If you ever watched Trillions of Questions, No Easy Answers a movie about how Google Search works created by Google, you will know that Google’s big, #1 job is to figure how valuable a site is as quickly as possible.
There are billions of searches in hundreds of languages every day and Google has to understand both the search query and websites that answer that query.
Google ranks or prioritizes the websites by how valuable they are.
So SEO is a way to show Google how valuable your website is.
Now, there are many ranking factors that Google analyzes to determine who is awarded a Page 1 position, today in this post we are going to do a deep dive into Dwell Time, or Average Session Duration.
What is Average Session Duration?
Average Session Duration aka Dwell time is the amount of time a user spent on the site. The longer the time spent/dwell time Google will assume that the site is totally awesome and will send more users to the site. Dwell Time is one of my top three metrics that matter. If you haven’t read that one, check it out.
If the dwell time is very short, then Google will assume the opposite, Google will think that the site isn’t worth reading and will not send users to the site.
How to find your dwell time?
Before we can learn how to improve the amount of time users spend our site, we must figure out what our current dwell time is, right? Simply login to Google Analytics and go to Acquisition > Overview >> look for Avg. Session Duration.
Pro-Tip: A good dwell time is around 90 seconds and a poor dwell time is considered less than 12 seconds.
Tips to increase dwell time
According to Search Engine Land, the average dwell time for a site that ranks within the top 10 of a Google search can be as high as three minutes and 10 seconds.
Wow. 3 minutes and 10 seconds — that is a lifetime. To get users to spend that much time on a site means that the quality of the content must be excellent.
Dwell time is a huge ranking factor for Google.
1. Have Clear Navigation
Make it very easy for users to find where to go. The navigation of a site must be clear and easy to navigate. It is super important that your navigation provides users with the easiest path and with the fewest clicks.
Pro Tip: Within the blog, I highly recommend a sidebar to show users how to dig in deeper to your expertise. Remember, the more pages a user reads the higher your dwell time will be.
2. Create Engaging Content
All your content must have a goal, whether to push a user towards a purchase, a request for more information or a phone call. Make the call to action clear and engaging.
3. Invest in a Good Designer
YES. If a site is ugly, people leave. Good design helps users to stick around longer. My friend Illiah says that Good Design Opens Doors, I can’t agree more.
Think about your favorite coffee shop, I bet it is soothing and calming and invites you to sit and relax simply by the feel of the space, the same is for websites, they must be inviting or people will leave.
4. Be Responsive
Make sure your site is responsive and will display equally as well on a mobile device because most people use such a device to go online these days.
5. Fast Sites Increase Dwell Time
Your site must be created and pieced together in such a way that it will display without delay. Focus on site speed optimization, as the average visitor has no patience at all and will click away before you know it. If you don’t know your speed, check out this video on my favorite speed testers.
6. Constant Refreshment
Google will reward you if you regularly update your content. Remember EAT, the site must be high quality and authoritative.
7. Use Rich Media
Content may still be king, but these days it’s moving, colorful, exciting and shareable. Use video, interactive photos, and widgets, so your visitors can interact with your site. Allow them to share, tweet or embed as a great way to capture their attention. Tag all your videos and images in line with search engine standards and you can help to boost your brand authority in the industry, while your ranking goes up.
8. Know Your Audience
Fully understand your target audience and create content that satisfies their needs and solves their problem. Make your content short and simple, but relatable and productive. Remember, they’re looking for a quick fix and you need to come to their rescue.