There are many ranking factors Google uses and dwell time is one of those factors. Or is it not?
It's very confusing for me until I haven't written here, but the chatters on social media platforms started prioritizing dwell time importance.
In this post, I’ll be answering all of these questions like what is dwell time? How is dwell time measured? Is it REALLY a ranking factor? And if so, how can you optimize dwell time?
3 years ago, Duane Forrester at Bing wrote a blog post, It was in this blog post that the concept of dwell time was first introduced.
In simple words, Dwell time is the length of time a person spends looking at a webpage after they’ve clicked a link on a SERP page, but before clicking back to the search results.
Image Source - Cognitiveseo.com
Dwell time is often imprecise with session duration as well. Session duration defines the total amount of time spent on a website before the website visitor leaves the site.
Dwell time tells a different tale as stated above.
Also, keep in mind that Dwell time is not Click through rate.
For example, let’s say you search for “Pancakes” in Google.
The first result looks like a good fit. So you click on a page.
But when you land on the site, it looks displeasing and difficult to navigate. And the content isn’t helpful.
So after 7 seconds of time on the page, you click back to the results.
Your Dwell Time was 7 seconds.
And that super brief visit tells Google search engine that you weren’t happy with that result.
Average Dwell Time = All users total time spent before clicking Back to Result / Count of All Users who clicked Back to Result
You will first have to measure dwell time if you are thinking of increasing it. Here is how you can do that:
In Google Analytics, focus on the bounce rate & avg. time on website metrics. You will have to decrease the bounce rate and increase time on page.
This indicates that your site’s visitors are spending more time on a page before bouncing-off from the site. That's how you can easily increase your dwell time.
On this question, every marketer has a different point of view, but there are some proofs that do support the idea of Google somehow considering dwell time sort of ranking signal.
Google started to penalize mobile sites that contain intrusive pop-up ads and this has been officially announced in 2017. Let's embrace this fact that ads are sometimes annoying, which results in long dwell times on your website. If you remove ads, then certainly your dwell time will improve a lot.
You must understand the fact that Driving relevant audiences play a vital role in increasing dwell time & this can be done only if you're targeting the right keywords. You can use tools like Keyword magic tool provided by SEMrush
Image Source- SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
Slow websites are boring & frustrating for any of us, especially if we are browsing on mobile. I would like to recommend some tools i.e Pingdom, GTMetrix & Google Page Speed Insights, to make sure that you have a really good speed.
A Case study made by Radware shows that every single second delay impacts bounce rate, conversion rate, cart size, and page views. It seems like a one-second delay can make a huge difference in user engagement on the website.
Image Source: www.radware.com
A good Internal linking strategy will help your SEO along with that it will help in creating a better user experience. Because it creates an easy to access structure and will guide website visitors through more website pages and eventually increase your page views as well.
Simultaneously, this will increase the chances to add certain links to pages that people will further relate to. This one is my favorite strategy to increase dwell time.
You have to make sure that your website design should be flawless, easy to navigate, and simple layout. Good web design helps you in SEO as well as intact your users to stay more on your site, which will improve your dwell time.
Final Conclusion -As Google keeps on focusing more on excellent user experience & making sure that, it shows the most effective results for every search. And as Neil Patel claims, dwell time is less of a science and more of an art.