Dwell Time: An Important Metric You’re Not Measuring
Dwell time, the amount of time a user spends on your page before going back to the search results to find something else is an important user experience metric. It gives website owners an idea of how useful readers find their content and whether or not it meets their needs.
Search engines consider dwell time an indicator of how engaging your content is. After all, if users are clicking on your web page from SERPs and staying there for a considerable amount of time, it would mean that your content was able to meet their needs.
For example, imagine you’re at the mall shopping for a new fall jacket, and all the different stores in front of you represent a different search result (like below).
Let’s say you walk into the Old Navy store but are turned off by a rude employee, so within 1 minute of walking into the store, you leave.
Now, because of your previous experience, you’re still looking for that fall jacket so you stop in at the Ann Taylor store. The store is brightly lit, the employees are friendly, and you loved one of their jackets so much that you bought it after browsing for 9 minutes.
If your experience with Old Navy and Ann Taylor had been online instead of in-person, dwell times would have been 1 minute and 9 minutes respectively.
Given the Ann Taylor experience was far better, Google would place higher importance on their site, showing it to a greater number of searchers due to the positive interaction.
The more time people spend performing a search, clicking on your website, and interacting with it signals that your website satisfied the searchers’ intent. The more your website can fulfill this need, the more Google will reward you with higher rankings.
How You Can Optimize For Long Dwell Time
- Have a quick page load speed. People are impatient and want websites to load quickly and you’ll be rewarded for it if yours does. In fact, Walmart had a 1% increase in online revenue for every 100 ms of improvement.
- Make your website easy to use. If people are distracted by images, don’t find your website helpful, or can’t find the pages they’re looking for, then they’ll leave. Plain and simple.
- As the number of Google searches on mobile is increasing, 60% to be exact, you’re website needs to be quick and easy to navigate on a mobile device.
Want a website that is optimized for a high Dwell Time and other things that Google loves to see? Then our experienced website designers at Wilmington Design Co. are here to help you!