Sometimes site owners can be disappointed when they start an SEO program and find that their visitors from organic search are looking at fewer pages per visit and spend less time on the site after optimization is done. But, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that your time on site and pages per visit decrease.
Let’s look at an example. If you’re a user searching for “pneumatic valves’ you might click on a listing that brings you to the home page for a company that sells exactly what you want – pneumatic valves. That’s great, right?
Well, sure. But the real question to ask is, “Is that the BEST experience for the person searching for my product?” If the company offers valves, manifolds, fittings, custom systems, an email newsletter signup, links to company news, and more on the home page, is that really a good experience for that searcher?
Wouldn’t it be better to land those searching for “pneumatic valves” on a page that had nothing but pneumatic valves?
The most successful SEO strategies don’t deal solely with getting your keyword to rank. They also focus on making sure the right page for that keyword is the one that ranks. However, when we get that “right” page to rank for a keyword, we sometimes see falling pages per visit and time on site.
If the searcher is brought to the page about “Pneumatic Valves” instead of the home page – you’ve already decreased pages per visit by 1 for that keyword. And, because you brought them to right to the valves, they spend less time on the home page (and the site) trying to figure out where to go and what to do next.
Time on site and pages per visit are great metrics, but it’s important to understand that if they decrease, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong. Sometimes, it can even be a good sign.