How To Reduce Bounce Rate & Boost Dwell Time

A few simple strategies that you can use to increase your site’s dwell time to improve search ranking.

Push Your Content Above the Fold

When someone clicks on your site from Google, they want their question answered NOW.
In other words, they don’t want to scroll down to read your content.
That’s why I highly recommend removing anything that pushes your content below the fold, like this:

Content below fold

Instead, you want the first sentence of your content front and center:

 Content above fold

That way, you’ll hook your reader right off the bat.

Use Short Intros (5-10 Sentences MAX)

Believe it or not, but I spend MORE time on my intros than my headlines.

That’s because your intro is where 90% of your readers decide to stay… or go.

And after A LOT of testing I’ve found that short intros work best.


When someone searches for something in Google, they already know about that topic. So there’s no need for a massive intro.

Instead, use your intro to sell the content they’re about to read, like this:

Short intros

Publish Long, In-Depth Content

I’ve tested this ten ways to Tuesday. And I can tell you with confidence that:
Longer content=better Dwell Time.
Obviously, it takes longer to read a 2000-word guide than a 400-word blog post. But that’s only part of the equation.
The other reason that long form content improves Dwell Time is the fact that longer content can fully answer a searcher’s query.
For example, let’s say that you search for “how to run a marathon”.
Publish long content
And the first result that you click on is a 300-word post. It kinda sorta answers your question… but leaves you wanting more.
So you click on your back button to find something better (as you might remember, Google calls this “Pogo-sticking”).
And this time you hit the jackpot.
You find a comprehensive guide that covers EVERYTHING you need to know about running a marathon.
Publish comprehensive guides
So you grab a cup of coffee and read the guide from start to finish. You even re-read certain sections. All this reading is racking up serious Dwell Time.
Long form content works so well that I tend to ONLY publish content that’s at least 2,000 words.

Break Up Your Content Into Bite Size Chunks

Let’s face it:
Reading 2,000 words is HARD.
And it’s even harder if those 2,000 words are presented as a giant wall of text.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to get around this problem: subheaders.
Subheaders break up your content into digestible, bite-size chunks. This improves readability, and therefore, Dwell Time.
I use LOTS of subheaders at Backlinko for this exact reason:
Break up content into chunks
Specifically, I try to toss in a subheader for every 200 words of content.

Pro Tip: 

Avoid boring subheaders like “Backhand Drills” or “Stay Hydrated”. Instead, pack your subheaders with emotion. For example: “3 Simple Backhand Drills The Pros Use” and “What New Research Says About Staying Hydrated.”