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Pogo sticking

Have you ever wondered what happens when you click on a search result but quickly return to the search page to find a better result? This phenomenon is called pogo sticking and actually affects your website SEO more than you might think. That's because pogo sticking acts as a pointer to the quality and relevance of your web content to search engines. But what exactly is pogo sticking? And how can you reduce pogo sticking on your website? You can learn all about it right here.

Jens Kjær Riis
- SEO-specialist
Last updated: Aug 9, 2023

What is pogo sticking?

Pogo sticking is a term for when a user performs a search, clicks on a search result and quickly returns to the search results to select another result. This user behavior can suggest that the user has not found what they were looking for on a website and has chosen to continue their search.

Pogo sticking can often be a clear indicator that your website lacks relevance for its keywords. This is because your website will often appear in search results if a user has searched for many of the same keywords that your website highlights. And if the user doesn't find what they're looking for, your website probably lacks relevant content for your keywords.

However, pogo sticking can also be a sign of quite neutral user behavior. For example, if a user is conducting commercial searches, the user may pogo stick because they are jumping from website to website in search of the best price.

How does pogo sticking affect your SEO?

Understanding pogo sticking is crucial for your search engine optimization. If users are constantly leaving your website to find more relevant content, it could suggest that your website is not the most relevant for that specific search.

This can send negative signals to search engines, which will "penalize" your website with a lower ranking in search results. While it can be difficult to collect direct data on pogo sticking, a high bounce rate and low time spent can often indicate this type of behavior.

But pogo sticking doesn't just affect your SEO. It also affects your SEA (search engine advertising), which is a term used to describe your use of ads in search engines. High pogo sticking can be a sign that your Pay-Per-Click marketing, such as Google Ads, is not relevant or satisfying for users. This can also lead to a lower ranking in search results.

The key to less pogo sticking

Reduce your website's pogo sticking by ensuring your content is relevant, accessible and engaging for users. The more your website can meet users' needs and expectations, the less likely they are to return to search results.

Also, pay attention to user experience. Ensuring your website has a fast loading speed, a clear navigation structure and high content quality can help you retain users for longer.

Pogo sticking and CRO: How are they connected?

CRO or conversion optimization focuses on turning your website visitors into customers. It's a methodology that aims to optimize the percentage of visitors who perform a desired action - whether that action is filling out a sign-up form, buying a product from your online store or downloading your eBook. But how does pogo sticking fit into this?

High pogo sticking can be an indicator of a low conversion rate. If your visitors quickly leave your site in favor of another, they are less likely to complete a conversion action on your site. Pogo sticking can therefore be seen as a sign that you should work on optimizing your CRO strategy.

Here are a few tips for creating a successful CRO strategy:

  • First, identify your goals and understand how users interact with your website by collecting and analyzing data.
  • Next, you can use this information to test different solutions to improve user experience, reduce pogo sticking and increase conversion rates.
  • Finally, once the most effective solutions are identified, you can implement them to continuously improve your CRO.

It's important to note that pogo sticking and CRO are closely related. By understanding the connection between the two, you can create a more effective approach to your digital marketing strategy.

Frequently asked questions

How do you avoid pogo sticking?

By offering relevant and engaging content on your website, you can minimize the chances of pogo sticking. Remember that an intuitive and user-friendly navigation structure is also crucial for a positive user experience.

Is pogo sticking the same as bounce rate?

No, pogo sticking and bounce rate are not the same. Pogo sticking refers to the user who quickly returns to the search results, while bounce rate refers to a user who only visits a single page on your website.

Can pogo sticking affect my PPC campaign?

Yes, high pogo sticking can result in higher cost per click and lower quality score in your PPC campaigns, which can affect your ads' visibility.

Is pogo sticking always a bad sign?

While pogo sticking often indicates that your content is not relevant or satisfying to users, it can also be a sign of neutral user behavior, like when users compare prices before a purchase.

How can I track pogo sticking?

While you can't collect direct data on pogo sticking, you can use tools like Google Analytics to look for signs of this behavior, such as high bounce rates and low time spent on your website.

Get even smarter and increase your online presence

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