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Optimization and user behavior. What are dwell time, long click and zero-click searches?

6 minutes of reading
Optimization and user behavior. What are dwell time, long click and zero-click searches?
Category SEO

Search Engine Optimization isn’t just about improving your rankings and getting more traffic from Google or other search engines – it’s also about knowing what kinds of searches your audience will make, how they’ll make them, and when they’ll make them. This means that optimization strategies are different for each site, as well as on a page-by-page basis.

When you’re optimizing your website’s conversion rate, it can be easy to get tunnel vision and only pay attention to the number of times people click on your site after they’ve arrived there from a search engine result. While this metric is useful in understanding how well your site converts searchers into customers, it leaves out some crucial details about the experience you’re providing once someone gets to your site via search engine result, most notably dwell time and long-clicks/zero-clicks.


Online users

The average person spends nearly two hours browsing the internet on their phone every day. With so much time spent online, it’s important for you to understand what people are looking for and how they’re going about finding it. If you want your website or app to be a success in this digital era, then here are some things you need to know about how people interact with the web today.

Users’ behavior is an important factor in Search Engine Optimization. Search engines use dwell time, long click, and zero-click searches as a way of finding out what users are looking for. With this information, they can better tailor their algorithms to provide the most relevant results.

The basics of dwell time

Dwell time is the time that elapses between a user clicking a link to a given page and returning to the list of search results. This is a value that is not publicly available or well understood, but is nevertheless important for search results. This is one of the most extensive values, but, importantly, it cannot be confused with session duration and the bounce rate.

What influences dwell time results?

  • Session duration – the average length of time users spend on a given page. It can be seen in Google Analytics.
  • Bounce Rate (BR) – Percentage of site visitors who leave after seeing only one page.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) – determines how often a given page appears in search results for a specific query and how often Internet users visit it after seeing a link to it.

Theoretically, the longer the user explores a given site, the more useful it is for him. If so, the search engine should write it down as a plus for such a website, right? Not completely.

In other words, as is often the case in SEO, it cannot be easily verified whether the time the user spends on the website is always an indicator of its quality. Navigation or text readability might not be optimal, which leads to long visit time with users trying to find information.

Introduction to long click

It is a long user stays on the website page as a result of the transition to it from the search results. In particular, this is a non-return to search for extradition and the cessation of its research, which means that the user found what he was looking for.

Although literally anything can affect user satisfaction, the most important are three elements: high-quality content, website layout and its navigation.

  • Interesting content not only givea users a better experience on your site, but high quality content also helps improve search engine rankings as well. In order to create high quality content that attracts readers, you need to make sure that you are utilizing keyword phrases in your text while also providing original topic.
  • A key factor in website optimization is the layout. The design of your website affects how users interact with it. Remember that the first impression counts – on the one hand, you should attract the attention of the recipient, but on the other hand, you should not get too carried away and overdo it with decorations.
  • Navigation on a website is an important factor that affects the user experience. There are many methods of navigation available, such as navigation bars, drop down menus, and sidebars. A good navigation menu should be easy to find while browsing the site as well as have additional links for more information.

Understanding zero-click searches

Zero-click searches are when a user clicks on a search result without clicking on any other result. This can be a sign that the results are not relevant enough for the searcher’s needs or that there is not enough information provided in the SERP. One way to combat zero-clicks is by including keywords in your title tag and meta description. Another way is by adding more information about the page in your page description.

When it comes to meta tags, we control how a site is indexed by the robots, which in turn shapes our presence on the web. Tags help search engines when indexing websites by collecting data about their content and showing it in searches. It helps the user find what they are looking for, so it’s important they work in algorithms. The greatest strength of meta tags is the ease of implementation and the possibility for continuous updating depending on one’s needs.

The importance of analysis in SEO

Your website’s SEO is only as good as the analysis you put into it. Without a deep understanding of how Google sees your site, any optimization you do will be in vain. Therefore, it is important that you know what indicators to look for. Dwell time, long click, and zero-click searches are often overlooked, and they tell a lot more about our users than you might think. With such information, you will better match your content and improve on-page and off-page optimization.

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Last words

No matter what type of search you’re optimizing for, it’s important to understand what your user is looking for and how they want to interact with your content. If a visitor doesn’t see the answer they’re looking for on the first page of results, chances are good that they’ll leave without clicking anything. To get more traffic from searches involving dwell time, long clicks or zero-click searches, you need to make sure that searchers find the answer they’re looking for on the first page of results.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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