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11 Proven Ways to Increase Dwell Time

September 16, 2020

By Neil Patel

11 Proven Ways to Increase Dwell Time

Are you doing everything you can to rank for a specific keyword? Are you struggling to get on even the first page, much less the top?

Here’s the thing: there’s a good chance you are making a ton of mistakes that sends users back to the SERP.

After developing hundreds of high-ranking pages, I’m here to show you the role dwell time plays in ranking and how you can increase it.

Before I share 11 strategies to increase your dwell time, let’s look at what dwell time is and why it matters.

What is Dwell Time?

Dwell time is the length of time a user spends on your page before returning to SERP. Most SEOs consider dwell time to be a ranking signal, though Google hasn’t confirmed it.

As an example, let’s say you want to establish a better morning routine. So you Google “morning rituals.”

SERP screenshot example, how to increase dwell time

You click on the first result. But the page is hard to navigate, and the content’s not useful.

Within a few seconds, you hit back on your browser and click on the second result.

The second page has excellent content, and the website is easy to scroll through. You end up spending six minutes there and then go back to the SERP.

Now, if other people also spend more time on the second page, Google may factor that in their page rankings and demote the current first result. That will bump the #2 result up to #1.

Although Google hasn’t gone on the record to say dwell time is a ranking factor, the closest thing we’ve got so far is a Google engineer sharing this tidbit:

“So when search was invented… they wrote heuristics that had figure out what the relationship between a search and the best page for that search was. And those heuristics worked pretty well and continue to work pretty well.

But Google is now integrating machine learning into that process. So then training models on when someone clicks on a page and stays on that page, when they go back or when they and trying to figure out exactly on that relationship.”

Here’s another strong indicator that dwell time is at least a mild ranking factor: Google used to let you hide specific websites on the SERP after visiting them.

If you bounce fast from a page, you could block all results from a domain – because Google knew that if people left a page quickly, there was a good chance they didn’t like the content.

Over time, that feature was dropped, likely as Google better understood which sites were most useful.

Dwell Time Versus Time On Page

You may have heard of time on page, which is the amount of time a user is on a page until they go anywhere else.

dwell time versus time on page metrics for SEO

Time on page is based on two clicks:

1. A user visits your website.

2. The user then clicks …read more

Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog