Experienced E-commerce Agency for Magento/ Adobe Commerce/ Shopify/ Shopware Development

Everything to know about Shopify dwell time!

Dwell time on Shopify is an SEO term that might be unclear to you while managing your Shopify store. It is one of the most useful tools to help you run your store more efficiently. Let’s discuss everything to know about Shopify dwell time with us now!

Shopify dwell time definition

Dwell time is the duration a user remains on a webpage following their click on a search engine result (SERP) link, before returning to the SERP. It’s like that brief moment you evaluate if the page you clicked on actually answers your query

In the context of Shopify, dwell time denotes the average duration that a visitor spends on your online store during a single session. It’s essentially a measure of engagement and can be used to gauge how well your store is capturing user interest and guiding them toward purchasing.

Shopify dwell time definition

By understanding and analyzing dwell time, you can gain valuable insights into how your Shopify store is performing and identify opportunities to improve the user experience, boost engagement, and ultimately drive sales.

Why dwell time matters in SEO for Shopify stores

There are various reasons why visitors may leave your website, including:

  • The website appears spammy
  • Misleading content
  • Numerous grammatical errors in the content
  • Slow page loading speed
  • Lack of mobile-friendliness
  • Excessive pop-up windows
  • And other factors

Therefore, utilizing dwell time allows you to gauge how effectively your Shopify store engages visitors. It serves as a metric indicating the quality and pertinence of your store’s content. The more time visitors invest on your webpage before going back to search engine results pages (SERPs), the greater the perceived value your page offers to online users.

Below are several ways, in which dwell time significantly influences the SEO performance of Shopify stores: 

  • Signals user engagement: High dwell time suggests visitors are finding your store engaging and worth their time. This sends positive signals to search engines, potentially influencing factors like click-through rate (CTR) and bounce rate.
  • Reflects content relevance: If users spend significant time on your site, it implies your content aligns well with their search queries. Longer dwell time suggests your content provides valuable information and answers user questions effectively.
  • Improves usability and conversions: Understanding dwell time at the page level helps identify areas for improvement in terms of navigation, layout, and content. You can optimize pages with low dwell time to enhance user experience, reduce confusion, and encourage users to stay longer, ultimately leading to increased conversions.
  • Informs user experience optimization: Analyzing dwell time across different devices and visitor segments reveals which aspects of your store resonate most with different audiences. This data can guide targeted optimization efforts, like mobile-friendliness or personalized content, to cater to specific user needs and preferences.

Do search engines factor in dwell time for page rankings?

According to information shared on the Microsoft blog, there is a reasonable likelihood that Bing takes dwell time into account.

Regarding Google, the company’s stance is less clear. While some Google engineers have implied that machine learning algorithms factor in dwell time for content ranking, Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller, has stated that the time spent on a page is not a direct ranking factor.

It’s important to note that time on a page is not synonymous with dwell time; dwell time specifically refers to the duration the user invests on a page before going back to the search results.

Third-party studies, such as research conducted by the SEO site Moz, suggest a potential correlation between dwell time and improved Google rankings. 

Additionally, Google has obtained a ‘long click’ patent, hinting at the possibility that dwell time might influence rankings. Interestingly, Google’s Search Console Insights tool highlights pages where users spend a significant amount of time, as seen in the provided screenshot.

Do search engines factor in dwell time for page rankings?

In the realm of search engine optimization, clarity on the significance of dwell time as a ranking factor is somewhat ambiguous. Nonetheless, there is evidence supporting the idea that dwell time could play a role in rankings, making it a noteworthy aspect to consider in SEO efforts.

Key factors to not be mistaken Shopify dwell time

Dwell time and time on page

While dwell time and time on the page may appear similar, they are distinct metrics. 

Key differences between dwell time and time on page:

  • Origin of traffic: Dwell time is specific to SERP clicks, while time on the page can be from any source.
  • Measurement complexity: Dwell time is estimated with less precision, while time on the page is directly measured by analytics tools.
  • SEO implications: Dwell time has a more indirect influence on SEO through user satisfaction signals, while time on page offers granular insights for individual page optimization.

Dwell time and bounce rate

Dwell time and bounce rate are both metrics that track user engagement on a website, but they measure different things:

Dwell time is the average duration of time a user stays on a webpage after clicking on a search engine result (SERP) link before returning to the SERP. Think of it as the time a user spends “dwelling” on your page to see if it answers their query.

Bounce rate, on the other hand, refers to the percentage of visitors who exit your website after viewing only one page. It doesn’t matter how they arrived at your site, whether it was through a search engine result, a link from another website, or directly typing in your URL.

Dwell time and session duration

Session duration gauges the amount of time an individual has spent on your website, resembling dwell time in this aspect.

Yet, these visitors may have explored multiple pages. If their entry was not through a search, there’s no avenue for them to return to search results, making dwell time and session duration distinct metrics.

Google Analytics can measure session duration, unlike dwell time, which lacks this capability.

Dwell time and a visit

Dwell time signifies the duration a visitor remains on a page before returning to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). A visit refers to an individual who has landed on your website.

Unlike visits, dwell time is quantified in seconds or minutes. In technical terms, each time dwell time is measured, there is also a corresponding visit to be accounted for.

How to calculate Shopify dwell time?

Determining dwell time is beyond your capacity for calculation; it’s a metric exclusive to search engines. 

Instead, you can examine your average engagement time using Google Analytics. This will indicate the duration visitors spend on a page, providing similar insights as dwell time. 

Average engagement time on Google Analytics

However, it won’t reveal whether the user bounced, explored numerous pages, or went back to the search engine results page, which dwell time would otherwise encompass.

6 Tips to increase the dwell time on your Shopify store

1. Incorporate videos into the content on your website

Incorporating videos into your content and prompting visitors to view them can extend the duration people spend on your pages, sometimes significantly.

Likewise, engaging images, charts, and infographics can contribute to sustaining reader interest and boosting the average time spent on a page or post.

2. Expand the length of your content

While it’s important to avoid creating long-form content without purpose, it’s reasonable to acknowledge that well-crafted, in-depth articles with substantial word counts can indeed extend the duration visitors spend on your content, consequently boosting average dwell time.

However, the emphasis should always be on producing high-quality content. Users and search engines are unlikely to appreciate or reward content that is considered ‘bloat’ or ‘fluff.’ Quality should take precedence over sheer length, ensuring that the content remains valuable, informative, and engaging for your audience.

3. Inviting comments on your content

Many website visitors enjoy reading and engaging with user comments. Therefore, if your content has a substantial number of comments, it is likely to retain visitors for a longer duration.

Actively encourage your audience to contribute comments or ask questions on your posts. This not only naturally extends the length of your content but also enhances its engagement.

However, it is crucial to prioritize quality in this aspect. Carefully moderate the comment approval process and only publish comments that are relevant and interesting. This ensures that the user-generated content adds value to your posts and contributes positively to the overall user experience.

4. Guarantee swift loading times for your pages

Abundant research indicates that if a web page loads slowly, there is a higher likelihood of users abandoning it quickly and returning to search results. 

This inevitably leads to a subpar dwell time. Therefore, it is imperative to prioritize efforts to enhance your site’s page speed, as this significantly influences user satisfaction and engagement.

5. Make sure that your content is understandable

When creating content for the web, make sure to avoid confusion or excessive jargon. Frustrating your visitors with unclear content may lead them to quickly click the back button on their browser. Therefore, always:

  • When you write for the web, keep it simple
  • Break your content into clear sections 
  • Use headings to highlight key topics
  • Make your paragraphs short for easy reading

Likewise, it’s important to steer clear of generating an unfavorable user experience. Pop-ups, sluggish image loading, and intrusive ads within content can prompt readers to swiftly leave your site.

6. Incorporate bucket brigades to encourage continued reading.

Employing ‘bucket brigades’ is a copywriting strategy that entices users to stay engaged and discover what unfolds next. Bucket brigades often take the form of questions or sentences concluding with colons. 

The key is to strategically incorporate bucket brigades into sections of your content where you sense readers might be losing interest, as an effective bucket brigade can reignite their curiosity.

What is the average dwell time?

Hubspot cites an average dwell time ranging from 2 to 4 minutes, relying on benchmarks for average session duration from the previous Universal Google Analytics. 

It’s important to note that they aren’t directly measuring dwell time. Accessing information on the average dwell time for various types of websites is a capability exclusive to search engines, making it unlikely for us to have such data available.

Improve Shopify dwell time with the help of experts

For online merchants looking for an expert team to help improve the Shopify dwell time of your Shopify store, you can contact Mageplaza for their outstanding Shopify Speed & Performance Optimization services. 

Mageplaza can assist in achieving rapid page load times, lowering bounce rates, and enhancing the overall user experience for your customers.

The process of Mageplaza’s Shopify speed and performance optimization often goes through 5 steps:

  • Analyze website: This includes assessing navigation for user-friendliness, evaluating content relevance, checking page load speed and mobile responsiveness, conducting SEO audits, reviewing technical aspects and security, and analyzing user behavior through analytics.
  • Identify weak spots: Identifying weak areas in a website involves a systematic review of its components. Through this process, weaknesses are identified, allowing for targeted improvements to enhance the overall functionality and user experience of the website.
  • Suggest solution: According to the result of the website analysis and the weak spot identification, Mageplaza will recommend and provide customers with suitable solutions.
  • Implement the optimization process: After finishing the three steps above, Mageplaza experts will help you implement the change on your website to help you achieve the best optimization.
  • Offer ongoing support and maintenance: Mageplaza will offer continuous assistance and upkeep services to ensure the sustained performance and reliability of a system or your product.
Mageplaza’s Shopify Speed & Performance Optimization Service

Some reasons why you should choose Mageplaza to help you with Shopify dwell time:

  • Expertise & experience: Mageplaza boasts a team of seasoned professionals specializing in Shopify optimization. With a profound understanding of the technical facets of website optimization, they stay current with the latest best practices.
  • Comprehensive services: Mageplaza provides a complete range of optimization services encompassing image optimization, code optimization, and caching. Their efforts focus on identifying and resolving potential bottlenecks that could impact your store’s speed and overall performance.
  • Customized solutions: Mageplaza doesn’t provide a generic, one-size-fits-all solution for optimization. Instead, their team collaborates with each client to comprehend their individual needs and objectives, creating a tailored plan to optimize their store accordingly.
  • Transparent pricing: Mageplaza provides transparent pricing for Shopify optimization services, ensuring there are no hidden fees or surprises. Clients have a clear understanding of the costs and the specific services they can expect to receive.


The bottom line

In conclusion, optimizing dwell time for your online store on Shopify is a strategic approach that involves understanding user behavior, enhancing content quality, and ensuring a seamless user experience. 

By leveraging analytics tools like Google Analytics to assess average engagement time, you can gain valuable insights into visitor behavior.

Image Description
Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.
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