Advertising Strategies and Lessons


What Is Dwell Time?

January 24, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Dwell time is one of those terms that gets bandied about when discussing different “stickiness” metrics related to webpage usage and how long a person stays on a given page. But dwell time is a very specific measurement, and it’s often confused with bounce rates, session duration and click-through rates.  

Shutterstock_272163653 Happy young man, wearing glasses and smiling, as he works on his laptop to get all his business done early in the morning with his cup of coffee

What Is Dwell Time?

The answer is in the name, but with a SERP twist. Dwell time is how long a person “dwells” on a web page after clicking through from a search engine results page (SERP) and before clicking back to a SERP. That’s it. It’s different than bounce rates and duration times, because those visitors could be coming from someplace other than a SERP.

Does Dwell Time Impact Organic Search Results?

While Google has never publicly commented on whether dwell time is an SEO ranking factor, SEO experts tend to believe it is because it is an indicator of quality content. And, we know Google likes to help its users quickly and satisfactorily find what they’re looking for.

Why Is Dwell Time Important?

Generally, the longer someone dwells on a webpage, the more likely they are to engage or develop an affinity and come back. However, dwell time alone should not be a reason to make changes to an existing website, and you shouldn’t make changes just to impact dwell time metrics. Creating your very best user experience will be more effective in the long run and likely to increase dwell time anyway.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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