Are Bounce Rates and Dwell Time important as a metric?
Every website owner loves their website, and why not? So lets investigate the answers together.
Think of all that hard work and long hours, you applied to create that unique place where millions of readers, users & buyers could come and make all that effort worthwhile.
But for some unknown reason to you, visitors come and go, and you start to hear those unfamiliar words – Bounce Rate & Dwell Time.
We at Calibri are no different, our site is new, we don’t have a bounce rate yet, and in addition, we have no idea what their dwell time is. Or do we?
We suspect there are millions of new website owners in the world who also don’t fully understand Bounce rates and Dwell Times, and what affects they have on their beautiful websites.
Today’s blog aims to give the “Newbie” valuable insight into what are bounce rates and dwell times. We will reveal the causes and how to minimize them wherever possible.
The first thing to remember, every site is different to the next one, and your bounce rate could be higher than say 90% and you are pleased with it, whereas the next Website owner will be pulling his or her hair out in pure frustration, for them, that figure could be catastrophic & unacceptable.
As a rule, the lower the bounce rate number,
the better your site’s appeal is portrayed.
So, what is a Bounce Rate?
According to Google Analytics. a bounce is a single-page session on your site. In other words, when someone visits your web page and leaves again within a 30-minute time frame without visiting the rest of your site. This behaviour is an indication that your site entrance, the ie landing page is irrelevant for the visitor.
Does that mean Bounce Rates influence your Search ranking with Google’s algorithm?
From what we understand, we believe so. It can be seen the initial click showing the visitor has arrived, but after that, it is regarded as an approximation metric because it doesn’t show the visitor clicking away. “Why?” we enquired.
Well, our trusty Web developer Alver pointed to us, that there is a flaw with Bounce Rate as a performance metric.
In Google Analytic another metric that looks at the time your visitor spends on your page. This metric requires 2 clicks (Entrance & Exit) to calculate your visitor’s time on the page.
Frequently, the second click is absent from the equation. Consider, how many times have you spent say 25 minutes reading a page? You found it engaging and without any concerns. Now, did you close the tab or did you Exit Click?
If the latter, the session is logged as a bounce. The same result occurs when you open a link in another tab and leave the first tab prior to closing your browser.
Now, look at the time when you have visited and clicked away within say 10-seconds. It is clearly an actual bounce. You have landed on the page, quickly decided the content was not what you were looking for and bounced away.
Revalue the first example of spending half an hour reading an exciting and engaging page of content surely shouldn’t be judged as a bounce.
Just ponder, how many of your favourite websites where you gladly visit often may well have a high ranking because of their excellent content but adversely have high bounce rates.
As a result of this flaw, we all may need to cease relying on Bounce Rate. Instead, focus on a robust attention metric, for example, Dwell Time.
This metric measures the actual length of time your visitor spends on your page prior to returning to the SERPs.
Thus, the longer your visitor’s dwell time, the more positive the evidence that your visitor has probably consumed a large percentage of your content. If not all before returning to SERPs or indeed gone on to perform another action on your site such as placing an order.
In the light of the above should you ignore Bounce Rate and only concentrate on Dwell Time?
We feel the answer is NO you should not ignore Bounce Rate and replace with Dwell Time in your learning process. But it doesn’t hurt, to understand what both metrics can teach. Furthermore, you can act accordingly with both insights of your visitor’s actions when they arrive on your page.
How do you increase your visitor’s Dwell Time?
Not an easy question to answer. Our research has produced these Calls To Action (CTA) we all should.adopt to assist us all to attract and hold more traffic to our pages.
Consistently produce great content.
You like us should aim to produce content that to our visitors is useful, accessible, relevant and engaging. It doesn’t matter if you are creating blogs, articles, infographics or videos. The same rule applies to all.
Accompany your content with relevant Internal Linking.
We have recently begun adding relevant internal links. The results will provide a better visitor experience. Thus ensuring our SEO strategy achieves the maximum opportunity of both gaining a robust ranking position with search engine spiders.
You can persuade your visitors to remain on your site by making it simple for them to navigate around your site. Look at, providing strong incentives for them to read other relevant articles or blogs. Ensure the content is not dissimilar to their original search, so as to, remove the need for them to click back to SERPs.
Ensure your page load Time is completely optimized.
It is easy to believe that a high bounce rate is caused by poor content. How many times have you clicked away when you get to a site and the loading time seems endless?
The problem has begun immediately before you have had a chance to read. In our busy world, we cannot wait more than two seconds, our fingers begin to move to the keyboard again to commence a new search. With that in mind, before examining your content, check the time it takes for your visitors to view the content.
Visitors read your books, visitors scan your web pages.
A valuable lesson I recently read, and it had an immediate impact on how I wrote our articles and blogs to say a year ago. In the same way, you need to ensure your content is accessible with formatting your pages.
Make them welcome, and direct your message to the busy visitor on a packed commuter train. The same person who will feel the need to keep checking up to see where he is in his or her journey. When their eyes return, it should feel natural to them and simple to reposition to where they left off.
- Ensure your content is less visually challenging.
- Make good use of white spacing. (It allows your readers to rest their eyes.)
- Use Headers appropriately. (Helps the spiders.)
- Include Subheadings. (Assists readers to return when distracted.)
- Wherever possible add bulleted lists. (Look what I have just done.)
- Add images relevant to the article or blog. (Avoid overwhelming your reader.)
- Don’t overdo the number of images. (The can become a distraction.)
- Keep down the number of Ads, Offers & Award Emblems. (Readers hate them.)
- Be aware of your pop-ups on your page offering various services. (Don’t push.)
- Prompt your visitors to ONE clear Call to Action. (Make it easy for the reader.)
- Serve content relevant to your keywords. (Vital for optimization.)
- Pepper sparingly useful & relevant Internal Links. (Otherwise, creates readability issues.)
- Ensure your site navigation is effortless & clearly understood. (You know how fickle we visitors are.)
- Remind yourself, your visitors are in control when on your pages.
Do not solely focus on your website, remember your visitors will more than likely visit you via their mobiles first.
When I think back to a short while ago, I would wait until I arrived home to do any browsing via my laptop. Now, I see myself researching content on my mobile. Our smart mobile devices have started to replace what we thought would never fade away – our trusty laptop.
Now, everyone with a website must ensure they optimise for mobiles and tablets, to say nothing of, checking the speed of the mobile page load time. If they do not, it is certain, it will not matter how beautiful the page looks if the load time goes past a minute. Forget it a bounce has occurred.
Summary to Bounce Rates and Dwell Time.
Without hard evidence, we feel you should play safe and adopt the belief that both Bounce Rate & Dwell Time are factored for ranking.
It stands to reason, if your visitors remain on your site for extended periods, they must be contented and engaged with your page and its content.
Remember SEO doesn’t mean Search Engine Optimization anymore. It has been replaced with Search Experience Optimization.
Finally, henceforth, remind yourself, your visitors are in control when on your pages.
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Mike Bowley is an Indoor Coffee Houseplant & Colombian Giftware Importer, SEO Content Writer, Baby Boomer, and published Author. He thrives on creating alliances with UK based Artisanal Cafe Owners and Garden Centers with artisanal product makers in Colombia.
He enjoys helping “Newbie” website owners. Plus, fellow Baby Boomer Online Entrepreneurs in getting organic content onto web pages and mobiles.
Mike has spent over 50 years in sales/marketing and shares his life and work between the UK and Colombia. He is a regular writer on both Viviamaridi and WattPad.
Visit his author’s website here: mikebowley.com.