Why quality content is the new clickbait: keep the attention of your website visitors

‘You’ll never guess what happened!’ Does this headline give you the chills? Then you’ve probably clicked on clickbait at least once. Website owners try to lure with provocative titles, just for the page views. Let’s be clear, there’s nothing wrong with a good headline, but the contents of these pages are often no less than misleading. This is why tech giants are constantly trying to fight clickbait. Google for example is always striving to have quality content as the top search results. An important factor for this search engine to decide on the quality, is called ‘dwell time’.

Dwell time: how long can you keep your visitors’ attention?

An example: you’re searching for 2021’s computer security trends. You click on Google’s top search result. Sadly, corresponding page doesn’t have the information you’re looking for. You go back to the results and click on the next page, and repeat these actions until you’ve found what you were looking for. Even though you didn’t know it, this way you are contributing to the page rank of the websites you’ve visited.

Google exactly keeps track of how long you’re visiting a website before you return to the search results. This is called dwell time. When someone spends much time on a certain page, Google interprets this page as containing valuable contents. This is a positive boost for the page’s ranking. Of course, it also works the other way around. When you visit a page that turns out to be irrelevant and you almost immediately return to Google (or leave the site in any other way), the page will receive a lower ranking.

Grab your visitors’ attention

Now you know how important dwell time is to Google, you’d of course do anything to improve it. A high dwell time is closely related to the time your visitors spend on your website. You can easily check the latter in your website statistics, such as in Google’s own Analytics. If visitors spend little time on your pages, you know there’s work to be done. Otherwise, there’ll be a negative influence on your ranking.

Ways to improve your dwell time:

1. Provide visitors with quality content

Clickbait’s big problem is that it doesn’t fulfil its promise. Almost everyone who uses Google, does this because they have a question and want to find a website with the answer. If they don’t get that answer, they’ll leave the website. This means providing your visitors with quality content is a great way to prevent them from leaving. In other words: if your headline promises an article that describes 2021’s computer security trends, the visitor will have to be able to find these exact trends on the page. But there’s more. Don’t just list these trends, but also provide additional information: why is this trend, well, a trend? If you’re provide visitors with complete information, you’ll prevent them from going elsewhere to fulfil their information needs.

2. Internal linking is your friend

Someone spending significant time on your landing page is nice, but you’ll want them to explore other parts of your website as well. This will keep them on board for a much longer time. A great way to do this is with providing them with good internal links, for example to related blogs or interesting downloads. This will not just improve the dwell time, but also the bounce rate: the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing just one page. A low bounce rate is important for a high Google ranking.

3. Work on that user experience

Even when your landing page contains everything your visitor is looking for, when the website itself is just bad, you’ll lose them anyway. The lay-out has to be fine and the text should be clearly legible. Also keep in mind you’ll have to be able to load the page fast. Let’s be honest: patience is a virtue, but not online. A lot of visitors will drop out if it takes more than five seconds to load a page. Moreover, Google rewards fast websites with a higher ranking.

Want to know how you’ll get your website on top of the search results? Feel free to contact us.

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Marketing Automation Partners