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A toddler playing with a toy for hours (I never thought I’d start out a Blue Corona blog post talking about babies—but there’s a first time for everything, right?). A museum patron lingering at a specific painting. You playing a song on repeat. Seems random, but what do all of these have in common?
The toddler is fascinated by the toy, the museum-goer enjoys the painting, and you love the song. The same thing goes for consumers and your website—if someone finds your website in Google and stays on it for a while, looking around, reading the content, browsing photos, etc., you can conclude that they are generally happy with it and have found what they’re looking for. If they find your website hard to navigate, super annoying to use—or simply don’t find what they are searching for—users won’t linger. They will go right back to Google and find another website (maybe your competitor). Which brings me to the topic of this blog post…
An Important Website User Metric: Dwell Time
Dwell time, though often overlooked, is important when it comes to SEO influence and website conversion rate. It’s not a metric in the same sense as, say, exit rate or anything else. It’s essentially the length of time a user stays (dwells) on your website. Neil Patel, in a Search Engine Journal article, says it well—dwell time “calculates user engagement, session duration, and SERP CTRs. It is a data point that is not publicly available (or thoroughly understood), but is nonetheless a factor that affects a site’s search engine results…Dwell time combines…session duration and bounce rate.”
Patel goes on to explain a few ways you can improve your dwell time and, therefore, your SEO:
- Use the right keywords
- Have a website that is functional and user-friendly
- Have a clear website layout
- Increase your website page load time
While improving website speed and doing everything else listed above are undoubtedly important, there are other things you can do to help users stay on your website longer (which, in turn, helps you rank better in Google and other search engines).
Ways to Increase Dwell Time & Engage Users
So what can you do to improve dwell time on your website and make sure users stay?
Target the right audience
In addition to choosing the right keywords, you need to also make sure you’re targeting the right demographics. Know your audience and cater to them.
Incorporating humor is good and all, but making a “YOLO” or “selfie” joke on a business blog where the majority of your visitors are 40-year-old men doesn’t really make sense. Are you a custom home builder? Write in a way that illustrates you understand your consumers are looking to build their dream home and that you can turn their vision into a reality. The right language can go a long way.
Write an enticing title
If users have a hard time just getting past your title, there’s a problem. Remember—the more engaging your website is, the longer users will stay. What’s a better title for a blog post: “Increasing Home Energy Efficiency” or “5 Easy Ways to Save Money This Summer”? The latter is more specific and speaks more strongly to the user’s emotions and desires.
Create internal links
Let’s say a user has found your remodeling website and is looking at your “kitchen remodeling” page. They want to learn more about transitional style kitchens because it was mentioned on the page—but there’s no link to it. They look around your website for a bit, trying to find something about transitional kitchens but can’t find your blog post about that topic because it’s on the fourth page of the blog! So they leave your website.
This type of scenario can easily be solved by creating internal links (links to pages within your website, rather than an external source). Put links to more specific topics on top-level service pages. Using that last example, add a link to your transitional kitchens blog post (and blog posts on other specific kitchen styles) on your main kitchens page.
Have good photos
This is especially important for companies in photo-centric industries (home remodeling, landscape design, etc.). The best remodeling websites have photo galleries. But this doesn’t mean websites in other industries (plumbing, HVAC, pet health, etc.) should overlook photos. In fact, having a “meet the team” picture or a photo of the outside of your building can increase your online authority and legitimacy—users are more likely to trust you.
Need Help with a Plan?
If you have no idea how to get started with making your current website more appealing to your target audience so they’ll stay and turn into leads, let the Blue Corona team help. We have experience building websites and writing content for a variety of companies in a variety of industries, from HVAC to home design.
Ready to improve your website? Get started with a free analysis!
About The Author: Alanna is the Quality Assurance Manager in Blue Corona's Maryland office. When she's not triple-checking websites and content for errors and consistency, you can find her at the gym with her twin sister or urban exploring with her husband.
View more blogs by Alanna Hernandez