In a brick and mortar retail store, “dwell time” is the term used for how long a customer spends in the store. Typically, the more time that they spend in a store, the more money they will spend as well.
You can see this in the design of many stores and supermarkets. For example, when you enter into an IKEA store, the layout is planned so that you can’t easily leave the store without walking all the way through it.
On a website, you can’t force your website visitor to stay on your site any longer than they want to (nor would I recommend that you try). But, you can entice your visitors to stay in other ways.
Your dwell time on your website is measured in your Google Analytics; it’s called “Average Session Duration” and can be found in the Audience Overview report. Have a look at your analytics and find out how long people are staying on your site.
Then, consider the following methods to increase the length of your website visitors’ time on site:
A site that easy to use and navigate will provide a pleasant experience for your visitors. Our attention spans do not last very long when we are browsing the web, and we can get easily frustrated if we can’t find what we need right away. When we get frustrated, we usually leave a website and go somewhere else to find what we are looking for. Having clear, easy to use navigation will ensure that visitors won’t leave out of frustration and will create a positive association with your website and brand.
Make sure that your site menu isn’t only on the top of the website, but also at the bottom. That way when your visitors scroll down through your content, they don’t have to scroll back up again to find the menu.
Wherever it makes sense throughout your content, link to other pages and blog posts on your site. When you link to relevant content, it’s something that the visitor is already interested in and so they will be more likely to click through to another page. Internal linking is a great way to keep your visitor on your website longer.
Internal linking is a lot easier when you have a blog with a lot of content to link to. Make sure that at the bottom of your blog posts you are linking to other related posts that the user can read next.
A call to action is an invitation to your site visitor to take action on something. You can ask them to click through to another page to learn more, or to visit your blog. A call to action works great to suggest to the site visitor what you would like them to do next. If there is no clear “next step” for your visitor to take, they will likely decide to just leave.
Without content that your visitors want to read, it doesn’t matter how well your site is built. Put yourself in the mindset of your ideal client and create content that they want to read. The more interesting your content is, the more people will want to stick around and browse through it.
Again, a blog is a great way to keep site visitors on your site longer and let them get to know you. You can use your blog to deliver content that is memorable and helpful which will help build the relationship between you and your site visitors.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to having a well-built website, that was created with the user experience and your business goals in mind. This, paired with great content, will create an experience that makes your potential clients spend more time (and money) on your website.