Dwell time is an important SEO metric that tells you how long people stay on your website and which pages are the most popular. How does it affect SEO? How can you increase your dwell time and keep users on your site? Keep reading to find out!
Table of contents:
- What Is Dwell Time?
- Does Dwell Time Affect SEO?
- How Do You Calculate Dwell Time?
- How to Increase Dwell Time – 5 Tips to Keep Users on Your Website Longer
- How Does Knowing Dwell Time Benefit You?
- Dwell Time Indicates Overall Website Performance
What Is Dwell Time?
Simply speaking, dwell time is the amount of time someone spends on your website. It starts when somebody clicks on the link they found in SERPs and ends when they go back to the search results.
It is the total amount of time people end up interacting with your online presence and, as such, should be as long as possible. The longer people spend on your website, the longer they will interact with your business, and the bigger chance they will convert!
A perfect example of what dwell time exactly is would be a cake recipe. The best recipes will have longer dwell times because more people are spending longer on the sites that contain those recipes – and presumably using them to bake!
If you have a recipe that isn’t good or information that isn’t being conveyed in a useful manner, readers will not want to spend time on your site. Hence, your dwell time will be shorter.
Dwell Time vs. Bounce Rate vs. Time on Page
While these three terms are often confused, there are key differences between them. The definitions of each are as follows:
- Bounce Rate is the rate at which people leave your website without taking any action at all.
- Time on Page is the time someone has spent on a specific page on your website.
- Dwell Time is the time someone spends on your website as a whole.
All three of these metrics are important for different reasons and each should be individually optimized in order to create a cohesive, overall effect for your SEO.
Since they are three completely individual factors, differentiating the necessity of each is critical for holistic website health!
Find out more about how to reduce bounce rate and keep users on your website!
Does Dwell Time Affect SEO?
While not an overt Google ranking factor, dwell time nevertheless indirectly relates to the strength of your search ranking. It indicates the quality and relevance of your content and will contribute to the search intent of the content on your site.
If someone is searching for the best ways to evaluate real estate purchases and your content has the highest dwell time, it indicates that your content is relevant and of great quality. At the end of the day, it is an easy metric to look at to determine whether or not your content is doing what it was designed to do!
Would you like to work on your dwell time? Cooperation with a technical SEO agency will make it easy and effective!
How Do You Calculate Dwell Time?
Dwell time is luckily easy to determine. Utilizing a tool such as Google Analytics, you can access the raw data of your site and do a simple computation to determine what the dwell time of your site is. The formula is:
total duration of all sessions ÷ total number of sessions
This will give you a total number of seconds (that you can then divide by 60 for minutes) that people will linger on your entire website for.
Of course, this does not need to be calculated manually! Google Analytics contains an “average session duration” metric that you can use at any time.
What Is Good Dwell Time?
Typically speaking, the average dwell time is around two to four minutes of activity on any given website. This does depend on the specific industry, device, and location you are interested in analyzing. Understanding your target market is critical to being able to fully utilize dwell time to your advantage!
Once again, Google Analytics helps us to find this data.
Click on Benchmarking on the left-hand side of the main dashboard screen, and you will see Channels, Location, and Devices. These three categories all offer average dwell time across different metrics. You can use these to help optimize your site!
How to Increase Dwell Time – 5 Tips to Keep Users on Your Website Longer
Increasing dwell time will impact the overall efficiency and revenue your site will create. By encouraging people to spend longer with your content, you will see increased interaction with all elements of your domain. The benefits from this are anything you can think of to leverage the increased time!
Here are some ways to increase dwell time and gain more use out of your website:
Create Better Content
Creating good content is one of the most important things any site can do to immediately see a significant boost. Users will tend to immediately leave a website if the content on it is sub-par, so being able to encourage people to stay longer is critical to getting a better dwell time.
Users will quickly leave a website, for instance, if the introduction does not have anything to do with what they were intending on searching, so being direct and forthcoming has beneficial effects! Answer a user’s question and they will stay on your site.
Focus on UX
Good website design is another important aspect of dwell time. If your user experience is not optimal for everyone, they will quickly leave your site in favor of other sites that function more efficiently or even just look better.
Having good content structure – like headlines, short paragraphs, lists, and more – allow users to better scan the content in order to determine if it’s what they need. Many people only read headlines, so capturing interest and encouraging them to read down the page is critical to keeping them on your site.
Always make sure your website is fast and easy to navigate and also that it’s friendly for mobile devices!
The more accessible your content, the more people will want to read it.
Remember About Internal Linking
Internal linking is a crucial aspect of increasing dwell time as well – there’s nothing better to keep people on your site than giving them more interesting and relevant content to read!
By linking previously written content on your website, you are encouraging everyone to spend a much greater total length on your site.
Ever wonder why news websites will usually always include a video portion for any news article written?
One great way to increase the amount of time someone spends on your website is to add multimedia in order to capture attention. Website YouTube embeds, for instance, keep people on your site and not surfing to new areas.
Another great reason to add images and videos is to break up long sections of text.
Engage with Users in the Comment Section
Another way to encourage users to spend more time on your site is to give them the ability to directly interact with it.
Comment sections are a great way to build a community and to give people a voice in order to keep content engaging! People will spend more time on your site if they have comments to read and respond to. In addition, the conversation will generate its own form of content.
Find out more about the importance of comments on blogs!
How Does Knowing Dwell Time Benefit You?
A great way to track what people like about your website is to see what they spend the longest time doing. If you have an article, or series of articles, that are seeing much more dwell time than others, that could be an indication that your audience is interested in something more specific than you originally intended!
Dwell time is also a good indication of whether or not your site has a competent user experience and whether or not you need to enact some changes to optimize that aspect of your domain.
Ultimately, dwell time correlates to more traffic, clients, and business, and it is a metric you can leverage in order to keep more people on your site longer.
Dwell Time Indicates Overall Website Performance
It’s important to pay attention to your dwell time. If you track and analyze it, you can implement strategies to improve your long-term success.
Keeping people on your site, allowing them to interact with your content, and encouraging them to support you, are all key ways to ensure that your online presence works!
Do you need help with improving your dwell time? Contact us and we will make sure that users stay on your website!