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One of the best ways to let people know about your business is through a website. Over half of all website traffic comes from organic searches and over 40% of revenue is captured by that traffic. But getting people to your website is only half the battle. Keeping them there is what really counts. Dwell time refers to 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 SERP results. The longer they spend on that page, the better the chance of a conversion.

Content is Still King

Produce content that shows up on a search

Dwell time demands good content. If you want someone to spend time on your website, you need to give them a compelling reason to do so. The reason you appeared on a SERP is because of keywords relevant to a user search. If that user clicks on your link and finds the information they were looking for, that’s good content—more on that below. However, if the user clicks on your link and doesn’t find what they’re looking for, they won’t dwell at all—more on that right now.

Reasons People Click Away

People tend to spend only a few seconds evaluating whether the page they’ve clicked on has the information they need or if they’ll be hitting the back button. Here are a few of the things that will reduce your dwell time to nothing:

  • You didn’t answer their question
  • The page is hard to read or confusing
  • Your content doesn’t align with keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions
  • Slow page load speeds
  • Sites that aren’t mobile friendly

Increasing Dwell Time

If you want to increase dwell time, give the people what they want. Useful content and a good user experience result in more dwell time. If a user clicks your link and the information they want is above the fold and easy to access, you’ve made a good first impression you can build on. Here are some other tools and tips for increasing dwell time:

person absorbed in laptop dwell time with only arms visible on either side of laptop
Make your site sticky for longer dwell time
  • Be the customer. What do people who land on your site want to know? What kind of information are they looking for? Answer these questions for good content.
  • Design a layout that’s appealing and easy to navigate will keep people from clicking away immediately
  • Make your site visually interesting. Include pictures that are relevant to their search.
  • Aim for the kind of bold headlines that pull readers in, address questions or concerns, and compel people to keep reading.
  • Use video. Users spend as much as 88% more time on websites with video.
  • Stats, infographics, and other easily consumable content are eye-catching. They help convince a searcher you have the information they want to see, making them more willing to stick around.
  • Have strong internal links. Send the user around your website, helping them drill deeper.

A Practical Example of Dwell Time

If someone searches for “animated video production Toronto” and lands on the Key West Video website, that’s great! They’ll end up on our corporate animation and motion graphics page which will tell them how we produce animated videos in the Toronto area. From there, they may click to see some of our samples, then they may click on our free quotes page. All of this clicking is enabled by content that answers questions the searcher is looking for. And they’ve navigated around our site and found out more about us and our work. That’s dwell time, and it pays off.

More Site Time = More Conversions

When someone stays on a website for a long time, it demonstrates that they found useful, authoritative content that was worth sticking around for. When that happens, Google’s algorithms notice and reward you with a higher ranking. These are two factors that lead to conversions. Create the kind of content that results in dwell time and we think you’ll see the payoff when it comes to conversions.

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