What are the KPIs of User Experience and User Behavior and How does It Impact SEO?

Recently updated: May 25th, 2023

Want to improve your search engine ranking on Google? It’s time to focus on data-driven factors that have now a significant impact on your search engine performance. Search engines are now using user experience and behavior metrics to determine your website’s relevancy in search queries for targeted keywords.

Gone are the days when webmasters used to manipulate search results by just practicing “keyword stuffing” to rank websites in search engine result pages (SERPs). It resulted in low-quality, “spammy” websites outranking quality websites in Google’s and Bing’s search rankings. To overcome this unfavorable outcome, these search giants have released several rounds of search engine algorithm updates to change the way how search ranking signals work to determine the quality of a web page. 

The search engine optimization (SEO) practices have evolved over the last ten years to improve user experience on the internet. Today, Google and Bing use a number of data-driven factors on various relevancy levels to rank websites to ensure a better user experience by providing them quality search results. 

So, while working on your keyword strategy and backlinking, which are still important for search rankings, you have to focus now on other important factors to win the overall SEO puzzle. These data-driven factors include the measures of your user metrics such as the user behavior and user experience (UX) that come into play in deciding your website’s search relevancy.

Let’s look at what are user experience and user behavior metrics are, and how you can use these data-driven factors to improve your search rankings. In this post, we will learn:

  • What is the role of User Behavior & User Experience?
  • How to measure user behavior and experience?
  • What are the key Engagement Metrics?
  • Behavioral Metrics: bounce rate, task completion rate, system usability  
  • UX Metrics: CTR, Average session duration, Interactivity, on-page SEO elements
  • Google emphasis on-page experience and core web vitals             
  • How are experience and behavior important for SEO?
  • How to improve user behavior and user experience with user intent?

What is the role of User Behavior & User Experience?

User experience (UX) metrics are the key to successful website optimization through web design and management, while the user behavior metrics tell webmasters how a user interacts with their web pages that could impact the SEO performance. These factors play a significant role in deciding your website’s overall functionality and visibility in search engines. Understanding the key performance indicators of the following data-driven metrics is the first step towards building a website that attracts the target audience through search engines and gives them the best user experience possible.

How to measure user behavior and experience?

User experience and behavior metrics describe how a user interacts with a web interface when using a system, product, or service. It is the study of user satisfaction with a website or app and how it affects your search ranking in the SERPs. The main purpose of studying and analyzing user behavior and experience is to create a user-centric and seamless web experience for the better online delivery of services. The key user engagement metrics contribute to a good website design and search engine optimization to improve your overall performance on the web.

The user engagement metrics teach you to put your customers first while implementing your web design and SEO strategies that must focus on helping users find what they are looking for. It not only promotes better engagement with your audience but also drives a positive effect on ranking signals that Google and Bing employ in their search algorithm. Focusing on creating an interactive and engaging user experience will result in good user behavior with the web interface resulting in a positive effect on your search rankings.

The recent search engine algorithm updates have also shown that Google is favoring and pushing the “relevancy rankings,” which means the company considers the relevance of a web page when deciding search ranking for a particular search query. It makes webmasters shift their focus on measuring and analyzing key user metrics in order to maintain the relevancy of their web pages and retain higher ranking.

What are the Key User Engagement Metrics?

There are numerous use engagement metrics that we could discuss here, but we’ll concentrate on those that are most important for your search ranking. These are the metrics that indicate how well your website engages your visitors and how relevant it is to a particular search query. You can categorize these metrics into UX metrics and behavioral metrics to get a clear idea of how to measure user experience with a web interface.

Let’s discuss one by one these key user engagement metrics that have an impact on your website performance and SEO.

Behavioral Metrics: Bounce rate, Task completion rate, System Usability  

  • Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit a page and then leave without viewing any other pages. A “bounce” occurs when a web page fails to meet the expectations of the user.

In simple words, the percentage of visitors who come to your site but leave without visiting any other pages is referred to as the bounce rate. For example, if a web page has a bounce rate of 50%, it means 50% of the visitors on that page don’t explore further and leave after seeing that page only. They don’t usually interact with your web content or click on CTAs during their stay on the page. A higher bounce rate means either your web content is not engaging or you are attracting an irrelevant audience from search engines.

You can calculate bounce rates of your website using the formula “Number of bounces / Total number of entrances” or just by checking in your Google Analytics report for user behavior by going through All Traffic > Channels > Organic > Landing Page View in your dashboard. 

How to Improve Your Bounce Rate?

You can improve your bounce rate by providing more engaging, informative, relevant, and user-targeted content. Here’re a few ways you can target a better bounce rate for your website:

  • Make sure your content is skimmable.
  • Improve Your Page Speed.
  • Stay on topic to share relevant and informative content.

Your content strategy is the key to your bounce rate, and you should focus more on creating content that allows users to find what they are looking for.

  • Task Completion Rate

Task completion rate or task success rate defines the percentage of users who successfully complete a specific task during a buying cycle on a website. It could be filling out a form or making a purchase on your website. It is a straightforward measurement where a user either completed the task or fail to do it. You can calculate the task completion rate using the following formula:

Number of successful tasks / Total number of attempts

Time taken on task completion could be another factor in deciding on how user-friendly your website is and the page speed for SEO signals.

  • System Usability

The System Usability Scale or SUS is a popular user engagement metric used by UX designers to assess the ease of usability of a web interface. It includes a standard set of questions with a scale of 1 to 5 to score system usability. It is like a survey form for your users that lets you collect their experience with your website through a series of questions. A score above 60 out of 100 (for 10 questions) is considered an average SUS score to measure the user experience and behavior on your website.

UX Metrics: CTR, Average session duration, Interactivity

  • Click-Through Rate or CTR

Click-Through Rate or CTR also implies clicks/impressions to determine your conversion rate. It measures the number of people who click on a link in comparison to the total number of users who visited the page or saw the link.

The number of clicks you receive has a significant impact on your search ranking for a specific search query. According to Google, each click represents a vote of confidence in a specific page. It means that out of all the pages that appeared in a particular search query, the page with the highest CTR is chosen as the best match for the user’s query.

To find your Click-Through Rate (CTR), you can simply check into your Google Search Console dashboard to find the average CTR of your website. Below that there is a detailed report for individual URLs on your website and their CTR values. You can easily find the pages that have higher CTRs and pages with poor CTR scores where you need to optimize your website.

  • Average Session Duration

Average session duration is the measurement of the average amount of time users spend on a web page. Search engines consider it as a key engagement metric that is also termed as “page Dwell Time”. It is an indication of how engaging your web pages were. Having a higher average session duration suggests that content on your website is relevant and informative to your visitors. It is a key ranking signal that gives significant insight into the content’s relevancy to your audience for better user experience and engagement. The low session duration lands you in Google’s book for poor performance and that will affect your search ranking.

There are several UX design factors where you can focus to improve your average session duration for better SEO ranking. Here’re a few ways you can improve your page dwell time:

  • Create engaging, informative, and relevant content that is matching user intent.
  • Improve page load time and speed.
  • Make your website mobile responsive.
  • Focus on creating a user-friendly URL structure.
  • Streamline your navigation and CTAs.

These are the key on-page SEO elements that help you improve the user experience on your website to boost the average session duration for your web pages. Faster page speed, user-relevant content, responsive website design, and streamlined navigation on your entire website help you create a better user interface for your visitors through search results.

  • Interactivity

The interactivity of your website defines the level of interactions your audience is doing during a session for specific usage. All your web pages should respond quickly to a click for better interactivity with your audience. If a web page takes time to respond to a user’s action, it is not a good sign, and the user can prefer to leave to another source.

Google emphasis on-page experience and core web vitals

Google’s search engine rules are critical, and you need to consider all core web vitals into your strategy to rank high on search results. The most recent Google Page Experience Update lets webmasters measure technical performance standards of their websites using on-page user experience and core web vitals, including page load speed, interactivity, UX stability and responsiveness, page CTR, bounce rate, and system usability.

How are experience and behavior important for SEO?

User experience and behavior metrics should be your top priority in any SEO campaign. Search engines use various metrics to track user engagement, interaction level, and usability to improve users’ search experience. It means the UX design and user interface of your website have a direct and significant impact on your SEO performance and search ranking.

Measuring key engagement metrics for your website assists you in understanding users’ engagement and interaction with your web pages. Focusing on effective UX design helps you identify and understand site elements and on-page SEO elements that work best for your specific requirements to make necessary improvements. It will significantly improve user engagement metrics to boost your overall search rankings.

How to improve user behavior and user experience with user intent?

To improve the user behavior and experience metrics, keep monitoring and analyzing how users interact and engage with your web pages using various analytics tools and heat map tracking tools. It will give information such as:

  • On which pages they visit during the session.
  • User’s click behavior
  • What pages, products, and services get the most attention

This information will help you design a UX design and content strategy to resonate with the user intent and usage on your site.


You can’t afford to ignore user engagement metrics if you want to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) for relevant search queries. By measuring user engagement metrics, you can learn about your content, audience, and how they are resonating with each other. Focus on creating pages that solve users’ problems for a specific query than leaving their questions unanswered to drive more traffic that converts as well.  

Ratan Singh

Meet Ratan Singh, a dedicated professional blogger and unwavering technology enthusiast. His journey in the world of content writing commenced over seven years ago. With a fervent passion for the latest advancements in technology, gadgets, mobile phones, apps, and social media, Ratan has emerged as a go-to source for all things tech and digital marketing. His analysis of the social media landscape unravels the latest trends and strategies, making him a valuable resource for digital marketers.