Dwell Time

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Dwell Time

What Is Dwell Time?

Dwell time is the duration of time a searcher spends on a web page after clicking on the link in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) before then returning to the list of search results.

Why Is Dwell Time Important?

Google (and other search engines) are always seeking to elevate good quality content and decrease the number of pages providing poor user experience

For this reason, dwell time is often determined as a ranking factor because it is an indicator of the quality of a page.

graph depicting positive and negative dwell time
Source: State Of Digital
  • If a user clicks off a web page immediately (~2 seconds) the bots can infer that a page didn’t deliver on content or relevancy.
  • If a user clicks off after a few minutes (~ 2 minutes) the bots can infer that the page had some useful and relevant information, but the searcher didn’t get everything they needed or wanted.
  • If a user stays on a page for over 10 minutes the bots can infer that a page had good quality content, relevant to the searchers’ query.

Common Misconceptions About Dwell Time

There’s a lot of confusion out there about dwell time, and it’s not surprising, the world of SEO is a confusing place. Below are some common misconceptions about dwell time.

1. It’s the Same as Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is in fact the percentage of single page sessions divided by all of the sessions on a website.

2. It's the Same as Average Time on Page

This is actually different to dwell time, although often used interchangeably. Dwell time can not be calculated if a person has found your site through an external link, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. It is calculated from SERPS back to SERPS.

3. It’s the Same as Click Through Rate

Click Through Rate is determined by how many searchers click on your website, out of the total number who saw the website come up on SERPs. 

What Factors Affect Dwell Time?

There are lots of factors that affect dwell time. A website creator must keep these in mind and address them to ensure their website has a high dwell time. Some of these factors include:

How to Increase Dwell Time?

There are a few golden rules to follow to increase dwell time on your site, and increase your ranking.

1. Create Compelling and Engaging Content

This may sound simple, but there are a lot of factors contributing to quality content. It must be relevant, well researched, original, free of errors and frequently updated.

2. Responsiveness and Good UX 

Websites must load quickly, be mobile friendly, and have a good website design that is easy to navigate.

3. Relevant Title Tags and Insightful Meta Descriptions

These will help to initially draw in users. But, make sure they accurately describe your brand and its content. Include keywords and CTA.

How Can We Help?

Looking to improve users’ dwell time on your own site? You should contact us, we could pair you with a super competent team to send you in the right direction.

If you’re not quite ready to spend, you could try one of our training courses instead and implement all that you learn tomorrow!