Dwell Time for SEO: What It Means & 25 Ways to Improve It

Author's avatar Marketing UPDATED Feb 2, 2023 PUBLISHED Aug 5, 2020 36 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    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:

    1. Know your target audience well
    2. Ensure the content you offer on your page aligns with the search intent
    3. Ensure your first impression is a good one
    4. Create quality content
    5. Show readers your page has the answer to their query
    6. Write tight introductions
    7. Write long-form content
    8. Use a Table of Contents
    9. Work on making your content easy to read
    10. Add relevant, interesting links to your content
    11. Add internal links to your content as well
    12. Optimize your landing page copy
    13. Add video to your page
    14. Use infographics and other visuals in your content
    15. Use engaging elements on your page
    16. Take care of screen placement
    17. Work on the navigation and user experience
    18. Add a chatbot to your page
    19. Pay attention to your opt-ins positioning
    20. Improve page load speed
    21. Offer important information in the middle of the page
    22. Open your comments section
    23. Create content clusters
    24. Add an audio clip to your site
    25. Give each page on your site a purpose

    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.

    “Think about 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 posts.”

    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 your favor?

    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 things:

    • 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, Leighton Interactive
    • “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 explained above.”

    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 pages.”

    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 improvements.”

    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
    • “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:

    • Illustrated visuals

    “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

    • Infographics

    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 Tracking’.

    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 comments.

    “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 your page.

    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 annoying.

    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.”

    Landingi’s Karola Stachowicz suggests, “the process of loading time optimization involves the reduction of image sizes and the use of cache. You also need to improve the Javascript and HTML code and server response time.”

    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.”

    Once you have these tips rolling, use an SEO dashboard software to visually monitor your content’s dwell time.


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    Masooma Memon

    Masooma is a freelance writer for SaaS and a lover to-do lists. When she's not writing, she usually has her head buried in a business book or fantasy novel.

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