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While most businesses believe website visitor totals are a KPI (key performance indicator), and SEOversite does closely track organic unique visitors among other visitor total data, an often overlooked “bucket” of metrics defining website and SEO success is in tracking visitor behavior.  Google likes when users find useful information in short order, and have become so good at serving their searchers that less than 5% of users ever leave page 1.  How can Google tell when a user is happy with the information they’ve found? While likely to be invented soon, it isn’t Google Psychic, it is your visitor’s onsite behavior.

There are 3 main areas of information that make up visitor behavior — bounce rate, average session duration, and page views.  Each is prone to fluctuation and any can be a bit catawampus during any given month.  If they are consistently not meeting the minimum acceptable thresholds outlined in this newsletter, however, it could cause you to lose visitors and conversions over time.  Read on for tips on tracking visitor behavior on your website…

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who arrive at your site but leave, in essence, without interacting.  In other words, if your home page pops up in the search results, a visitor clicks it, and then simply scrolls through before hitting the “back” button on their browser, they’ve officially “bounced” off of your website like a millennial at a Barry Manilow concert.  This happens more often than you might think, so the percentage that is acceptable may sound a little high the first time you hear it. Quite simply, in most industries, such as medical, legal, insurance, or ecommerce, a bounce rate of 40% is exceptional, 50% is above average, and one might not worry until it rises above 60%.

Average Session Duration’s Impact On Online Conversion Rate

The topic of average session duration and how it impacts lead conversion online is a bit more obvious.  The longer your visitors stay on your website, the longer the average session duration.  What our clients are looking for is anything close to or over 2 minutes on average for service-based purchases and lead-generation-based industries. There are exceptions, but this serves as a good rule of thumb and should be simple to achieve on a monthly basis. Spammy or bot-based visitors can negatively impact this stat, as well as outdated and aesthetically displeasing website layout, difficulty of site navigation, and quality of actual content.

Page Views Matter for SEO and Lead Conversion Online

On average, we like to see visitors view at least 3 pages per session.  This tells us that they are heading deeper into the website for more information.  When coupled with a solid average session duration and a low bounce rate, we have a good chance of eventually getting them to contact you. In rare industries and for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing we may prefer a robust home page where the lead, call, or sale is generated on page one, but in general, a small handful of pages viewed will increase engagement rates and business won.

All of these factors can vary a bit based on your market, target customers, and more, so these figures are not set in stone.  What we do know, however, is that if your visitors are behaving as they should, Google will gaze upon your website favorably and bless you with the reward of improved rankings, resulting in more organic visitors and a better chance of grabbing a bigger piece of the proverbial pie. To find out if your visitors are behaving badly contact us at

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