So you’ve crossed off all the important points on your SEO
checklist and are sure you’ll start ranking soon. Except, your sweet thought
bubble pops when you notice visitors are rarely spending time on your page.
They seem to just hop on and leave instantly without reading
anything. Wait, what’s happening there?
Enter dwell time or the time your audience spends on your page. But, you didn’t have it on your SEO checklist, did you? That’s probably because, “dwell time is sometimes a forgotten critical metric of SEO,” Emily Moore of Colorescience.com notes.
However, it’s importance is great as it “can provide a deep
insight as to how well your site is actually doing.” In fact, it can tell you
if your content is actually answering the questions your audience has. On the
other hand, it signals search engines whether your page offers value to
readers, which impacts your ranking.
Interesting, isn’t it? Let’s talk more about it. We’ll cover everything related to dwell time including:
Ready? Let’s dive right in:
What is dwell time?
It’s the time visitors spend on your page. AAlogics’ Farhan Karim defines dwell time as “the measurement of time that how long visitors stay at your site. In more precise words, dwell time starts when the user clicks the blue link on SERP and goes back again to SERP.”
Think of it as a visiting timer that goes on when someone clicks your page in the browser and returns from your page. Naturally, if someone’s interested in what you offer, they’re more likely to stay on your page, therefore, increasing your dwell time.
This is why “dwell time is an excellent indicator of the relevance and quality of your page and could be very helpful in determining the searcher satisfaction level” in Smith Thompson’s Hamna Amjad’s words.
Why is dwell time important?
As Amjad pointed out, dwell time signifies how relevant your
page is to your visitors, telling you exactly how well you’re doing in solving
their concerns or answering questions that they have.
But that’s not it. Not only does this relevancy tell you how well you’re doing, but it also signals search engines how well you should rank.
Prana Brush’s team explains, “dwell time can make the difference between ranking in the top three results and ranking on the second or third page.
In particular, low dwell time can cause search engines to conclude that your content is not properly responsive for the search terms that searchers are using, thereby relegating you to a lower ranking.”
You can easily track this metric using this free SEO dashboard.
How does dwell time work?
Although Google doesn’t list dwell time as one of its
ranking factors, dwell time is an important indicator of content quality.
Think of it like this: you search for a specific term, say,
‘content marketing agencies in X town’ and you proceed to click the first
result on the search engine results page (SERPs). But you find that the page is
cluttered and it’s hard to navigate so you instantly leave the page.
All this took you how long? Let’s make a guess: three
seconds. This is your dwell time and this how it works.
Now, let’s suppose you visit the next page on the SERP and you find it’s beautifully designed and the content is easy to read, so you stay around to read the content.
This automatically increases the page’s dwell time. It’ll
also tell Google that the page has better content and it’ll eventually start
ranking on the top.
What is a good dwell time?
A few seconds on your page before a visitor retraces their
steps is certainly not a good dwell time. It immediately tells the search
engine you had nothing of value to offer, so your ranking tanks.
However, a few minutes on your page narrates you offered value. Hence, a good dwell time amounts to at least 2 minutes.
Smith Thompson’s Hamna Amjad sums it well: “if your dwell time lasts for 2mins or more,
it means that users were fairly satisfied by your content but if it lasts less
than 30 secs, it shows your content wasn’t good enough to capture the user’s
attention and you need to optimize it.”
25 ways to improve dwell time
Now, for the meaty part of this guide. Our experts have some
awesome tips to share, here’s a glimpse, followed by the details:
- Know your target audience well
- Ensure the content you offer on your page aligns with the search intent
- Ensure your first impression is a good one
- Create quality content
- Show readers your page has the answer to their query
- Write tight introductions
- Write long-form content
- Use a Table of Contents
- Work on making your content easy to read
- Add relevant, interesting links to your content
- Add internal links to your content as well
- Optimize your landing page copy
- Add video to your page
- Use infographics and other visuals in your content
- Use engaging elements on your page
- Take care of screen placement
- Work on the navigation and user experience
- Add a chatbot to your page
- Pay attention to your opt-ins positioning
- Improve page load speed
- Offer important information in the middle of the page
- Open your comments section
- Create content clusters
- Add an audio clip to your site
- Give each page on your site a purpose
PRO TIP: How to Monitor and Evaluate Your SEO Performance
If you want to understand how your visitors are behaving on your landing pages, there are several on-page events and metrics you can track from Google Analytics and Google Search Console that will help:
- Organic sessions by landing page. Which landing pages receive the most organic traffic and generate signups?
- Organic goal completions by landing page. Which landing pages reach your conversion goals and which need to be updated or optimized?
- Organic clicks by queries. Which search queries generate the most clicks to your website?
- Organic clicks by page. Which pages receive the most clicks from search results pages?
- Organic sessions. How many organic search sessions does your website receive?
Now you can benefit from the experience of our SEO and website conversion experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template showing the most important metrics for monitoring your landing page performance. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in marketing reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
1. Know your target audience well
“People come to your website with a specific need,” David De Haan of Stand Up Paddle Boards Review notes. “The sooner they know that you can address that need, the better.”
Which means you need to “let your key pages focus on those
needs. Talk about what they want and how you can help them get it.”
Oliver Andrews from OA Design Services observes, “if you can get inside your audience’s head and understand what they’re looking for, you’re much better equipped to give it to them. Doing market research for your website will help with that.”
Prana Brush’s team
also notes, “if your site [or page] comprehensively addresses that
question or need, your visitor will stick around for a longer period of time to
determine the answer to their question or help address their need.
One way to find out what your audience is looking for is by understanding their needs: what questions do they have in mind? What answer are they looking for on your site?
For example, De Haan shares, “for me, this meant researching extensively about my target audience. I had to know:
- Who they are
- Where they are from and
- What they are looking for”
On top of this “also
focus on keyword research,” De Haan suggests. “This ensures that you attract
your target customers and not just random internet users. Someone who is specifically
looking for what you’re selling is likely to stay longer.”
2. Ensure the content you offer on your page aligns with the search intent
Since we’ve already
touched base with keyword research, it’s also crucial we understand the role
that search intent plays in impacting your dwell time.
SoftJourn’s Oleh Sorokopud recommends, “the content should align with the intent of the search term it is being optimized for.
If that is a transactional type of query – the content
should sell, if that’s informative/educational – should cover the whole topic
so the user won’t have any additional questions to look for elsewhere.”
If you’re wondering how to cover the entire topic on your
page, Sorokopud suggests: “this
also can be achieved by implementing logical internal linking with other your
content and suggesting relevant articles to read, so even when a user was not
able to find all the answers on the initial page, there is an ability to move
forward to another related content that will meet the requirements.”
Sam Rexford of CHILLREPTILE also thinks it’s essential you pay attention to the search intent. “When a visitor lands on your landing page or blog post from an ad, social media post, or referral link, they’re coming to satisfy the curiosity of whatever led them to click in the first place. Getting them to stay on the page and continue to consume your content is therefore usually as simple as immediately satisfying the visitors intent behind their visit.”
3. Ensure your first impression is a good one
“Make a good impression and make it last,” suggests Her Norm’s Sonya Schwartz.
“Make your audience [is] wanting more… clicking for more. Great impressions are when they will feel engaged and needing for more. Then they will stick around and each time they are on the world wide web, they look for your page or your website. Let them search for you by making a lasting and great impression.”
Although you’ll find tips to leave a great impression throughout this post, here’s a starter: “pay attention to the structure and layout of content on the page,” according to Tarun Gehani of Pure Visibility.
How so? Use “white space, headings and subheadings, short paragraphs, and bullet points.” This “can arguably enhance the user experience and make it easier for your visitor to scan and peruse the page content to find the information they are looking for.”
Also, make sure “your content addresses the intent behind
the keyword” as it “will increase the time they spend on the page.”
4. Create quality content
Many of our respondents bet on creating quality content to improve your dwell time. Wondering why? It’s simple, really: “if you don’t provide anything interesting for the user accessing your page, there is no incentive for them to remain,” PEO Companies’ Nelson Sherwin explains.
the process – the user lands on your website and starts looking around. If
something catches their eye, they are likely to remain and read through it, or
at least click on other areas of your website to check it out. If you don’t
offer much, they don’t stay much. It’s as easy as that,” Sherwin adds.
Therefore, “the best way to increase dwell time is to create amazing content that really helps your readers with something they are trying to do and when you do that, make sure you write the best content,” PureVPN’s Rameez Ghayas Usmani concludes.
So, what’s good
quality content, you ask? Good question. It’s content that answers your
visitors’ questions in sufficient depth.
Bren Urioste of Embrk suggests a good way to do just that: include “more frequently asked questions or in-depth information using anchor text.” You should also “take the users’ search intent and test in what other ways they might linger for more information.”
Want another tip? Write actionable content. AdQuick’s Chris Gadek elaborates, “if an article is of benefit and provides actionable tips that are of interest, then the visitor will want to stay longer and read it in its entirety.”
Also, ensure your content is “always relevant and up-to-date,” adds Smith Thompson’s Hamna Amjad.
“Try to offer
something unique in your content so that it can stand out from the rest. When people will find it interesting and
helpful, they will spend more time on your site. Experiment with different
types of content to keep your audience engrossed. You can include images,
infographics, videos, and other high-performing types of content besides blog
Obaid Khan of Planet Content comments further to content’s uniqueness. “The best way to capture a visitor is to captivate them with unique content and design. Unique content involves custom-made illustrations, 2D animated explainer videos, and great copy to complement it all.
Furthermore, a custom-designed website that flows well with
your target audience further improves dwell time. The more you give people to
explore, the more dwell time you’ll receive from intrigued users.”
A few things to keep
in mind as you create quality content that’s unique:
- Your “copywriting should be short, choppy, and written on a 6th-grade reading level. It is pleasing to the eyes, the mind, and propels them to conversion” – Tyler Burch, BoardActive
- “Content is presented in a digestible format. If you have got walls of texts, too many links, or a confusing page layout, you are not going to capture your visitors. – Rameez Ghayas Usmani, PureVPN
- Give your design a makeover “if your font and color scheme are tough to read” – Rameez Ghayas Usmani, PureVPN
If you don’t have a way with words, go on and hire a copywriter “who understands the flow of good content,” Net Lawman’s Andrew Taylor suggests.
5. Show readers your page has the answer to their query
“The first thing they see when a visitor lands on your page determines whether they stay or not, and that happens in a millisecond,” John Ross of TestPrepReviews.com shares. In short, those milliseconds count the most.
So, how do you go about making those few minutes play in
“The best way to keep them on your page is to be clear, focus on what the reader wants and not block them with obstacles like pop-ups too quickly. A pop up can be more annoying than a fly buzzing around your face, so give them time to read your content to keep them engaged,” opines Ross.
More importantly, “you need to paraphrase back their search query or question, to assure them they have come to the right place,” highlights UClimb’s Daniel Noakes.
“So, for example, if the page is ranking for ‘how much does [my product/service cost] then at the top of the page (above the fold before they scroll) you need to say something like ‘everyone looking for [your product/service] wants to know the cost. Whilst not many [your product/service] companies are willing to provide this information, in line with our transparent fee policy, please see below an outline of our charges for [your product/service].’”
What’s more, “the main headline of the page can be an exact repeat of the question that the page is supposed to rank for, so in this instance, ‘How much does [your product/service] cost,’” Noakes shares.
Noakes also explains why this works: “taking the time to
emphasize at the top of the page that you’re about to answer the exact question
that they’ve come to the website with, puts the visitor in the frame of mind
that is then prepared to scroll quite far down the page, reading your
information in detail, because they know from your opening heading and opening
paragraphs that they are likely to find what they are looking for.”
That said, there are other ways to tell your visitor they
are on the right page that has their answers.
Here are tips from Ruben Bonan of Marketing Marvel:
“1. Your Title and Meta Description are not misleading the
users, promising something that you won’t deliver.
2. The subject of your pages is not too broad, which will enable you to do 2
- Be a bit more aggressive on the Title, H1, and
the beginning of the content of those pages
- Make sure to add a lead paragraph that explains
clearly and concisely what your article will cover, so the visitor can grasp
this information quickly.
- Provide in-depth quality content that is also
optimized for SEO.”
Elena Lordache of Stoica.co also agrees with writing “clear title tags and meta descriptions that give away what the page is about.”
Lordache explains, “is your page about professional cleaning services? Do you deliver those services to a certain area? Then make sure your title and meta description reflects that.
All of us marketers are seduced by the idea of writing attractive headlines and the internet is full of articles teaching us how to do that. But overpromising in your titles and underdelivering with the content is not the way to go.”
6. Write tight introductions
New Age Polish’s Madeleine Seah shares another tip to increase dwell time. Seah observes, “your articles should always add value to your readers.” One way to ensure your content drips of this value is writing an intro that tells your audience about the value you’re going to provide.
To this end, Seah shares: “according to Backlinko, the introduction of your page should follow
a PPT formula (Preview, Proof, Transition). This is where you give readers a
short preview of what your article is about (has to match the search intent of
the keyword), followed by some proof that your content contains an effective
strategy and lastly, a transition to get the reader to continue reading.”
You can also share stories in your content like Khris Steven of Khrisdigital.com does. “Using stories on my posts which my readers can relate to.” This helps Steven “stand out from others and increases conversions – stories have been proven to be an effective method of engaging visitors to spend more time on my pages.”
7. Write long-form content
We’ve already been talking about unique content that’s of high-quality and covers a subject in-depth. But the thing is: you can’t really go into depth without writing long content. Which brings us to long-form content.
In this regard, Ilir Salihi of FreedomRep opines, “write longer content. A 2,000 word, in-depth article will take much longer to read than a 300-word blog post on the same topic.”
But why so many words? Because “the more thorough content
will also likely provide a better answer to the reader’s search query.”
Besides, Wyatt International’s Coral Luck points out, “it’s been shown that well-thought-out, long-form content outperforms short content. Especially when that content is readable and digestible.”
Plus, there’s another benefit to long-form content that Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging notes, “the longer your quality content is, the more internal links you can put in your post. The more internal links you have, the more traffic your other posts get and the longer people will stay on your site.”
However, Salihi warns, “do not publish longer content just for the sake of filling more words on the page. Low value ‘fluffy’ content doesn’t help your readers, and won’t keep them engaged on your page. By focusing on well written long-form content, you’ll naturally increase the dwell time on key pages of your website.”
8. Use a Table of Contents
So, you’ve decided to create a long-form piece of content
that covers the A-Z of a topic. Question now is: how will you tell your readers
exactly what you cover quickly? With a table of contents!
David Michael of David Michael Digital shares, “I use the ‘easy table of contents’ plugin to allow visitors to navigate to the part of the page that captures their attention straight away.
This way, when people land and instantly resist the idea of
scrolling through long-form copy, they can click a link to the part of the page
that interests them instead of exiting immediately.”
9. Work on making your content easy to read
In other words, improve content readability. Although we’ve already mentioned this in passing, this tip in important enough to merit its own section.
Hima Pujara of Your Team In India says, “content readability is a key factor for retaining customers to your webpage.”
So, what’s included in making your content easy to digest? “Proper content structuring includes clear
headings, short paragraphs, more whitespace, less passive voice, use of
synonyms, and transition words. Hence, Readable, Relatable Content with
media increase dwell time,” Pujara answers.
Always keep in mind: “When searchers land on a page that’s just a wall of text, they’ll bounce,” reminds Leighton Interactive’s Travis McGinnis.
Besides, Marta Ceccato of Sapiens Media Coaching shares, “reading content on a screen – especially a mobile screen can be tiring, so users are more likely to skim through the page.”
- “Use short paragraphs and clear headings so
users can easily skim the page and pull out the highlights.” – Travis McGinnis,
- “Use different types of content to break apart
the post into easily digestible chunks, like images, graphs, pull quotes, or
videos.” – Travis McGinnis, Leighton Interactive
- “Use headings and bullet points, and leverage
different font styles to highlight the most important parts of your article.” Marta Ceccato, Sapiens Media Coaching
One last thing to try is “content chunking” recommended by Kenny Trinh of Netbooknews. “As the name implies, content chunking is a strategy where you make your content shorter and easier to understand by organizing them in a way where readers can get what you’re saying easily.
A good example of this would be adding bullet points, a
numbered list, and creating short sentences and paragraphs that are easier to
understand. Avoid long paragraphs because it just complicates things!”
Lastly, don’t forget to “make content easy-to-find (above the fold!). Don’t bury answers to questions below header images (or even worse, ads!),” Embrk’s Ekaterina Ederer writes.
10. Add relevant, interesting links to your content
This is essential for further improving the value your content offers. Jake Fisher of Bridges Strategies comments, “give website users multiple options, above the fold, to dig deeper into content that is specific for their situation, in the form of a link to another piece of content on your site.
For example, if the key page is about gardening, give users
the option of clicking to pages about vegetable gardening, flower gardening,
container gardening, etc.”
Joinative’s Adelina Karpenkova also shares, “at the moment, we’re working on improving dwell time of our blog posts, as from there people can learn more about native advertising and get interested in our services.
As a native advertising agency, we decided that having a
‘content recommendation’ widget below blog posts (like Taboola or similar
native ad platforms provide) will be the most interesting decision. In this
widget, we add three links to the most relevant posts to the topic being
11. Add internal links to your content as well
Your Team In India’s Hima
Pujara suggests, “to increase dwell time, you can interlink your key
Hamna Amjad of Smith
Thompson explains the reasoning behind this: “your goal should be to keep readers on your blog for as long as
possible. Hence, use internal linking to direct readers to other content on
your blog that they might be interested in.”
Just make sure these internal links go to “highly relevant content you have that progressively educates your audience,” highlights Chameleon Collective’s Stephane Gringer. “Pilar content is key to making sure your articles always have a fallback to link to.”
However, Pujara warns, “make sure, you must not provide lots of hyperlink. As it reduces the content readability.”
You can always beat that with a “use-related content or posts widget within your key pages. So, that audience can read more about your products and services.”
Related: How to Use Internal Links to Boost SEO and the User Experience
12. Optimize your landing page copy
Unbounce’s Colin Loughran writes, “the top tip for any industry, to get visitors to stay on your website: optimize your landing page copy for your specific industry. That means optimize your word count, copy sentiment, and reading ease. Copy, more than anything else on a landing page, impacts your conversions.”
Loughran shares an example to explain his point further, “let’s
take a specific, common example: SaaS companies trying to sell their software
online. The basic tip for them: simplify.
Why is that? Software as a Service (SaaS) landing pages are
the most difficult to read of all the ones we analyzed, while pages for
catering and restaurants had the simplest copy overall.
It’s hard to get people to stay on your page if they can’t
follow what you’re trying to tell them. And that complexity could be a reason
why SaaS pages convert 10% lower than the overall industry median (eg. compared
to online media, business software, cybersecurity, etc).
You might be wondering how we know this. As it happens, we just came out with a Conversion Benchmark Report that dug deep into the performance of 16 major industries, based on a machine learning analysis of more than 186 million visits and 19 million conversions on 34 thousand landing pages. In fact, it might be enough fodder for a stand-alone story.”
Related: Landing Page Optimization: How to Identify the Right Tests for Increasing Conversions
13. Add video to your page
Several of our experts appreciate video for its role in improving dwell time. In fact, Paul Symonds of Promarketingonline calls it “an easy but very effective way to improve dwell time”
An embedded video into your post makes “your readers spend an extra 5 to 10 minutes or so with your page open if they are watching the video from within your webpage or blog post.”
SearchItLocal’s Alexander Porter goes on to add, “consumer behavior has changed so rapidly that previous ‘best practices’ are out of date almost as quick as they appear.
With the proliferation of ephemeral content – think Instagram stories, Facebook stories, and Snapchat, consumers are accustomed to consuming content quickly. Attempting to hold interest through captivating writing or perfectly crafted headlines won’t hold attention.
Videos are the natural choice to keep people engaged and
increase time spent on page.”
Porter, however, agrees, “this is easier said than done. of
course. You can’t include any old video and expect dwell time to rise. But by crafting simple, engaging content that is
highly relevant to the search intent of your audience, you can see massive
However, “even if it’s not to your Youtube channel, it’s a great idea to find the best video out there and put that near the fold,” notes Handshaking’s Matt Holmes. “Plus, it might be a backlink opportunity from a big Youtube channel’s website.”
Related: The Best Video Gear & Tools for Marketers
Here some tips to
bear in mind as you plan video content:
- Ensure the video is relevant. “For, an example, an article about how to make a flat roof should contain a video and links to related pages like ‘what tools do you need to make a flat roof’. That way people will stay longer and explore more pages on your site.” – Filip SIlobod, Partel Ireland
- “To make sure visitors actually play the video, it must be placed in the right position to blend in with the content. Make sure to use an attractive thumbnail to encourage users to click.” – Prabin Yonzon, Pure SEO
- “Have the video auto-play when the page loads. Just make sure the sound is off when the video starts playing – there is nothing more jarring than loading a page and having noise jump out at you. If you do this, you are more likely to see people jumping off that page quickly,” – Laura Dodds, Bluberry Creative.
But what exactly should your video cover?
Like Holmes noted,
you can share any relevant video if you don’t have a YouTube channel.
Alternatively, give these ideas a shot:
- “If your key page includes a product, including some sort of a demo video can help to engage page viewers and keep them on your page longer.” – Tony Mastri,MARION Marketing Agency
“For example, if you’re marketing software, replacing a screenshot of your user interface with a video of someone working in your software environment will almost always increase your page dwell time. The beauty of this solution is that it actively demonstrates the benefits of your product, and the demo length is in your control.”
- “Re-use the images and content of the page to create a video slideshow. In less than 5 minutes, you can have a video you can add to your page to increase dwell time – it’s really as simple as taking the content of that page and using a video creator to create slides with the same content.” – Nate Rodriguez, LIFTOFF Digital
What’s more, “if you’re really ambitious, break the page into sections with visual variation (different backgrounds, background-colors, variations on the layout.),” recommends JohnLocke from Lockedown Design & SEO. “That is another way to keep people’s interest and encourage them to scroll further down the page, adding dwell time to their session.”
14. Use infographics and other visuals in your content
Besides video, you can try other visuals in your content too because “aesthetics are important. No matter how great the words are on a page, if it doesn’t look visually appealing, the likelihood is your bounce rate is about to go up,” Global App Testing’s Amelia Whyman shares.
Andrew Ruditser of MaxBurst also makes the same observation, “the use of these type of visuals (including images and videos) throughout your site will keep the user interested and wanting to learn more, resulting in a lower bounce rate and higher dwell time.”
Not to mention, “plenty of images to break up large sections of text. Large blocks of text can seem like a lot to take in and will turn a visitor away,” Surple’s Sean Oldfield shares.
Lauren Friederman from TopSpot Internet Marketing makes another good point: “improving dwell time is about improving the customer experience. You have to provide engaging content. This includes the valuable information they came to the site to find, organized in such a way as to draw the visitor’s eye down the page. Images should be used to create visual interest and be planned strategically.”
Wondering which visuals work the best? These do:
“Original graphics and data work great and there are a lot
of free online tools available to create custom elements for your content.
These boost engagement and your content stands out from the crowd.
Users spend more time looking at your custom visuals and they return back to the SERP later. You can hire a graphic designer to create unique headline photos, but sometimes you can take a photo yourself and use it. Readers value custom visuals over stock illustrations,” advises Kinsta’s Tom Zsomborgi
David Michael of David
Michael Digital shares, “I often place long and detailed infographics before
the first external link. Normal behavior indicates that people are desperate to
scroll and click links as soon as possible. By adding interesting infographics
high up the page, they tend to stay longer.”
But, always make sure “the infographic should be related to the title of that page and capture the visitors’ attention,” according to Grill Smoke Love’s Joonas Jokiniemi.
15. Use engaging elements on your page
Or, elements your audience can interact with. To this end, Fingent’s Saheen Najeeb recommends “have a photo gallery or slideshow on the page, include videos, a Call to Action Form. A call extension to make sure visitors interact with the elements on your page.”
But that’s not it. Najeeb advises, “simply having the above
elements won’t do the trick. With the help of your web developer or platform
like tag manager, track the action on these elements with the help of ‘Event
It will provide you insights on how to improve the dwell
time and take further changes on your page to increase the dwell time. Such
actions will send hits to GA and can better track the time on a specific page.
It is important because by default GA only tracks events that generate a page
view (clicking internal links), we have to set up other non-page view events.”
You can also add “interactive activities such as a quiz, poll, etc.” to your page as Mia Liang of Upgrow recommends.
Stan Ventures’s Dileep Thekkethil has another suggestion: “give users multiple options of content based on their interest. However, these must not be forced upon but rather be used as intuitively and naturally as possible.”
16. Take care of screen placement
Darius Jokubaitis of Attention Insight suggests you ensure, “you display your content on screens ideally located to capture your target viewer’s attention” since you only have “somewhere between 4 to 7 seconds to grab users’ attention.”
“Placement might seem like an easy subject, but it’s more
complicated than it looks at first glance. There’s a myriad of possibilities,
all of which can become an essential part of your marketing strategy.
Awesome content matters but what if it is only showed but
not seen. For this reason, use tools that can predict where users will look
while engaging with your page.
Eye-tracking would be a traditional and expensive way of doing this. Fortunately, there is Attention Insight – a visual attention prediction algorithm based on deep learning. In simple words, it’s a more accurate, affordable, and faster automated eye-tracking study.”
17. Work on the navigation and user experience
It’s essential you let “users have a good experience with
the page” Elena Lordache from Stoica.co
“Let them easily skim through the content by using headings, visual aids, and make sure that you include all the information users expect from the page.
Is this a services page? Then don’t leave pricing out of it; even if you’re selling a service that is not fixed price, you can still explain how pricing works and give out a minimum and a maximum range.”
In short, “really think about how users will interact with a page and make the information that interests them easy to reach.” Your goal should be to reduce overwhelm as visitors land on your page recommends Alice Stevens of Best Company.
Try to find that answer to the following: “When readers open
your page, are they overwhelmed by an unbroken mass of text?” If so, you
already know the step you need to take to make the page easy to consume.
Need a reminder? “This can be done by adding related content (like additional article entries), use internal linking to point the user in the direction you want or by adding infographics/content tables in the middle of the blocks of text to make the article/page more entertaining,” says Topflight Agency’s Pablo Lopez
Limecall’s Anushka Pandey jots down three pointers that need specific attention:
“1. Faster loading page (optimize code)
2. Improve copy
3. Improve UI /UX”
All this improves a visitor’s experience as they land on
18. Add a chatbot to your page
GetJenny’s Colm O Searcoid thinks “the solution is to make sure the page engages and speaks to your audience. There is nothing worse than landing on a page which is irrelevant — this reduces time on page and increases bounce rate. Speak to your audience.”
Here’s how: “If you want to know what your audience wants,
engage them with a conversation by getting a chatbot. Chat windows can pop-up
after your preferred delay and ask your visitor specific questions about their
experience. Because it’s an interactive conversational experience, you get a
higher engagement rate and learn what your visitor actually wants to know.
Plus, chatbot users see a 40% increase in their time on page metric after they’ve adopted a chatbot.”
Related: How to Get Higher Conversion Rates on Your Website with Chatbots
19. Pay attention to your opt-ins positioning
Freya Kuka of Collecting Cents shares “a very small change I made that increased my dwell time was removing opt-in popups and the notification bar opt-in.
I realized the opt-ins I was receiving from these forms were
not subscribers that were as engaged as the subscribers that had opted in
through a landing page or an in-content form. So, I decided to only add opt-in
forms within the content or through a link.
This massively affected my dwell time. Since I already have
ads on my website, popups and notification bar opt-ins simply annoy readers. If
they do choose to subscribe, it is pretty half-heartedly.
This is why removing these forms helped. My dwell time
increased because the site was more welcoming, faster to load, and less
I have also made simple changes like adding more images and
improving the layout of my site to make it look cleaner.”
The key takeaway, “less is more really works if you want to
improve dwell time.”
20. Improve page load speed
This is another very important tip. In fact, Heinrich Long of Restore Privacy says, “the very first thing we made sure with our website was that it had an optimal loading time because I know how important it is for dwell time. “
“More than three
seconds, and you lose visitors. Who wants to wait forever for a site to load?
Aim for one second and start optimizing. Start with images and work your way
through bloat and anything else that may be slowing down your website.”
EIC Marketing’s Alistair Dodds also points out, “40% of users will bounce if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. As such, this is the first pressing step to taking in improving dwell time.”
To begin with, Dodds advises you “use Google Pagespeed
Insights tool to identify the issues Google Lighthouse finds with your page.
Elements you can quickly address include reducing image file sizes and using
plugins like WP Smush to compress file sizes.”
Also, don’t forget to “ensure that your page loading speeds are as fast for mobile devices as well since just about everyone has one. Incorporate this simple tip and you will see vast improvement to your site’s dwell time,” highlights Emily Moore from Colorescience.com.
For that, “you should also use an Accelerated Mobile Pages
plugin to optimize for mobile users who make up the majority of search users
today,” Dodds suggests.
21. Offer important information in the middle of the page
“One of the easiest tips we can give as an e-commerce store to improve the engagement is to place the vital information towards the middle of the website,” insists Rizwan Girach of Chessgammon.
Girach shares, “this, in turn, will automatically mean potential visitors need to scroll down, therefore, engaging and spending longer to access this information. This is a big factor when google measures each website for its relevant ranking, this is certainly a very easy and manageable tip for anyone to adapt their website.”
22. Open your comments section
Progress ABMS’ Kuan Yung Teng is of the view that “having a comments section on your blog encourages passionate readers to leave their thoughts down and questions for the author.”
“In this case, the author or owner of the site should
actively reply to these comments and stay engaged with commenters. This helps
to build a strong community that is committed to sharing and learning new
insights. Hence, this would increase the dwell time of your site as the comments
section has now become a content hub, on top of your high-quality articles.”
23. Create content clusters
Bernice Quek of Orbital Fusion Technologies appreciates content clusters for boosting dwell time.
“Based on a main topic in mind, HubSpot suggests that blogs
should make use of a content cluster strategy. This refers to deciding on an
overarching topic (pillar content) that can be split into several in-depth
subtopics (content clusters).”
Content clusters help you to internally link your content too. “By writing one article for each subtopic, you will be able to have internal links linking from the pillar content page to each of the content clusters. This increases the dwell time on your site as each topic is highly related to one another and serves as a different chapter to fully comprehend the entire subject.”
24. Add an audio clip to your site
Another way to improve your reader’s experience includes
adding audio clips to your page. This way, those who don’t feel like reading
your content can listen to it.
Shana Haynie of Hearst Bay Area shares, “one tool we’ve been testing is the use of the BingeWith audio player. You can embed code into your site which will make any of your articles ‘playable,’ which allows your audience to consume the content without skimming through.”
25. Give each page on your site a purpose
Lastly, Tyler Bream of Left Foot Marketing recommends, “make sure each page on your website has a clear and specific purpose and scrub everything that takes away from that singular purpose.
Why? Because “if
someone doesn’t immediately know why they are on your page, they won’t stay
there very long. But, if your page is clear, specific, and exactly what they
are looking for, they’ll stay, learn, and purchase your products.”
Ready to improve your dwell time?
Here’s hoping you now have a full understanding of what dwell time is and how you can improve it. Let’s wrap this up in, CricBlog’s Charbel Coorey’s words, “it is crucial to ensure that [your visitors] experience is as seamless and friendly as possible.
If the user is overwhelmed with too much text, or the
content is poorly presented, they may bounce quickly off your site, which
represents a huge missed opportunity.
Hook the reader in early, use assertive language and space content effectively using paragraphs, bullet points, and statistics (where applicable) so that content is as easy on the eye as possible.”