Having a strong website for your business would affect your sales significantly. The more visitors visit your website, the more chances you have to advertise your products/services. The key to having a strong website is to improve its website dwell time. This article provides nine simple tips for those who want to improve their website’s dwell time so that it gets a higher ranking by search engines.
What is dwell time?
When users search for information on the web, they type in a word, phrase, or sentence and hit the search box. Then, within seconds, the search engines find and list the most related pages. Normally, all users start from the page ranked first. After viewing the first page’s content, users go back to check the other pages. The amount of time a user spends on a certain page before going back to the search engine results is referred to as “dwell time”. As an example, now that you’re reading these lines you have been here for probably 30 seconds or so. If all readers click back right after reading this paragraph, the dwell time of this page will be around 30 seconds. But, if they continued reading this article to the end, the website dwell time of this page would be some 5-6 minutes. That being said, let’s delve into the main factors contributing to a high dwell time on a website.
How to improve website dwell time?
There are a couple of techniques you can apply to improve your website’s dwell time. These techniques are either content-oriented or page-oriented, and they are equally important. Putting high-quality content on a poorly-designed page takes you nowhere, and neither does low-quality content on a well-designed page. That being said, let’s see what you can do to improve your website’s dwell time.
Do some research before starting to write
If you want to write a blog on your website, you should know that others have already written blogs similar to yours. You could hardly, if ever, come up with a topic idea that has never been talked about. Therefore, it is essential to write in a way that your content is engaging and does not seem redundant. The best way to make sure that your audience will like your blog is to do some research and brush up on your information. By checking the latest blogs related to your topic, you will get an idea of what you should include in your content and what new information you can add to make your post richer than the existing ones. Covering a topic without adding to your audience’s existing knowledge would be a waste of time.
Know your audience’s main concerns
What you put on your blog should address the main concerns of your target audience and answer all their questions. Be it a piece of text, an infographic, or a video clip, when your content is not related to your audience’s main concerns, it will give them a good reason to leave the page immediately. To find out about the main concerns of your audience, view websites that cover the same niches as yours. By doing so, you will get an idea of what topics to prioritise and how to approach them.
Create high-quality content
After finding out what your audience expects and getting some fresh information, it is time to create the content. The first thing to remember is to create a table of content. Don’t expect your audience to read your post from beginning to end. To think that all your readers have time to read your blog thoroughly is a false assumption. Break your text into separate sections with headings and subheadings and create a table of content to help your readers understand the structure of your text. If you do so, your readers can immediately go to the sections they want and get the information they need. The picture below shows a nice table of content in an article about search engine optimisation (SEO).
You might think that having a table of content on your page results in a low website dwell time as the reader may leave the page soon after reading the section he was looking for. Although this might well be the case, not having a table of content would give the impression that the text has been written by an unprofessional writer and has no value. As a result, the viewer who may spend 1-2 minutes reading one section of your post would leave as soon as the page is loaded.
Keep your paragraphs short and check for mistakes
Apart from time limitations, you should always consider your readers’ mental state. Overloading your readers with lengthy unappealing information would tire them. Try to address only one issue in each paragraph and cover it in 3-8 sentences. Doing so will make your text easy to follow and enjoyable to read. This, however, does not mean that you can treat the subject as trivial and leave out essential information. Just remember to stick to the main topic of the paragraph and write just about that topic without shifting to other topics or repeating one idea several times.
After writing your final draft, it is highly recommended to close read it once or twice to check for grammar and spelling mistakes. You can do even better by asking a friend or colleague to proofread your text and improve its quality. There are also various writing assistant tools you can use to ensure your blog post is void of any mistakes and has a high quality. Such tools spot errors or misspellings and suggest the best options to correct or replace them. Similarly, they detect confusing or poorly structured chunks of language and give you ideas to improve them.
Keep the balance
Every post on your website should focus primarily on one subject and deal with it in great detail. In a typical post, a problem is raised, and then one or several solutions are proposed. A common mistake among many bloggers is that they immediately provide the solution to the problem or answer the central question in the first paragraph and make the rest of their article worthless. Here is an example of such posts:
Although there might be other valuable information in the rest of the post, most readers would leave the page after getting the answer to their main question. A good blog post should provide the solution in the middle or through the end of the post so that users spend more time on your page and bring your website a higher dwell time. At the same time, you should not keep your readers waiting for too long. Providing unnecessary information solely to make them stay there is an equally destructive mistake. By scanning the first few paragraphs, users will realise if your post is going to give them something new or not. If they decide that your content is not approaching the main topic properly, they will definitely leave the page and never look back.
Never underestimate the power of infographics. What you may not be able to convey in 100 words can easily be depicted using a chart or picture. Occupying little space, charts can contain tons of information and save your readers time considerably. Whenever possible, post video clips on your pages as well. Compared to reading a text, watching a video clip demands less energy and attention while sustaining a higher level of interest. Also, using infographics shows that you are a professional blogger dedicated to educating his/her audience in the best way possible. Last but not least, infographics enhance users’ tendency to share your post and consequently bring more traffic to your website.
Engage your audience
The topic you write about is of great value; however, how you start your blog post is considerably more critical. According to one study in 2011, users spend 10-20 seconds before deciding to leave the page or continue reading. It means that you only have 10-20 seconds to hook your readers in. Thus, it is of utmost importance to begin your blog in a highly engaging manner and convey the idea that your post contains absolutely essential information, something that readers would not find elsewhere. One thing that can help you write engaging content is to touch upon topics that are of high interest to your readers. Don’t write about outdated events without shedding new lights on an overlooked aspect. One other way to engage your audience and increase your website’s dwell time is to allow comments for users. After a while, you’ll realise that many users spend a long time leaving comments on your posts or replying to other comments.
Use links with great caution
Inserting links in a text has several benefits for your website. External links bring more authority to your website, while internal links bond your pages and contribute to your website’s dwell time. Nevertheless, links should be used economically and, for that matter, with great care. Too many links distract users and make them nervous, while misplaced links lower your dwell time. If you insert external links in the introductory paragraphs, chances are that users click on them and exit your page. Therefore, it’s better not to insert any external links in the first two paragraphs. Keep in mind to include one link in every 300-500 words. You should also remember to link to high-authority websites only.
Improve your website’s loading speed
As users, we all tend to get impatient when a page does not load in five seconds or less. As a matter of fact, the ideal loading time for a page is said to be two seconds. Less is more desirable. Therefore, you should take several measures to make your website load in a matter of seconds. Here’s what you should do:
- Compress images and clips before posting them on your website
- Select a hosting provider that provides the best server speed
- Use a lightweight theme
- Make use of content delivery networks
- Remove redirects on your website
- Clean your media library and database from time to time
What differentiates dwell time from, bounce rate or time-on-page?
Now that you know enough about dwell time, it seems necessary to know the difference between dwell time, bounce rate, and time-on-page. The distinction between dwell time and bounce rate is a delicate one. As mentioned above, dwell time refers to the length of time a viewer spends on a page before returning to the SERP. Bounce rate, on the other hand, refers to the percentage of users who visit a single page on your website and then go to other pages either on your website or any other sites. As for time-on-page, it refers to the time difference between the moment a visitor lands on a page and the time he goes to another page.
One factor which affects your website’s visibility is dwell time. Simply put, the higher your website’s dwell time, the stronger your website. This article provided ten tips to improve your website’s dwell time. If you already have a website and struggle to take it to the first page of Google, the tips above could help you achieve your goal. In case you need help with your website or have a question to ask, don’t hesitate to reach out and share your inquiry with us.