Why is dwell time so important?
Well, dwell time helps Google understand whether or not users are happy with a given search results. Think about it: if someone clicks on a result -- and quickly hits their back button -- it sends a strong message that this result isn’t making users happy. On the other hand, if someone stick to a page like superglue, Google is confident that the page is giving users what they want. And needless to say, Google RankBrain measures dwell time VERY closely. In general, the better your dwell time, the better you’ll rank
Strategy #1: Push Your Content Above The Fold
This couldn’t be more straightforward. The goal here is to make sure that a Google searcher can easily read your first sentence without needing to scroll. So take a look at one of your high-priority pages (it can be a Power Page, a service page or an ecommerce product page). Is there anything (like a huge image or oversized title) that pushes the content below the fold? If your page has a huge image at the top of the page, like this… ...or a massive header/navigation section, like this... Change your page’s layout so that the first sentence of your content is towards the top of your page. Otherwise, Google users are going to land on your page and say: “Where’s the content?”. And many will click away before they’ve read a single word.
If you want to see examples of how your above the fold area should look, here are a few pages that have the first line of their content front and center:
Image Source: https://www.abtasty.com/blog/above-the-fold/
Strategy #2: Sticky Intros
Believe it or not, but I spend MORE time on my intros than my headlines.
That’s because intros are what ultimately make or break your content’s performance. Think about
it: someone clicks over to your site because of your awesome title.
So far so good. Like you learned in the last lesson, Google RankBrain upranks pages with a high CTR.
But then they read your intro. It’s dull. It’s boring. And it tells them what they already know.
They’re going to lunge for their “back” button as fast as humanly possible.
That’s why introductions are KEY. I’ve found that if you hook someone with your intro, you’ve
hooked them for good.
And the best way to hook Google searchers? Sticky Intros.
Sticky Intros are content introductions designed specifically to reduce bounce rate and increase
And sticky intros have 3 elements that make them different than other lame intros that people write.
Let’s break each of these elements down.
- First, Sticky Intros are SHORT
You want your introduction to be between 3 and 6 short sentences (approximately 50-80 words).
Remember: your intro’s main job is to hook your reader and let them know they’re in the right place.
So there’s no need to go into a long backstory about why the topic is important. If they’re
searching for content on that topic, chances are, they already know why it’s important.
- Second, Sticky Intros let the reader know they’re in the right place. When someone clicks on a search result, they think: “Will this page help me with what I want?”. And your introduction is a GREAT opportunity to let the user know they’ve arrived on the exact right page. (Now, you don’t need to literally say they’re in the right place. But you should point out that your content will answer their question or help solve their problem.) For example, you can say something like: “If you’ve struggled with The Paleo Diet in the past, the tips in this guide will help you overcome those roadblocks”. That way, someone that’s had trouble with The Paleo Diet will think to themselves: “Ahhh. This is exactly what I’m looking for.”.
- Finally, Sticky Intros briefly preview your content. This is simple: you let the reader know what to expect from your content. This preview re-emphasizes the feeling of “being in the right place”. For example, let’s say you just wrote an ultimate guide to organic gardening. You could end your intro with something like: “And in this guide, you’ll learn 13 proven ways to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs without pesticides.” Let’s put these 3 elements together with a Sticky Intro template...and an example. First, here’s the template: [Why your content is amazing/different/helpful]. [What they’ll learn from your guide]. [Specific thing that they’ll be excited to see]. And an example of this template: This is the most comprehensive list of Paleo breakfast ideas on the planet. In this guide you’ll get access to over 75 Paleo-friendly recipes that are easy to make and taste great. The best part? There are over 49 recipes that don’t contain eggs (which I’m sure you’re sick of!)
Strategy #3: Long Content
In Module 2 we already talked about how long content is a powerful Share Trigger. And that’s
one of the main reasons that there’s a strong correlation between long content and higher
Longer content impresses Linkreators, which makes them more likely to send backlinks your way.
But there’s another reason longer content performs so well in Google: dwell time. Obviously, it
takes longer to read a 2000-word post than a 400-word post. But that’s only part of the equation.
The other reason long form content improves dwell time is that you’re providing a
comprehensive answer to your user’s question (or a solution to their problem).
For example, let’s say you search in Google for “how to read faster”.
And the first result you click on is 350 words. It kinda sorta helps... but you still have questions.
So you click your back button and click on the next result.
This phenomenon is known as “pogo-sticking” at Google HQ. When someone quickly bounces
from a page and clicks on another search result, it sends a strong message to Google: “That user
wasn’t satisfied with the first result, so they kept searching for answers”.
But the next result you click on is 2,000 words of awesomeness. You read most of it, re-read parts
and bookmark the page. All those actions are racking up your dwell time.
In other words, when you give a searcher everything they need to know about a given topic,
they spend more time on your page.
And as a bonus, you’re their last and final stop. So they won’t pogo-stick to another result.
In short, aim for your content to be at least 2,000 words whenever it makes sense.