While pogo-sticking may sound like fun, nobody enjoys clicking three different search results before finding what they were looking for. This type of pogo-sticking occurs when a website ranks highly but fails to satisfy the needs of people using that search term. If this becomes a common occurrence on your landing pages, Google and other search engines will come to the conclusion that your page is ranking for the term erroneously and your rankings will drop. From a search algorithm’s point of view, you have no right to that spot in the rankings if people are rarely satisfied by what they find on your webpage.
Pogo-sticking can occur for a number of reasons but it is important to note that this is not the same thing as having a high bounce rate. A high bounce rate generally means one of two things:
- Your webpage is managing to attract exactly the right audience and is satisfying their needs on the landing page; or
- Your webpage is somehow attracting exactly the wrong audience and they are leaving your website unsatisfied.
Pogo-sticking refers only to the latter cause of high bounce rates. Depending on the nature of your website, wikis for example, a high bounce rate may be a sign of success but pogo-sticking is never a good thing.
Targeting terms that are irrelevant or too broad as well as poor website design can greatly contribute to pogo-sticking problems. If your website takes too long to load or has a confusing design searchers may simply give up and move on. Poorly designed landing pages with contradictory or confusing information can discourage searchers and invasive advertisements such as videos or presentations that autoplay on page load can be a great annoyance. Keep your landing pages focused and uncluttered; if you want to rank for more terms you will need to make more landing pages to satisfy those searchers.
The best way to prevent pogo-sticking is by getting in the searcher’s head. Not the buyer, the searcher. These are not necessarily the same thing and that is where many websites can run into problems. To maintain good rankings you will want to satisfy the query of everyone who lands on your page even if they are never going to buy your product or service.
Make sure your website looks great and functions well with an intuitive user interface and supports multiple devices. Segment your information for ease of understanding and readability and keep your pages engaging and visually interesting with unique and relevant content.
For a more in-depth guide to solving pogo-sticking problems, take a look at these Seven Great Tips to Reduce Your Site’s Pogo-Sticking Rate.
Pogo-sticking can also be a problem within websites. While this will not affect your rankings, it can have a negative impact on your prospect’s browsing experience and may cause them to give up before converting.
This diagram demonstrates this type of pogo-sticking. Potential customers who are comparing multiple products are often required to bounce back and forth between category or internal search result pages to individual product pages. For an improved user experience, consider using a next product/previous product function similar to that of photo galleries. Alternatively you can include links to similar products on the page. If your company sells many similar products that are going to be compared often, you can greatly improve user experience by facilitating direct comparisons.
Consumers tend to choose the companies that make shopping easier. Aim to satisfy their needs instead of focusing solely on the sale.
The User is Drunk
Still wondering if your website’s look and functions are working your visitors? Check out this video: “The User is Drunk” by Sqaureweave for a creative way to look are your website. Sit back, grab a drink (or four) and reevaluate your site!
We Actually had this exact problem. The page was beautiful, but it was lengthy and could have been read confusingly. Since we’ve made a few changes we’re seeing those bounce rates drop.