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What is Search Pogo-Sticking and Why Does it Matter?

Inbound Marketing

Pogo sticking sounds like what it is: someone bouncing back and forth between the search engine results page and a given series of websites. It refers to a particular phenomenon which results in a high bounce rate for sites where it happens.

Here is a breakdown of a typical pogo sticking incident:

  1. Jimmy goes to his search engine of choice and enters a query
  2. Said search engine serves up a page(s) related to that query sorted by relevance
  3. Jimmy selects a result and visits the page
  4. Jimmy sees within a few seconds that this page does not have what he is seeking
  5. Jimmy hits the back button to return to the SERPs to select another result

The first website has just been pogo-sticked. And Google, Bing, and the other search engines measure this, not just as a bounce but they actually pay attention to the complex search path created by someone going from search engine to website and back. They measure how long the person stays, the relationship between that site and the one the searcher looks at next and/or one he stays on longer.

We’re here to tell you, it matters. It is one more way for your ranki to be negatively affected. Inbound marketing practices can help mitigate it.

Do a Mind Meld with Searchers

If your website or landing pages are being pogoed, you need to find a way to get into the minds of searchers. Note I said searchers, not customers. You want to target people who are interested in what you have to say not what you have to sell.

Unfortunately, humans can’t mind meld. But we have found the best substitute: keyword research and optimization (Much more difficult due to the recent changes implemented by Google. *More on that in a later post.) coupled with terrific, easy-to-read content.

Learn what people expect when they search to find your type of business.

  • Ask around your office, friends and family, and valued customers
  • Delve into your analytics to find which keywords are sticky and what pages need the most help
  • Get some knowledgeable people to help you

Take a Fresh Look

Give your website and landing pages a good looking-at.

  • Does it look dated?
  • Is it hard to navigate?
  • Does it look like it was put together by your brother-in-law, the auto mechanic?
  • Are the images sharp and clean and in good taste?

The old axiom of a good first impression definitely holds true on the internet. You could be the best in your field but if the website is amateurish, dated, annoying, or unappealing they’re outta there.

Load Speeds and Mobile Devices

I don’t know about you but when I get to a page that takes forever to load (say, more than 3 seconds), I pogo out pretty quickly. I mean, who has the time, right? Maybe I’ll stick around if an element that interests me gets loaded quickly. Maybe.

Make sure the entry pages to your site load quickly and efficiently. Three seconds can be an eternity online. Oh, and take it easy on videos, automatic talking heads, and other annoying stuff.

Be Mobile Friendly. Tablets and smartphones are a fact of life. Your site must be optimized for mobile. Nearly half of all search originate from a mobile device. People still want speed and useful content they can engage with, not squint at.

Pogo sticking is kind of a double barreled shotgun when you think about it. Not only does pogo sticking affect your bounce rate, the searcher then goes back and clicks on a competitor…insult to injury. Don’t give up any advantage.



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