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What are User Signals?

In search engine optimization, all signals that are generated by Internet users during the use of websites are called User Signals. Since Google and other search engines are able to register such signals, User Signals are also one of the most important ranking factors.

  • Are important indicators of page relevance and quality
  • Influence the position of the page in search results
  • Are an important reason to optimize web pages for users

What types of user signals are there?

The most important User Signals are the Jump Rate, the Click Through Rate (CTR) and the Dwell Time on the page. The bounce rate refers to the number of users who look at a page of a domain and then bounce off it quite quickly (usually within a few seconds). If, on the other hand, other sub-pages are clicked on or even transactions are carried out, Google can also assume that the visitor finds the website interesting. Some domains manage with few, but all the more interesting pages, so that Google is also interested in the time on site. If this time is high, this is of course also a signal that the website has aroused interest. The most important reasons for a negative, i.e. high bounce rate are irrelevant content, long loading times and unconvincing usability of the page. On the other hand, the dwell time can increase if the website is loaded quickly and presented clearly. The user should be able to understand the page intuitively and find the desired information without a long search. Furthermore, internal links and search functions invite the user to stay and browse further. If the texts are longer (which Google finds good), it is best to subdivide them “easily digestible” for the user by using subheadings. If the bounce rate is high, the webmaster should definitely investigate the reasons for this. Another important user signal is the Click Trough Rate (CTR). It indicates how often the website is also clicked by searchers when they appear in a SERP. The larger this number is, the stronger is this user signal

The user decides the ranking

Through the user signals, the users in principle have a daily say in how the ranking will turn out from all sides on the net. They signal to Google and other search engines whether they can do anything with the search results. Thats why user signals are a central variable in search engine optimization. User signals also help Google to improve its search results. The search engines follow our surfing and clicking behaviour very closely. Interesting user signals in addition to those described above are also the frequency of returning visitors, log-in readiness, bookmark traffic, scrolling and social signals as well as the return-to-SERP rate. Also for this there are “special points” regarding the relevance and quality of the website! So there are the most different signals a user can send to the search engines. Google can therefore accompany users in many different ways on their journey through the net. With the Webmaster Tools the operator can get an overview of the user signals. It can be assumed that Google also “reads along” here, so to speak. If a webmaster optimizes the most important user signals, he usually also improves the visibility of his website(s) in the SERPs. This includes onpage SEO measures such as attractive content, maintenance of metadata and improvement of loading times. SEO experts agree that user signals become more important over time. The site operator would therefore do well to adjust to the holistic-semantic search, which is the top priority for Google.

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