to meet the needs of its visitors who are using that particular search term. Sadly, if this is a situation that you are facing on your landing pages, then Google, as well as other search engines, will eventually detect that your page has been ranked for the term unwisely and as a result, your ranking will fall. This is a worst case scenario for your website when it comes to SEO. Furthermore, it is even worse than compared to high ounce rates or any other kind of metrics.

Why is Pogo-Sticking worse than for other metrics

Because from a search algorithm, you do not have the right to rank at a high position in the rankings if people are not satisfied with what they discover on your page. Search engines prefer the users to find the content which they are looking for on their first search itself, and so pogo-sticking is not in the best interest of the search engine, the searcher as well as the brand publisher.

Moreover, it also suggests that the content put up on your website does not meet the search query of people when they visit your website. After several pogo-sticking incidents, Google, as well as other search engines, will take action and downgrade your website to a lower ranking.

Pogo Sticking v/s Bounce Rate

Even though pogo-sticking and bounce rate are related, it is important to note here that there is a difference between the two. Bounce rate is not always bad as a person who visits a page on a website might have got the answer to his query or may have bookmarked the URL or may visit the site later, but just because he or she spent less time reading the content, the activity is referred to as a ‘bounce.’ On the other hand, pogo-sticking is always bad as a person quickly goes back to the SERP unsatisfied from a result due to which Google Analytics will eventually penalize the website if this happens several times.

How can you prevent Pogo-Sticking?

  1. The very first question that you should ask is ‘Am I creating content which my audience is looking for online?’ For instance, Red Bull understood that its audience did not want to know the benefits they would get after drinking the products offered by it.

Instead, the company played it smart and created a website inclined towards extreme sports which eventually helped grab the attention of a significant audience which further most likely would refer Red Bull to their friends and relatives than compared to other energy beverage. Therefore, it is important to first understand the information as well as entertainment requirements of your audience.

  1. Next, try to recognize what terms attract an audience to your website and then evaluate how you can use the terms along with the information/content put up on your webpage. If you think that the terms are not matching with your content then accordingly alter and adjust the content.

For instance, if a person is searching for ‘snow blower repairman,’ and your webpage is about how to buy a new snow blower, then you will end up getting many people who would bounce back and forth onto your site. However, this does not mean that you should clutter all the terms in just one landing page. If you wish to rank some terms, then you will have to make some landing pages to satisfy the visitors and also keep the landing pages uncluttered.

Moreover, even if your content is about ‘snow blower repair,’ it is possible that it may fail to gain the interest of your readers and convince them of your credibility possibly because of irrelevant content, grammar as well as spelling mistakes, etc. In such cases, there are higher chances of pogo-sticking. Hence always focus on providing good value to your visitors while you create content for your website.

  1. Next, analyze the content and keep track of the opportunities which you have missed out. You should edit the content frequently to show your audience that you are in sync with the current changes taking place in the market, new internal resources and others.
  2. Consider the fact that a good user experience can play a major role in building your brand’s web presence. If the content you have put up is not up to the mark and the users still have to surf to find what they are looking for, they may eventually bounce back to the SERP and click on competing for content. Moreover, the other common factors which result in poor user experience are:
  • Use of misleading titles and irrelevant sub-headlines:

One of the worst things you would do with your content is misleading your readers. They will switch to another website and never visit your site again in such a case. Hence, ensure that you use a title which is relevant to your content.

Moreover, another factor which will keep most of the readers glued to your content is the sub-headlines. As they go down your webpage, they will quickly have a glance at the sub-headlines present in the content. Use of irrelevant and not so catchy sub-heads puts you at risk of pogo-sticking.

  • Slow loading time of the webpage:

Visitors do not like the websites which take a lot of time to load. As a result of this, they lose out their interest and patience and instead choose competing websites to get the answer to their search. Hence, you should ensure that your webpage loads faster.

  • Avoid using a high number of pop-ups on PageLoad:

Most of the websites these days use pop-ups thinking that it can help capture leads but it is, in fact, a stupid error to set up pop-ups on your PageLoad. This does not only result in driving many of the readers away but also puts your website at high risk of pogo-sticking. Hence, if the popup plugin you are using does not let you delay your popup window, you should consider changing or switching to another professional plugin.

  • Avoid using vague images:

Another thing which readers cannot escape is the images put up on your webpage. You should use relevant and eye-captivating images or even screenshots in your content to create a positive impact on your website’s pogo-sticking as well as bounce rate. Once your visitor is attracted to a picture, he/she will automatically have the interest to know more about it and read the text which surrounds it.

Internal Pogo-Sticking

Pogo-sticking can also be an issue within websites. Even though this does not affect your site’s ranking on search engines, it can have a negative impact on the browsing experience of your visitor and might result in them giving up on your site before even converting.

Your prospects who want to know the comparison between multiple products may often bounce back and forth between internal search results or category to an individual product page. Therefore, to offer them an improved user experience on your website, you can consider using previous or next product option just like the photo gallery in a smartphone these days.

Moreover, if your company sells several similar products, you can also include links to them on the webpage. This will facilitate direct comparisons and enhance the user experience of your potential customers. Customers opt for the companies which make their shopping experience easier. Hence, it is best for you to focus on their needs instead of solely aiming at your company sales.

Therefore, it is important for you to think how people would land on your page, what kind of search queries you are ranking for and what goes on in the minds of people when they enter these search queries in a search engine. If your website can offer the best answer to these questions or can solve an issue better than competing websites, then you will probably have the lowest pogo-sticking rate.

It is very much clear by now that Google and other major search engines take pogo-sticking into account seriously. Hence, it is significant for you to analyze and implement the ways mentioned above to prevent pogo-sticking. Moreover, ensure that your site looks great and supports multiple electronic devices. Differentiate the information on your site into segments for providing ease of reading and understanding to your visitors and keep the web pages engaging enough with relevant and unique content.

Written by 

Rahul Yadav is Digital Marketing consultant and Expert in Delhi, India. He provides SEO, Social Media Marketing & PPC Consulting Services worldwide. You can Contact at gitm.rahul@gmail.com

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