What Is Dwell Time & Why Does It Matter?

Decemeber 12, 2023

If you have ever spent some time nosing around in Google Analytics, you might have come across the phrase ‘dwell time,’ but unless you are well-versed in SEO terminology, you may not understand what it means or why it is important for the success of your website. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at dwell time and what it can do for your website’s SEO with a little help from an SEO company in Knoxville.

What is Dwell Time?

Dwell time refers to the length of time visitors spend on a web page they land on by clicking on a search result before they exit and return to the search engine results page. The clock starts ticking the moment they click on your URL in the search results and continues until they navigate away from the page. It hasn’t officially been confirmed as a ranking factor by Google, but it is still an excellent metric for gauging how interested users are in your content and how user-friendly it is. You want visitors to spend a long time on your site, so it is well worth working with an SEO company in Knoxville to increase your website’s dwell time.

Dwell Time Vs. Bounce Rate or Time on Page

Dwell time is not the only timed metric that you will see used to measure engagement. You may also notice Bounce Rate and Time On Page. It is easy to confuse the three metrics as measuring the same thing, but some differences set them apart. The overriding factor differentiating dwell time is that it utilizes the user’s return to SERP, and the others do not. Let’s take a look at what these other metrics mean.

  • Bounce Rate - In terms of website analytics, a bounce is when visitors land on your page and exit in under 10 seconds without interacting with anything on the page. Bounce rate is the percentage of sessions where visitors did not engage with your website. This can be an indication that it could be more user-friendly.
  • Time on Page - This metric measures how long users spend on a page before navigating to another page on your site or an external page. It uses the time between the click that enters your page and the click that exits it. As noted above, it does not require that your user returns to the SERP, making it different from Dwell Time.

How to Increase Dwell Time

The more time visitors spend browsing your website, the better, so even if Dwell Time does not impact your rankings directly, it is still an important consideration for SEO as it can help you gauge how interested your audience is in your website. Let’s take a look at some of the ways an SEO company in Knoxville can help you to increase dwell time.

1 - Pay Attention to Search Intent

Do you know what your audience is looking for? It is important to provide them with the information they need if you are going to keep them on your website! Search intent is the reason behind a user choosing to type their query into Google or any other search engine. There are four main types of search intent:

  • Navigational Intent - These are searches for a specific page, for example, the login page for Netflix.
  • Informational Intent - This type of search is when the user wants information about a topic.
  • Commercial Intent - When a consumer wants to research a product prior to making a purchase, they will use this type of search intent.
  • Transactional Intent - This is when a user already knows they want to make a purchase and is searching for the item.

You can work with an SEO company in Knoxville to determine what type of search intent your audience is likely to have and make sure you develop your website and content to suit those types of search queries. If you have the information your audience needs, they will spend more time on your website, thus increasing Dwell Time.

2 - Create Quality Content

One of the tips an SEO company in Knoxville will likely recommend is taking steps to elevate your content to help increase engagement. It’s logical if you take the time to think about it. The longer your content, the longer it takes to read, and the longer visitors will remain on the page. However, you must not fall into the trap of fluffing up your content with filler. Web users are notorious for having short attention spans, and they will only invest their time in long-form content if it is engaging. That means working to improve the quality of your content. It needs to be engaging, educational, or entertaining. Work with an SEO company in Knoxville to create an editorial calendar of topics that your target audience will be interested in based on search trends and hot topics in your industry.

3 - Make User Experience A Priority

It is no secret that Google prioritizes websites that offer an excellent user experience, and this also impacts Dwell Time. Talk to an SEO company in Knoxville about both on-page SEO factors and technical SEO that will help to provide a better user experience. Some of the things you might want to consider working on might include:

  • Scannable Content
  • Loading Time
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Navigation
  • Technical SEO
  • Mobile Friendly Webpages

These are just some of the ways you can help boost your website’s Dwell Time and keep your visitors hanging around for longer. It may not be a direct ranking factor, but Dwell Time does still have a key role to play in SEO.


To Your Best Online!


Ingrid Maddox, Internet Marketing & Strategy Consultant. bluedress INTERNET MARKETING®, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented, and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn-Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online.