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Dwell time, time on site… both of these terms refer to the same thing: the length of time a site visitor spends on your website.
Google hasn’t said outright that it uses this measurement as part of its algorithm, but it makes sense that they might. It stands to reason that the longer someone spends on your site the more engaged, interested, and potentially responsive they might be to its contents. The longer you’ve got people looking at your pages, the more time you have to convince, convert and connect with them, too.
Short of setting out virtual flypaper, there are better ways of getting people to stick around on your site. Here’s the short list of top ways to capture your blog audience, connect with them, and get them to spend more time on your website. There are seven ways to wow and woo your audience and increase time on site.
1. Become a purple cow.
“Purple cow” is a term coined by Seth Godin, and one familiar to many marketers. It means to become memorable, shareable, and the “talk of the virtual world.” To do so, you have to really dig deep into your brand and come up with things that will help you stand out in the crowded online sphere. You also need to walk a fine line between noticeable and obnoxious. Get people talking about your content by creating unique, memorable, on-brand materials that stand out.
2. Add video.
Video acts like a magnet to pull people into your site… and then they have to stay until the end of the video. If a video is two minutes of worthwhile content, visitors will remain on site for those two minutes and more. Video is a surefire way to get more people on your site and naturally encourage them to remain longer.
3. Long-form content.
The exact definition of long-form content varies, but it usually means content of 2,000 words or more. These online guides, ebooks, or long articles are usually broken into sections. Some have a table of contents with clickable links to jump down to sections readers need at a glance. By virtue of their length, people tend to stay longer on your site to read them. They must be informative, well-written and useful. If they are simply packed with fluff, people will not read them and you will lose any potential time on site impact.
4. Create better content.
Length isn’t the only factor in capturing and keeping a blog audience. Content remains the number one reason why people visit websites and why they may visit multiple pages on a website or remain on a page to learn all they can. Always strive for useful, actionable, fact-filled content. Content should amaze, inspire or educate, but it should never be boring. Don’t limit your content to written materials, either. Video, podcasts, graphics, charts, reports and other forms of content can all take center stage in your strategy to capture and keep blog readers.
5. Improve your site navigation.
One fatal flaw to capturing and keeping blog readers is poor site navigation. Cumbersome, hidden, or illogical menus make it difficult for readers to find all of the good content on your website. If they can’t find it, they won’t stick around to read it. They may glance at the information that drew them to your site and leave because they can’t find any additional items of interest. Continue to improve your internal links and find ways to streamline and support simple navigational elements on your website.
6. Ensure fast load times.
Websites with slow loading times have at least two strikes against them. First, slow loading time may harm your SERPs; Google prefers and prioritizes sites that load quickly. More importantly, site visitors who are forced to wait for the contents to load may lose interest and move on to the next site on the search. Test your site’s loading speed with a tool such as Pingdom.
7. Add a “related post” plugin.
A related post plugin automatically shares several posts that readers may also enjoy if they’re on a post page. This feature ensures that even if you forget to add internal links from the content in your blog post, your blog does it for you. These related posts act like content magnets, keeping visitors on the site longer as they read more on topics of interest. If your site is hosted on WordPress, it’s easy to add the related posts plugin.
Time on site, or dwell time, remains an important metric, but it’s one metric out of many that you should be following. By improving your blogging basics, such as insightful and focused content, you’ll naturally improve all facets of SEO, including dwell time.