Pogo-sticking and SEO

Cheryl Luzet - 14 April 2015

You may think that pogo-sticking is a fun game for children but in the world of SEO the act of pogo-sticking refers to a customer quickly clicking in and out of websites that they find in the search engine results. This usually happens when a website has a high Google ranking for the customer’s search keywords but, when the customer clicks onto it, the website does not actually deliver what it promises and they quickly click again out to find a more relevant site.

Having to pogo-stick between sites is annoying for the customer but it is also bad news for your business. If you find that a lot of customers are pogo-sticking out of your site it means that not only are you turning off potential customers but also, if Google’s algorithms notice a regular pattern of people doing this to your site, there is a risk that they will decide that actually your site should not rank so highly and move you down the search listings.

Pogo-sticking should not be confused with bounce rate as, whilst you can measure bounce rate, you cannot measure pogo-sticking. Bounce rate can also be down to customers finding what they need quickly and effectively whereas in pogo-sticking they leave because they cannot find what they want.

So how can you prevent customers pogo-sticking and get them to stick with your site?

What are the main causes of pogo-sticking?

It’s really all about the usability of your site and being able to instantly capture the customer’s attention. You want to show them that your business is the right choice for them. Here are some of the main reasons that customers might pogo-stick from your site:

  • Pop up ads – these can really annoy customers and they will leave the site before the adverts have finished.
  • An unclear landing page – you need to make sure that your landing page is as usable as possible for a new customer. Make it clear and uncluttered so that the customer instantly sees that they can get what they need from your site.
  • Irrelevant keyword targeting – using keywords that are too generalised often means that although you get lots of people clicking on your site they may often be the wrong people who will then realise instantly that it is not what they were looking for.

How can you prevent pogo-sticking?

To really prevent pogo sticking you need to think like a customer and understand how they search the internet. Imagine that you are searching for your product or service. What keywords and phrases would you use? What would you want to see on a landing page? It’s not just about what your customer wants but also about what people using your search words want.

It can be really valuable to do some user testing of your search results to help you understand how customers are finding your site online. Ask 5 users to perform a search using one of your keywords. Then look at the top 10 sites that have come up from this search. You then need to ask your users what site they would choose to click on first, second, third…and why. This is a great way to find out about the search behaviours of people who may be pogo-sticking from your site.

Whilst pogo-sticking can be a worry you can minimise any problems that your site may have by making sure it is as usable as possible. Take out distractions or off-putting features such as pop up ads and look at your keyword targeting. Most importantly do some research into the keyword searches that customers may be doing. This can all help you to keep customers on your site rather than having them pogo-stick away!

Find out more about how Wagada can help you to better meet your customers’ needs online through our conversion rate optimisation service.