What is Dwell Time and How Does it Impact SEO

In this article, you’ll find:

What is Dwell Time?

Dwell time is the amount of time a person spends on your website. It is calculated from when they leave a search engine, go to your webpage, be there for some time and then go back to the search engine. 

Dwell Time Definition
Definition of Dwell Time SEO Metric

During their stay on your website, the user analyzes your content to find the answer to their queries. They stay and navigate your web pages if they get their answer. Otherwise, they leave without any site interaction and return to the SERP page to seek answers from other websites.

What Are SEO Metrics?

As a digital marketer, it is important to keep track of SEO metrics. You can measure your work to check for progress, success, or failure, note the successes (what works), and identify the reasons for failure, and where you can improve. One way of assessing your work is by examining SEO metrics.

The following are the most common tools to measure SEO metrics:

When you implement SEO tactics, tracking and measuring that performance is easy. SEO metrics you can track are page ranking, traffic, engagement rate, leads, bounce rate, and dwell time. These metrics give you an insight into how the SEO strategies you have applied to your website perform.

Why Should You Measure SEO Metrics?

Measuring the performance is important as the results will give you details about organic search traffic, conversions, and revenue. Also, you will be able to know which feature to tweak to get the intended results.

Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its search algorithms and keeps updating them frequently. In the recent update of its algorithm, dwell time is also one of the SEO metrics considered while ranking the page as the most relevant and useful page.

It is a good SEP (Search Engine Projects) practice to check the SEO metrics if you wish to monitor the site interaction and check if it is healthy, properly optimized, and leads to conversion. 

Dwell Time, Bounce Rate, and Time On Page – The Differences

As a content marketer, you probably already know the importance of Dwell time and other SEO Metrics and why brands insist upon it. These engagement metrics will determine the quality of a site by how long people spend on it. It measures website user engagement rate and if they stayed there longer. This also gives you an idea about the user experience(UX) of your website.

If the dwell time is low, you need to analyze and find what has to be done to increase that metric. Dwell time is an important metric affecting SEO and depends on the user attention span and user behavior. Dwell time is the measure of time a user spends on your website clicking through your pages. 

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate measures how many clicks the user makes. A user can be on your website for an hour but might not click on any other page. It is called bounce rate when they leave your website without clicking on anything. 

Someone who spends a lot of time on the site but leaves without clicking on anything is called a bounce. The bounce rate deals with users who arrive on your website from SERP results and other websites. 

Bounce Rate Dashboard from Google Analytics
Bounce Rate from Google Analytics

Time On Page

Time on page is an important website metrics to measure how engaged your visitors are with your content.

For example, it makes sense to exclude the average session duration when visitors are not interacting with the page time on the page. Use tracking tools such as Google Search Console (GSC) to find out visit duration, session length and how they spent quality time on your website. You can find out whether they played the embedded video or skipped it, what pictures or information they clicked on, and other user interaction. Additionally, this metric will return when the user opens your web page and doesn’t do anything.

Time on Page from Google Analytics Dashboard
Time on Page from Google Analytics

Is Dwell Time a good Metric?

Absolutely. It’s a good metric to show marketers if their web pages capture the user engagement rate. It can tell you what to include on web pages and what to exclude. For example, you have a blog on your website called “Content Pillars for Social Media” that gets a high-click through rate but low page dwell time. 

Your blog article includes information on content pillars and how to create them. The user’s search intent might be more specific: to get information on how to content pillars on Instagram or TikTok. If your article fails that need, this is the reason why a given reader may get back to the SERP to seek answers from another source.

Dwell time reflects multiple clues about your webpage. Users leave the page if the page loading time is slow or UX/UI needs to be more appealing. This, too, is reflected in the dwell time metrics.

Dwell Time Indicates the Quality of your Content

Dwell time tells a lot about the quality of content on your webpage. A short page dwell time indicates that the users could not get the answers they were looking for, or it can be the other way around. They got the answer immediately. Therefore they left the page soon. 

Website user engagement rate get to your site through the SERP results. The SEO strategies you applied to your website helped you rank at the top of the SERP results. The users skim through your webpage to find their answers. 

They leave disappointed as they need help finding the answer, reducing their page dwell time. This indicates that you can work on the quality of the content so that users get the answers and handle the user attention span of the visitors. Align it to the user’s intent, discover keywords through research strategies, and the one that helps you to rank.

Search Engines Consider Dwell Time as a Metric for Ranking

A shorter dwell time might indicate to the RankBrain algorithm that the page does not contain the relevant answer. Google uses RankBrain to understand whether the results shown on the SERP pages are relevant to the user’s search intent. 

The RankBrain algorithm pushes such websites down and shows a different result for the same search query next time. It also understands the article’s relevancy through website metrics like organic click-through rate and the number of impressions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is dwell time?

Dwell time is a SEO metric that is calculated based on the time a user spends on your website searching for their query and going back to the SERP page.

2. What is a good dwell time?

A good dwell time is about 2 to 3 minutes, indicating the content on the website is good and answers the user’s query.

3. How can you increase dwell time?

To increase the dwell time, you need to make users stay on your website longer. For that, create content based on the user’s search intent by researching and creating content based on keyword research.

4. What are the reasons for a lesser dwell time?

Users exit your website for several reasons. These may be:

Your site is spammy.
The content is irrelevant.
The UI/UX could be more appealing.
The page loads slowly.
Your website needs to be mobile-friendly.
Too many pop-up windows.

Final Thoughts

There are various website metrics to measure the SEO performance of your site. Dwell time is important for page ranking as you can infer from the page dwell time value how useful and engaging your website is. 

Create content that is precise, relevant, and informative. You are already a step ahead in bringing the user to your webpage, and keeping them there for a longer period is desirable in the pursuit of SEO.

If you want to increase the dwell time and make your users stay on your website for longer, ask us. We will help you with your services.

Related Reads

If you found this article helpful then join our email list to receive time to time newsletters with valuable reads.

You may also like:

Leave a Comment