Dwell Time: What Is It, Why Is It Important, and How Can You Improve Yours?

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

To ensure people buy from your online business, you must make sure they spend plenty of time on your website, and you can track this by looking at your dwell time. But, what is dwell time and how can you improve yours?

Here, we’ll take a look at this and provide you with some actionable advice that will supercharge your online store, keep people’s attention, and help you to win more sales!

What is your website’s dwell time?

Your website’s dwell time refers to how much time a visitor spends looking at a particular web page before clicking back to the search engine results to find the information they need.

If a page has a low dwell time, it’s likely it doesn’t align with users’ search intent. This means you need to focus on determining how people tend to land on a particular page of your website, and ensuring that you’re providing exactly what they’re looking for when they get there.

You may already be familiar with and tracking your bounce rate, but it’s worth noting that this is slightly different to your dwell time. Your bounce rate tracks the number of users who visit a page on your website and then click on any other page, either on or off your site. Dwell time only refers to the time users spend on your website after clicking your link on a search engine results page (SERP).

Why should you aim to increase your website’s dwell time?

As a business owner, you should always be aiming to improve your website’s dwell time. This is because it acts as an indicator of how relevant your page is to users’ search intent, as well as the quality of your on-page content. The term “search intent” refers to the reasons why someone is Googling a particular phrase, and therefore why they might end up on your website.

The longer visitors spend looking at a web page before returning to the SERPs, the more value it likely offers online users. And, if people take a lot away from your website, this will increase the chances of them investing in your products down the road. Plus, a high dwell time can help boost your SEO efforts because it will show search engines that your page offered exactly what people were looking for. This means Google will be likely to maintain or even improve your rankings.

How can you improve your website’s dwell time?

In theory, the longer your website’s dwell time, the more benefits you will see for your SEO and sales efforts. So, let’s look at some ways you can improve your website’s dwell time to ensure you’re offering the right value to the right people.

Ensure your website provides a great first impression

You must ensure your website offers a great first impression to establish trust and increase your sales. Here are a few ideas to help you make a fantastic first impression with your audience:

  • Make sure your website has a fast loading speed, with pages loading within three seconds to prevent customers from leaving in frustration.
  • Use short paragraphs with 2-3 sentences so your audience can scan your content before taking the time to read everything on each page. If visitors feel like reading your content is going to be hard work, they’ll be unlikely to give it a go.
  • Try to avoid pop-ups wherever possible because they can distract or frustrate your audience and cause them to leave your site to find a competitor’s products or services.

If you want to improve your website’s dwell time, you should think about the perspective of your website visitors. If your pages load quickly, are easy to scan, and provide the type of content people actually need, your dwell time will increase across your website.

Help visitors take the next step as soon as possible

When visitors land on your website, you want to make it simple for them to take the next step with your brand. This will increase your chances of making a sale, boost your dwell time, and reduce your bounce rate.

You can make it easy for people to find more information or move forward in their buying journeys by:

  • Providing a sophisticated search feature to help them narrow down the products or services they’re looking for
  • Giving a clear call to action (CTA) so there is no confusion about how customers can move forward with your company
  • Making it easy for them to get in touch with a company representative who can address their questions and concerns

If you can streamline the conversion process, not only will you keep people on your website for longer, but you’ll also ensure your website captures as many leads as possible. Now, for inspiration, let’s look at a company that makes it easy for their visitors to take the next steps with them to improve their dwell time.

Intelius page

Intelius is an online people search tool that aims to help visitors find out more about the people in their lives. And, they make it extremely easy for customers to convert on their reverse address lookup page by placing all the vital information prospective clients will need above the fold. This includes what website visitors will get if they convert, and exactly how they can do so. There’s also a very helpful search tool and a strong call to action (CTA) above the fold, so customers don’t even have to scroll to work out what they need to do next.

Providing a strong CTA above the fold will help customers navigate the site and lead them through the purchasing process. A good CTA should be brief and use a strong verb to subtly convince customers to move through the buying process.

You can use this strategy on your web page by placing an interactive form, search tool, or contact form above the fold, so customers can see exactly how to convert straight away and won’t be tempted to jump back to the SERPs.

Dermeleve page

Another company that streamlines its conversion process is Dermeleve. This skincare company makes it easy to travel from their homepage to their checkout with a ‘Buy Now’ button. In just four clicks, customers can purchase their product without having to navigate through multiple products or category pages.

This is a great way to encourage customers to convert because it makes the purchasing process extremely easy. Plus, it reduces the risk of customers returning to the SERPs without investigating what Dermeleve offers, which is sure to help the company’ dwell time. You can use this approach if you have very few products, or you have bestsellers that you know a lot of people will be coming to you for.

You can use this strategy on your website by offering CTAs to help guide customers through the buying process and make it incredibly easy for them. This will encourage them to stay on your website for longer, driving up your webpage’s dwell time and hopefully increasing your conversions.

Use the power of video to make your website more engaging

Increasing your website’s dwell time is about capturing and keeping your website visitors’ attention. Exciting videos that offer value to your target audience are ideal for this.

Here are some ways you can use valuable video content to capture the attention of your users and keep them on your web page:

  • Add video content to your blog posts — this will help customers consume content in a manner that is convenient for them. Since customers watching videos tend to stay on a page longer, adding videos to your blog posts will help increase your dwell time, too.
  • Offer product demonstrations that help visitors better understand what you sell and how it can help them. This will show the value of your items and help drive more sales, along with increasing your dwell time.
  • Use video testimonials from previous clients to help new customers trust your brand. Testimonials offer a great way to increase your dwell time since customers will typically watch the entire testimonial to understand the value of your products or services.

Let’s look at some businesses that use videos to engage their website visitors and boost their dwell time.

Stryker T-Tops pageStryker T-Tops is a company that designs and sells folding T-tops for center console boats. And, to ensure customers stick around on their site, they have harnessed the power of videos that demonstrate how exciting the items they stock are.

Notice how their homepage features videos that show real people enjoying themselves on the water beneath the company’s T-tops. Not only do the videos show the value of different items, but they also help engage viewers. This means people will spend more time on the page and learn more about the company’s products.

You can use this strategy on your website by placing relevant videos and testimonials on your product and sales pages to engage your audience and increase your dwell time. Make sure they show your products or services at their best, and truly communicate what they will bring to your customers’ lives. This will help to keep people’s attention and should generate more sales for your business.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. pageAnother company that uses videos to increase their website’s dwell time is Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. This personal law firm uses video testimonial content to build a relationship with their website visitors and offer insights into why potential clients can trust them.

These testimonial videos introduce their values, their firm, and the types of cases they have experience in handling cases, so prospective clients will be able to work out whether this is the right company to represent them. They also show real people discussing how the firm helped them resolve their cases and the professionalism offered throughout the entire process. This means they’ll help build trust with potential clients and keep people on the page for longer as they learn more about the firm and its expertise.

Both Stryker T-Tops and Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. use videos to engage their audiences and explain the value of their products or services to keep people on their websites for longer — this will then drive sales. You can use this strategy on your website by generating videos that help visitors learn more about your brand. This will then keep them on your website for an extended amount of time.

Add internal links to your copy, so people keep browsing

Internal links can be placed in your website copy to encourage people to visit more pages, so they’ll spend more time on your website.

To ensure your internal links are helping to boost your website’s dwell time, you should try to link related products or services to each other so your audience will find more pages they’re actually going to be interested in browsing. This will also provide a much better user experience for your customers, increasing the chances of them sticking around long enough to buy from you.

Always link to and from pages that are relevant to the content on the specific page you’re writing for. And, make sure customers know what to expect from the page they land on by mirroring the topic or title in the anchor text. This will ensure customers stick around long enough to boost your website’s dwell time.

Conduct some A/B tests to determine what works best

A/B testing is the process of presenting multiple versions of a page on your site to see which one performs better. This trick takes some time, but it’s incredibly effective for identifying what kind of elements on your website are impacting your dwell time.

Some elements worth changing up include:

  • The videos or infographics you display on a web page
  • The page titles and heading you use
  • The structure of your web pages and how information is displayed on them
  • What kinds of imagery you use on different web pages

Design two different web pages and launch each of them for a specific duration to test which page performs the best. Then, keep a close eye on the metrics for each page, including their dwell time, bounce rate, and impressions. Once you find the formula that works, apply it to other pages on your site to improve your dwell time across your entire website.


Your website’s dwell time will tell you whether the people who land on your website are getting the value they need from it. If your dwell time is low, it’s likely you’ll need to make some changes.

Use these tips to improve your website’s dwell time. Before long, you’ll see an increase in conversions and a boost in your bottom line as more and more customers stay on your web pages long enough to understand and fall in love with what you have to offer.

Author bio & headshot:

Adam Steele has consulted for businesses small and large, including several of the biggest companies in the world. He’s also been writing expert articles about SEO and digital marketing for over a decade. If you liked this post, follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more like it.

Adam Steele