What is Pogo-Sticking and how does it hurt my SEO and Rankings?

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Pogo-Sticking is what happens when a user performs a search query, finds a site and clicks on it, then realizes it’s not what they want so they click back to the search results. This can happen when you focus your efforts on keywords and keyword phrases that are too broad.

It’s not really the same thing as bounce rate.

So What Is Pogo-Sticking?

Pogo-Sticking specifically relates to a search result to a page and back to to the search result where bounce rates show the entrance and exit on the same page regardless of source and are not related to the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Pogo-Sticking occurs when you rank for a keyword that does not really match the overall content on your site. For example, let’s say you are a real estate agent and have new horse property. Maybe you describe the property in detail and explain the stalls and areas for the horses and suddenly you rank for horse stalls. 

Maybe it was a niche that was not yet dominated in search and your page had just the right recipe to rank. Now, when people are looking for horse stalls, they find your site and of course, your listing is not what they want.

Now, you could take advantage of this and maybe add some content about horse stalls and tell the user where to find horse stalls, who makes the best horse stalls nationally, and then how to get them in your area. You can then include an IDX listing grid of horse properties in your area and offer to refer them to a Realtor® in their area that can help them with horse property if that is a need they have.

Sometimes, you get the Pogo-Sticking because your page loads way too slow, or it’s not responsive (mobile-ready). Maybe your site has too much flash and animation and they can’t find what they need.

It may just be a case of working on that page to give the user what they want. There is software that will measure your page load time. Many times this is built into your website. You can also use Google Analytics, or a site we like Pingdom.

Another tool we love to use is Clicky.com. We can quickly and easily pull a page and measure bounce rate and average time on that page compared to other pages and how many exits there as well. If the average time on a page is incredibly low, but we have long-form content, we can easily measure that our page does not have what the user wants.

Clicky can also show you where these visitors are coming from and your search queries where available. This might help you identify the source of the problem and how to improve the content on the page.

Lori Ballen SEO

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