Making sure your traffic and SEO is using best practices

SEO Health: Assessing the Website’s Search Engine Optimization - Good and Bad Traffic


In the digital marketplace, a website’s visibility is heavily dependent on its search engine optimization (SEO) health. This aspect of a website can make or break its ability to attract quality traffic and, by extension, determine its profitability and growth potential. Assessing the SEO health of a website involves evaluating both the quantity and quality of traffic. In this guide, we’ll explore how to differentiate between good and bad traffic, and the role of SEO in attracting the right kind of visitors to your website.

Understanding SEO Health

SEO health is an aggregate measure of a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), as well as its proficiency in drawing organic, high-value traffic. It encompasses a variety of metrics and practices that align with search engine guidelines and user search intent.

Signs of Good SEO Health

Organic Traffic Growth

A consistent uptick in organic traffic is a testament to successful SEO practices, signaling that the website is gaining SERP visibility.

High Keyword Rankings

Achieving and maintaining high rankings for targeted keywords is indicative of a website’s relevance and authority in its subject area.

A strong portfolio of backlinks from credible sources denotes a website’s trustworthiness and content value.

High-quality backlinks come from sources that are reputable, have high domain authority, and are contextually relevant to the content. Below are five examples of such backlinks:

  1. Technology Blog:

    • A backlink from an in-depth review on Wired or an authoritative article on TechCrunch.
    • Coverage or references from thought leaders in the tech industry on platforms like The Verge.
  2. Health and Wellness Site:

    • A citation within a research publication from a reputable health institution such as the Mayo Clinic.
    • Endorsements or references from well-regarded health influencers or bloggers with a strong following.
  3. E-commerce Store for Outdoor Gear:

    • Product features or recommendations on respected outdoor sites like Outside Online or the REI Co-op Journal.
    • Inclusion in gear reviews or adventure guides from noted outdoor adventure travel bloggers.
  4. Legal Consultancy Firm:

    • A mention from a leading legal association like the American Bar Association or a scholarly article in a legal journal.
    • Referrals from authoritative legal news outlets or educational platforms within the legal industry.
  5. Financial Advisory Blog:

    • Backlinks from renowned financial news outlets such as Forbes Finance, Bloomberg, or The Wall Street Journal.
    • A feature on educational or governmental sites offering financial advice or information.

These backlinks are advantageous as they originate from high-authority sources that are both trustworthy and topically relevant, significantly enhancing the SEO profile of the linked website.

Low Bounce Rates

Low bounce rates can indicate that visitors are finding the content engaging and pertinent to their queries.

What is a Bounce Rate?

  • Bounce Rate Definition: It is the percentage of single-page sessions where the user left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page.
  • Industry Standards: While bounce rates can vary widely by industry and content type, an average bounce rate is generally between 40% to 60%. Anything below 40% is considered excellent, and above 60% might be worrying.

Indicators of a Low Bounce Rate:

  • Engagement: A bounce rate below 40% typically indicates a high level of user engagement.
  • Relevancy: It often means that the content is highly relevant to the audience and search queries that lead visitors to the site.
  • Usability: A low rate can also signal good usability and an intuitive site structure that encourages exploration.

Why a Low Bounce Rate Matters:

  • SEO Impact: Search engines may consider a low bounce rate as a signal of quality content, which can positively impact SEO rankings.
  • User Experience (UX): A low bounce rate suggests a positive UX, as users find the content useful enough to stay and navigate through additional pages.
  • Conversion Potential: Lower bounce rates are often correlated with higher conversion rates, as engaged users are more likely to take desired actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Strategies to Achieve a Low Bounce Rate:

  • Targeted Content: Create content that aligns closely with your visitors’ search intent.
  • Site Speed Optimization: Ensure your website loads quickly, as slow-loading pages are a common cause of high bounce rates.
  • Clear Navigation: Implement an intuitive navigation structure to help users find what they are looking for easily.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Optimize for mobile users to provide a seamless experience across all devices.

In conclusion, a low bounce rate is an encouraging sign that your website is performing well in terms of content relevance, user engagement, and overall user experience. Monitoring and optimizing bounce rates should be a continuous part of your SEO and website management practices.

Utilizing Google Search Console for SEO Health

Google Search Console is an invaluable tool for monitoring and improving a website’s SEO health. It offers a wealth of data on search traffic, performance, and technical status, including:

Search Traffic Analysis

Monitor which queries bring users to your site, and understand how users are interacting with your content.

Indexing Status

Check which pages are being indexed by Google and identify any issues preventing content from being indexed properly.

Mobile Usability

Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, which is crucial given the predominance of mobile search.

Site Errors

Identify crawl errors and resolve them to improve SEO health.

Review your backlink profile and internal linking structure to ensure a robust and healthy link ecosystem.

Recognizing Bad Traffic

Unusual Traffic Spikes

Sudden, inexplicable increases in traffic, particularly from unrelated or dubious sources, can be indicative of black-hat SEO tactics or spammy backlinks.

High Bounce Rates and Short Durations

A pattern of high bounce rates and brief visit durations can point to misaligned search intent or low-quality content.

Overreliance on Paid Traffic

While paid traffic can complement organic strategies, an overdependence can be unsustainable and may not contribute to long-term SEO health.

Assessing SEO Health

Conduct an SEO Audit

Utilize tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Google Search Console to perform a comprehensive SEO audit.

Analyze Traffic Sources

Determine the origins of your traffic and assess the behavior patterns of your audience.

Evaluate Content Quality

Ensure your content is original, valuable, and aligned with user search intent.

Check for Penalties

Verify that your site has not incurred any search engine penalties due to non-compliant SEO practices.


Monitoring and improving a website’s SEO health is an ongoing process that requires attention to both the quantity and quality of traffic. Google Search Console serves as a powerful ally in this endeavor, providing detailed insights and actionable data. By prioritizing good traffic and steering clear of detrimental practices, your website can secure a robust online presence and an upward trajectory in SERP rankings.