Even though backlinks continue to be the cornerstone of Google’s algorithm, it’s clear that user experience signals influence search engine rankings today. Here are three practical ways that you can take advantage of these user experience signals, including my APP Formula.
But first, here’s an example from Backlink (Brian Dean) to show you just how important user experience signals are today.
A few years back, tech writer Steven Levy, wrote an insider account of Google called In the Plex. In that book, Steven states, on the most basic level, Google could see how satisfied users were. The best sign of their happiness was the Long Click. In other words, when people click on your site in Google, and stick around, it sends a very strong message that your page makes searchers happy. But when people quickly leave your site, like they’re on a Pogo stick, it tells Google the opposite.
It shows them that your page isn’t a good fit for that keyword. The question is, how can you get people to stick to your site, so that Google sees you as the best result for that keyword?
First up, a little technique known as Bucket Brigades that copy writers have been using for decades. And these Bucket Brigades instantly made my content much more compelling. Bucket Brigades are words and phrases that keep people on your page, specifically, they make your visitors want to keep reading.
For example, let’s say you have a post on your website and the average Time on Page for that article is almost four minutes. And a good chunk of that above average Time on Page is due to Bucket Brigades, When you see one of those Bucket Brigades, it opens up a little information gap in your mind, and you can’t help but read the next sentence.
Bottom line? Whenever you have a place in your content where people might get bored and hit their Back button, add a Bucket Brigade.
Once you’ve added some Bucket Brigades to your content, it’s time for strategy number two, Benefit-Driven Subheadings.
They break your content up into easy to read chunks, however random sub headers won’t grab your reader’s attention and make them say to themselves.
Fortunately, there’s a quick fix for that, include benefits in your sub headers. Instead of a bland subheading, like, Focus on Your Thank You Page, I put the benefit front and center.
Thirdly, the APP Formula. When someone visits your page from Google, you have two seconds to convince them to stick around, not 10, not five, two. And if you lose them in those two seconds, you lose them for good .But if you hit your visitor off with something amazing right off the bat, they’re much more likely to stick around. Which will boost in Time on Page can be huge for your Google rankings. And whenever I need to improve the Time on Page for one of my articles, I turn to the APP Formula. So what is it? The APP Formula is a proven, content introduction framework, that’s designed to do one thing, keep Google visitors on your page longer.
Here’s what the APP Formula looks like, as you can see, APP stands for Agree, Promise and Preview.
You want to start your intro off with an idea or concept that someone searching for your keyword will agree with. This shows that you understand their problem, and when someone sees that you understand them and their problems, they’re much more likely to stick around.
Now that you’ve got them nodding their head in agreement, it’s time for the Promise. The Promise is where you give your reader a peek into a better world.
Finally, hit them with the Preview, there’s no need to beat around the bush here, you’re preview just needs to tell your reader exactly what you have in store for them. For example, here’s the preview of my most recent jobs. And once you put the finishing touches on your preview, you’re set.