gblueThere’s a lot of talk on the Internet about using keywords to show up on Google.

But what happens once you’ve “arrived” on Google’s first page of results? What happens next?

Hopefully, you get what Google calls “the long click”.

What is “the long click”?

This is when someone clicks on a search result and then does not return to Google. Google considers this a very good thing. The point of keywords and SEO is not just to play favorites, but to help Google’s customers find what they want. When someone leaves Google for good, the search engine assumes this is because the customer found what they were looking for.

This may or may not actually be the case, but for right now this is one of the best methods Google has for determining success.

Why should you care?

Because Google wants customers to find what they’re looking for, websites that get “the long click” are going to be ranked for favorably for that specific search term. The idea is, if one customer (or several customers) found what they were looking for on that site, then other customers searching for the same thing are likely to want the information on that site.

So how do you get the long click?

  1. Make sure your website is in tip-top shape. If someone comes to your website and it is old / outdated, it doesn’t reflect well upon you and they’re likely to leave.
  2. Make it easy to use. If someone comes to your website and doesn’t land on exactly what they’re looking for, they need to be able to easily find what they want. If not… you guessed it, they click the back button.
  3. Provide value. Make sure that no matter what page of your site someone lands on, the content they see is interesting and is going to provide value to them. You want them to stay on your website for as long as possible. You could provide this value through having a blog and keeping it up to date, having a gallery with examples of your work, whitepapers that someone can read detailed information in, etc.
  4. Target more specific keywords. Long search terms work better than short search terms. For example, a pet groomer in the Chicago area might want to include “Chicago pet groomer” in their content, instead of just “pet groomer.” Not only will they have fewer sites to compete with, they’ve also made it easier for people searching for a pet groomer in Chicago to find them.

The importance of getting the long click is about much more than just pleasing Google. If you can manage to get customers who come to your site to stay there, you will benefit. When you provide value, customers are more likely to come back to your site, sign up for your newsletter, make a purchase, or make an appointment – whatever your particular call to action might be.

What do you think of the “long click”? Is your website up to par, or are your competitors leaps and bounds ahead of you? Comment below.