If you’re in the SEO business, the biggest key to your success is impressing Google. There are many ways to do this, and most of them are probably deeply ingrained into your psyche and your workflow after years of studying page rankings and other data. However, time on site is a metric that many SEO professionals fail to consider. That’s why I’d like to show you some tips that will help you create pages that are “sticky” enough to keep people from clicking elsewhere.
Why is Time On Site So Important?
- Google sees your site as an authoritative resource if you have higher-than-average time-on-site numbers. Accordingly, your overall ranking will rise if you can improve this number
- High-quality websites are habit-forming, and people keep coming back to sites where they know they can find useful, engaging content. Just look at Facebook, which destroys all of its competition when it comes to average time on site
- Time on site simply leads to a greater conversion rate, and that’s what this is all about, right?
Here are four tips that can help you improve your time-on-site stats and watch your pages rise in the eyes of the Google algorithm:
Video content rules the Internet, especially when it’s really good video content. Also, the reality of web surfing is that people will give more of their attention to a video clip than they will to a paragraph of written content. When two to three minutes is considered to be a great time-on-site number, a two- to three-minute video can boost your rankings considerably. There is some disagreement among experts when it comes to the proper placement of video content on a page, but most of them agree that it should be at or near the top. Remember not to bore your readers, though – a great two-minute video with its best points made early will keep people glued to your page.
Add Internal Links
Once you’ve got a visitor on your site, you need to keep them there with more relevant information and content. Otherwise, they will probably leave your page and go back to the Google search bar to find what they’re looking for. Wouldn’t you rather click on a link within a website rather than perform a new search? Adding internal links helps with time-on-site stats because people tend to open links in new tabs or windows, which gives your rankings a super boost in the eyes of Google.
Point Readers to Related Articles
Once a reader has finished engaging with the content on one of your site’s pages, they might be hungry for more information. That’s why you should offer links to related articles at the bottom of your piece. Doing so gives a great benefit to your readers because it gives them more great content options for information that they’ve searched for. Obviously, this can increase time on site, but it also shows that you’re an authority who can provide multiple pieces of useful content on a given subject. What’s more, people often scroll to the bottom of an article or postings before reading, which means that you can really impress them with some relevant, related links.
If a website isn’t giving you what you want seconds after you’ve clicked on its link, you know that it only takes a moment to search elsewhere. If your site is slow, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the world’s most informative content; people just don’t have the patience to sit through an excruciatingly long (by modern standards) load time. Work with your webmaster to ensure that your site is optimized properly for quick loading of your excellent content.
There are many other factors that can influence time on site. Great content is essential, of course, and an engaging design will always entice visitors to stay a little longer. However, if you implement these four tips, you will almost certainly see your time-on-site numbers improve as you inspect your Google Analytics reports.
How do you keep visitors on your website? Do you have any other tips to improve time on site? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.