The difference between successful and unsuccessful websites is the ability to engage visitors effectively.

One of the metrics used to measure engagement is dwell time, also known as average session duration. It's about how much time a person spends on your website during one visit before they leave or navigate away.

Dwell time is important because it helps understand what content resonates with people and what doesn't. Read on to understand the importance of dwell time and ways to improve it.

Does dwell time have any impact on search engine rankings?

Dwell time has become an essential ranking factor in search engine optimization. Google measures how much time users spend on a webpage, and if the amount is too low, it will reduce the page's ranking in its results.

Say you search for a specific keyword and click on one of the results but immediately leave the page before reading it. That's an indication to Google that the content isn't helpful.

What's the difference between dwell time, bounce rate, and time on page?

Dwell time. Time on page. Bounce rate. These terms are similar because they are all measures of how long users spend on a site or web page.

Having already defined dwell time, consider these descriptions of bounce rate and time on page to understand their differences.

  • Bounce rate is the percentage of single page visits to your site. It's what happens when a visitor lands on your website, doesn't click any other pages, and leaves after viewing only one page. For more info, read: 10 Ways To Reduce Bounce Rate.

  • Time on page is the average time users spend on a specific webpage. It indicates what writers and content creators should focus on when creating site content.

How to track dwell time

Tracking dwell time is critical to understand what content resonates with people, what pages they find interesting, and what actions they take on your website.

Google Analytics is an excellent tool for tracking the average session duration of visitors, so you can see what kind of content performs best. You'll also see how much time people spend on a specific page, what content they interact with, and what actions they take.

What dwell time or average session duration looks like

The average session duration can be different for each website depending on what type of content is offered. Generally speaking, an average session duration between 2 and 4 minutes is considered ideal.

11 ways to increase dwell times on your site

With a good dwell time, you can achieve higher search engine rankings, more conversions, and better site visitor engagement. Here are 11 quick tips to increase dwell time on your website.

1. Offer great content

Provide visitors with valuable and compelling information so they stay longer to learn more. This information could be anything from data-driven articles to how-to guides.

For example, if you sell gardening equipment, offer detailed tutorials or write-ups on what plants to grow and the materials needed to thrive.

2. Make sure your content is easy to read and understand

Using plain, easy-to-understand language will help visitors stay longer on your site as they won't be overwhelmed with difficult words.

The best way to achieve this is to break up the content into smaller chunks, using headings to make it easier for people to skim and find what they need.

3. Write compelling headlines

Use catchy headlines that draw people in so they stay longer to read your content. People are likelier to read your articles or landing pages if you have attractive headlines.

Think of headlines as a way to grab attention and let people know what they can expect from your content.

4. Personalize content

Use personalization techniques to create a more customized experience for each visitor, encouraging them to stay longer.

Personalizing content based on what visitors are looking for or have already looked at can help create an engaging experience and keep them on the website longer.

Learn more about producing great content: 9 Ecommerce Content Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Strategy.

5. Add visuals

Use visuals such as images, videos, and graphs to convey your message in an engaging way. Adding visuals to your website can help draw visitors' attention, as they are more likely to stay longer if what they see is interesting and engaging.

Images, infographics, videos, and other visuals can make complex topics easier to understand and encourage people to keep exploring the content on your website.

6. Improve website navigation

Make it easy for people to find what they are looking for on your website. A well-designed website navigation menu will help visitors quickly and easily find what they need.

People can get what they want faster, increasing the possibility of them checking out your other pages.

7. Include interactive elements

Adding interactive elements such as polls, surveys, and quizzes can help keep visitors engaged with your site for longer.

You can use these elements to engage visitors, get feedback and collect data about what content resonates with them, which will help inform future decisions.

8. Optimize page loading speed

Slow page loading times will cause visitors to quickly click away from your site. Ensure your website is optimized for speed so visitors don't have to wait too long for pages to load.

Using a good hosting provider and optimizing images can help improve page loading times so visitors stay longer on your site.

9. Make use of internal linking

Linking to other pages on your site will keep visitors engaged as they explore your offerings.

Including internal links to related content in your articles can help visitors stay longer on the website and discover what you have to offer.

10. Create a sense of urgency

Adding a sense of urgency with offers or deals will encourage people to take action and stay on the website longer.

For example, if you offer a free download, include a time limit to make people want to act fast.

11. Provide social proof

Including quotes and reviews from satisfied customers will improve the time visitors spend on your website.

Social proof can help visitors understand what kind of experience they can expect and what other people think about your offer.

Go beyond website engagement, and connect with customers via interactive SMS conversations

Dwell time is a critical metric for understanding what type of content resonates with people and what doesn't and for measuring user engagement. It's also a helpful factor for search engine optimization, as it affects how your pages are ranked.

Check out our piece Website Analytics to learn about other insights you should track beyond dwell time. And if you'd like to engage your site visitors beyond random, unpredictable visits here and there, consider interacting with them via SMS.

With an industry-standard SMS marketing platform like Emotive, you can start conversations with customers, answer their questions, share special offers, keep them updated, and drive sales. Want to master using SMS to drive customer engagement and boost marketing ROI? Book an Emotive demo today!