How to Keep People on Your Website for Longer
Search engines use lots of parameters to adjust their algorithms; to give you an idea, Google is reportedly using over 200 factors for its advanced formula. One of these factors is called dwell time, and it refers to the amount of time that a person is spending reading a website page.
If you have ever installed a visitor tracking analytics system on your site, you know how frustrating it can be to see that people spend 10 seconds or less on most of your website pages. Don't be that upset, though, because you're probably doing the same thing when you are visiting a site that doesn't provide the expected content.
For most of us, everything starts with a simple Google search. We pick one of the front-page results, and then we are sent to the chosen website. If the content isn't useful, we click the browser's "Back" button, choosing a different search result.
Search engines monitor the average amount of time that was spent visiting each site; if it is too small, they will devalue those sites. There is a simple explanation for this: the companies that own these search engines need to display trustworthy, credible search results on their pages; otherwise, the advertisers will choose to work with other ad sellers.
Advertisers want their ads to be featured alongside high quality, trusted sources of information. If people don't like the so-called "organic" search results, they won't click the ads either. So, now that you know what dwell time is, and why it is very important, let's see what you can do to improve it.
As a rule, you should focus your efforts on improving user experience. This starts with having an easy to use website which loads fast, because in the mobile Internet era, people tend to lose their patience if the websites that they want to access need more than 2-3 seconds to load. So, choose a reliable hosting company; just give us a call if you get stuck, and we'll share with you a few great, and yet very affordable options - for free!
Use a website that has a simple, professional looking design. Utilize a lot of white space and nice-looking fonts, which are easy to read even on mobile devices. Responsive sites are mandatory these days; most people use their smartphones to browse the Internet and make purchases now.
Ads and popups can break people's browsing experience, so they should be used with moderation. Yes, business owners want to build their email lists using popups, but if they are annoying, they will significantly reduce dwell time, and that will make your website tank.
Then, work on your content. Master the basics of grammar. Take a night writing class or find dedicated workshops in your area. Examine the articles written by the best industry bloggers, dissecting them and learning from them. Just print them out, and then highlight the elements that wow you. Then, use that information to write articles for your website. Do this regularly, because it will help boost your writing skills.
Don't forget to target the ideal audience with your content. Who are your ideal customers? And what type of content are they interested in, what are the biggest problems that they are facing? Do your best to get into their heads, and then create content that provides a lot of useful information. Always keep your content updated, because Google (and other search engines) don't like old content.
Use internal linking; create links that lead to other relevant articles from within the current one. Give people two or three other options to explore while they are reading a content piece on your site.
These are some of the most effective ways to increase dwell time. And I guarantee that people who are going to apply them all will see significant results.