How to Increase User Dwell Time for a Better Ranking

All SEO marketing strategies are aimed towards an increase in website ranking. A higher ranking provides higher conversion rates, higher sales, further audience engagement, and the spread of brand awareness. Dwell time management is an essential step in this process, as it has a direct influence on ranking position.

Why Is the Dwell Time Metric So Vital?

When an average user spends a significant amount of time on your page before returning to SERPs, it means that they are consuming most of the content on your page because they find it valuable.

The longer this time is, the higher the dwell time metric is. It also correlates with bounce rate — the percentage of people who left your page because, for example, they didn’t find the information they were searching for.

When you have a higher dwell time and a lower bounce rate, your ranking increases. Search bots find your page informative and valuable for users. As such, they suggest it more frequently. So, if you don’t know how to increase your user dwell time, keep reading this article to learn a few essential tips and tricks, which work.

Provide Quality and Value

If your page contains great content, like a complete guide or useful life hacks, then users will spend more time reading it. It’s just that simple. So, when considering adding a few more articles to your websites, make sure they are:

  • Long enough (1600 – 2400 words per page)
  • Accompanied by illustrations, or supported with video clips (with filled in alt attributes)
  • Catchy — headlines and all (40-60 words, intriguing)
  • Easy to read (short paragraphs and sentences)
  • Well-structured and organized (lists, bullet points)
  • Valuable in the information they provide (informative and useful)

Moreover, a lot of blog editors revise their previous content from time to time. They update it regularly — adding fresh material, and current information. This is a great decision for every website to make, as it provides more value to the reader, who doesn’t want to read an article containing 5-year-old statistics. But looking through all of your previous posts, and refreshing their content might be a little over the top. As such, additional help from freelance editors, and writers might come in handy. And you can always hire an assistant on EssayTigers, or GlassDoor.

Make Them Come and Stay

How can one influence a user to not only click on your link but stay on your page longer? This is an essential question when diving into the dwell time topic. Your content is unbelievably important in getting users to stay with you, but there are, of course, other details to consider.

Using proper keywords, and avoiding clickbait are two strategies which help a lot in increasing dwell time on your page. How do these strategies work?


Source: Facebook

First, you need to understand what keywords to target and what users expect when typing them out. To choose the right keywords, use tools like Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, or Ahrefs.

Let’s look at this particular search query for example, “hair growth remedies.” If you offer a product or a service, you might create content about how to improve hair growth through home remedies like dieting. This type of content might be useful to the user — especially when you have enough supporting material to prove that your advice works.

Clickbait, in this situation, might lead a user to your page, but disappoint them with impractical information, such as articles about pet hair growth, or Renaissance wig trends. Is this the type of content your user was searching for? Definitely not. So, it will result in bouncing back to SERPs.

Use Internal Links

Putting links to other pages on your website is a way to make users stay with you longer. If there is nowhere else for users to go onto from your page than back to Google, then it’s not surprising that most users will do just that.


Source: Wikipedia

However, when you provide links that look natural in the text and accompany your content, by providing a little extra on the topic, e.g. a suggested product, a similar article, or a review, it helps you to lead your users through your website, and make them stay.

There are certain rules that apply to the internal links in the text:

  • Links have to be relevant to the user and correlate with the pages they are placed on.
  • Natural placement. Choose the places for your anchor words and links wisely. Make them clear — why a user should follow them.
  • Connect links and CTAs. The easiest way to stimulate a desired action is to put a CTA in it and make it clickable.

By directing visitors to content that might be useful to them, you can make them stay on your website longer, which in turn gives you the opportunity to add more value to your content.

Don’t Underestimate User Dwell Time Metric

In order to understand if your page is authoritative, search bots analyze the behavior of the users on your website. If they see that users stay on your page longer, it means that you have something useful to offer. Thus, your content is valuable and satisfies the needs of the people who are searching for said content.

However, it’s not the only metric that Google pays attention to, as all the metrics work when combined together with:

  • Click-through-rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Domain authority
  • Keywords matching a certain ranking
  • Organic traffic
  • Backlinks

For example, some pages might show very short dwell time, while being the best match for a search query, and will thus come to rank highly, like pages with converters, exact time calculators, or event countdowns.

But there are a lot of websites that don’t even measure the dwell time metric and underestimate its usefulness. Why does it happen? Basically, because there are certain arguments about whether user dwell time is a ranking factor, and, if so, how it is measured by Google.

The fact is that when you give content that engages users for 2 or more minutes, your page will likely be suggested more often to users with similar queries.

Wrapping Up

Keeping on track with what the dwell time is for your page won’t hurt anyway. Measuring and adjusting your content to make it rank higher will give you a clearer understanding of what exactly your users are searching for, and how you can satisfy their needs.



Stacey Wonder is a content marketer for the writing service Essay Tigers. She is a devoted and inspired writer who loves the process of content creation and promotion. She also finds inspiration in blogging and helping other experts with her tips on social media marketing, search engine optimization and self-development.


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