Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the domains with a wide variety of techniques and topics. One such topic, which often gets misunderstood by many people is the Dwell time. If you have been looking up the internet to find SEO techniques, you must have come across Dwell Time at least once.
However, it has, unfortunately, ended up gaining an incorrect meaning in the community. Many people misinterpret Dwell time with other metrics like Bounce Rate, Average page duration, Session Duration, etc.
Therefore, in this blog post, we have decided to explain what does dwell time actually mean and how it can be used as a part of your SEO campaign.
What Does Dwell Time Mean?
As of definition, dwell time is the total time which a user spends on a web page after landing on it through SERP but before going back to the SERP again. It means that Dwell time is the total duration between clicking a result on SERP and going back to it again. In no case, swell time is the bounce rate or average session time as both these metrics have a different meaning.
When a user clicks on a web page, there are only two possible instances. He either finds what he was looking for or the page doesn’t solve his query so he goes back to the SERP to find another search result. In both cases, the total time the user spends on the web page is the dwell time for that particular web page. It is worth noting that each web page has a dwell time of its own.
Dwell time is one of the ranking factors as it helps the search engine understand whether your web page resolved the user’s query or not. If a user quickly goes back to the SERP after clicking on your web page, he’s less likely to find what he is looking for. However, when a user spends a couple of minutes on a website, the search engine automatically understands that your web page managed to resolve the user’s query.
It means that higher the dwell time is, better are the chances for your website to attain better search engine rankings. Similarly, shorter the dwell time is, lower would be the search engine rankings. As a result, it is imperative to focus on improving the Dwell time for your website.
Difference Between Dwell Time and Average Time on a Page and Session Duration
As we mentioned earlier, dwell time is often misinterpreted with many other SEO metrics. Therefore, it is important to understand how it differentiates from all the other metrics.
Average Time on a Page
The average time is the total time a user spends on a web page, on average. However, it is not necessary that the user should land upon the web page through SERP only. He could have gotten to the page through any of the platforms, be it, social media or an email.
A session is created to identify how much time a user spends on your website. Therefore, during a session, the user can go to any other web page of your website as well. A session starts when a user visits your website and terminates when he closes it. In between the session, he can access any web page of your website.
Dwell Time is Not Bounce Rate
You should also know that dwell time is not bounce rate. The bounce rate is the percentage of the single-page session. A bounce happens regardless of the fact whether a user returns to the SERP or not.
However, dwell time does influence the bounce rate as longer dwell time will make means that the user has spent more hours on the website, eventually lowering the bounce rate percentage. Similarly, a shorter dwell time will increase the bounce rate as the user has spent less time on the website.
Is Dwell Time A Ranking Factor?
In the list of 200 ranking factors, dwell time is not mentioned at least once. So, officially, dwell time is not a ranking factor. However, that doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t pay attention to the dwell time while ranking a website.
Dwell time helps the search engine identify whether your web pages have resolved user’s queries or not. In case, a user immediately comes back to the SERP, he’s less likely to have found what he was looking for.
This gives the search engine an indication that your web page doesn’t have informative content, which made user come back to look for other search results. Similarly, if a user spends longer on your website, Google understands that your website managed to resolve user queries. As a result, it will fluctuate your search engine rankings accordingly.
However, it does not mean that dwell time is the only factor which impacts your search engine rankings as while ranking a web page, the search engine considers many other metrics as well.
Being a website owner, looking to attract more organic traffic to your website, it is important that you pay attention to improving the dwell time of every web page. Here are some of the tips which will help you compel a user to stay longer on your website.
How to Improve Dwell Time for a Web Page?
There are many factors which impact the dwell time for a web page. It is important to understand that you can only compel a user to stay longer on your web pages if they manage to deliver exceptional user experience.
Apart from being captivating, each web page on your website should provide value to the user in a specific way. Furthermore, here is a list of factors which will help you improve dwell time for a web page.
Here’s the thing, you can’t expect a user to wail for several seconds to access your website. Statistics suggest that 40% of users go back to the SERP if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load. It means that if your website speed isn’t optimized, there’s a huge chance that the user may never even get to read the content.
As a result, it won’t matter how much efforts you’ve put in while writing the content since it’s taking forever to load the web page. Optimize the website speed by tweaking several elements of your website. Images always take forever to load so make sure to compress the size of every image before uploading it.
Publish High-Quality and Informative Content
Content has been, is and always be the king when it comes to captivating a user. A user has come to your website to find answers to his queries and if he doesn’t find it right away, he’s more likely to head back to the SERP. Publish high-quality and informative content on your website, which not only resolves the user’s query but also provides him with something extra.
You can also make your content more appealing by tweaking the content presentation a little bit. Rather than writing lengthy paragraphs, try to add bullet points, proper heading tags, subheadings, etc. All these elements have a huge impact on the presentation of the content.
Link to Authority Domains
Even though linking doesn’t impact the dwell time directly, it can put you as an authority in front of your customers. When you link to high authority links within your content, the audience will eventually consider you as an authority as well. It will convince them to read the entire post, eventually leading to increased dwell time.
Optimize for Mobile
In the third quarter of 2018, 52.4 % of internet traffic generated from mobile itself. It means that if your website isn’t optimized for the mobile, you’re likely to lose a lot of potential traffic. Run Google Mobile-friendly test to identify whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. If the answer is a no, make sure to do the right optimization to make your website mobile-friendly.
While content is the best way to captivate the audience, you should not always rely on content only. The truth is, every user finds it boring when you have a written a 1000+ words article which doesn’t have any image or other multimedia file. Make your web pages more appealing by adding different multimedia files such as images, videos, infographics, GIFs, etc. When your web pages have a mix of different content formats, they ultimately look more appealing.
Let’s Wrap Up Dwell Time
Even though dwell time is not a direct ranking factor, it does impact the search engine rankings for your website. Little metrics like dwell time and bounce rate can help you achieve better rankings in the search results, and therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to them.
The above-mentioned tactics will help you make your web pages more appealing so that you can improve the dwell time for every page. In case, you aren’t familiar with SEO and it’s tactics, hire a professional SEO agency as they have professional internet marketing analysts who know the right tactics to improve the website performance and drive the desired traffic.
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