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What Does Dwell Time Mean in SEO?

If you are a business owner who has taken their business online, you want your users to do two things. The first is wanting users to reach your site. The second, and arguably more important, is ensuring they stay there.


Having done everything from optimizing your content to taking care of technical SEO, you will have tracked your metrics. However, when was the last time you looked at how long people stayed on your website?


In SEO, dwell time is one of those metrics you need to stay on top of. Factoring in dwell time can go a long way in helping you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your site. It can even guide your decision-making regarding how you craft your content and your site’s user interface.


What is dwell time? What does it mean in the broader context of your site’s SEO? Read on to find answers to these questions and more!


What is Dwell Time in SEO?


Dwell time is essentially how long the average user spends on your website or its content. It begins when a user arrives on your site after finding it on the search engine results pages. It ends when that same user leaves your website or returns to the search engine results page or SERP.


To help you get an idea of what dwell time is, let’s imagine that you are an online coffee roasting business with a site. As soon as a user finds your site on the SERPs, he or she will click on it. Now, the tracking of dwell time begins.


Your user clicks around your site, reads your blog posts, and shares your content. Doing all these, he or she will use a certain amount of time. For the sake of the example, let’s imagine that your user took six minutes before going back to the SERPs or getting off the computer or the phone.


In this scenario, your site gave the user an experience worth six minutes of their browsing time. This period is the dwell time.


Dwell Time vs. Bounce Rate


Dwell time has been confused with other user metrics. One of the metrics with which dwell time has been conflated is bounce rate, according to Search Engine Journal.


Once again, dwell time is the time between your user visiting your site from the SERPs and leaving it after some interaction with the site.


The bounce rate is different. Unlike the dwell time, the bounce rate is stated as a percentage. More specifically, it is the percentage of users who visit your site and leave after just seeing your webpage.


As you can imagine, no interaction takes place. Nor does your user try to consume your content or check out your products.


Hence, as a site owner, you want your dwell times high and your bounce rates low.


Why is a High Dwell Time Important for SEO?


Dwell time is an indicator of how long a user stays on your site. The time spent on your site provides Google with a quantifiable measure of your site’s quality. And, this is important, especially in light of the search engine giant’s most recent page experience algorithm update.


According to Google, the company is adding page experience to its list of prioritized ranking signals. In other words, your site needs to score points for page experience for it to rank higher in the SERPs.


In a nutshell, page experience refers to the capability of your site to offer users a positive site usage experience. The more positive an experience your site can provide users, the higher your marks for page experience will be. Google’s bots crawl sites and appraise page experience using numerical data like site traffic and bounce rates.


Of the many metrics Google’s bots measure for page experience, dwell time is by far the most relevant. Hence, if you want to maximize your site’s ranking potential, you need to keep people on your site and engage them with content and good site design and architecture.


Easy Tips and Tricks to Improve Dwell Time


The goal is to keep users on your site — whether they remain on the first page or click through all the contents of your site. To ensure that this happens, here are some quick changes you can make:


Tip #1. Work on Page Loading Speed


According to the recent SEO statistics, there is an inverse relation between loading speed and bounce rates. That is, the faster your site loads on desktop and mobile, the lower your bounce rates are likely to be.


Working on your page loading speed may not take too much work. You can probably just switch out some of your media like pictures and videos in favor of formats that load quicker.


Tip #2. Create Engaging Content


In reality, engagement is why Google measures dwell times. What better way to keep your readers glued than with engaging content?


When creating engaging content, remember to:

  • Do keyword research
  • Plan your content around keywords
  • Write with your target audience in mind
  • Answer questions or pain points based on the keywords you have found
  • Ensure that your content is original


Tip #3. Use Internal Links


Internal links are clickable elements that direct users from one part of your site to another. Doing this will create more opportunities for your users to visit other parts of your site.


Here is a tip from us — use internal links in your blog posts.


Final Thoughts: Dwell Time SEO Can Help You Rank


In closing, dwell time is the amount of time a person spends on your website. The user needs to interact with various elements on your site to indicate engagement. It begins when your user clicks on your site from the SERPs and ends when your user goes back to the SERPs.


Ultimately, dwell time is a measure of how valuable your site is to users. Creating value for users can be a challenging task.


If you need assistance driving traffic to your site and creating content that keeps users hooked, you’ll need help. We at Agency Jet have helped business owners with dwell time SEO.


Let us at Agency Jet draw attention to your site and keep your users there!