Testing a theory

One of the many ways that Google et al define the quality of a page is by looking at how long people spend visiting that page. Crudely, a  longer visit indicates that the information the visitor wants has been found.

This is nothing new, but what is new is that the relative importance of  ‘time on page’ has been boosted during the 2011 algorithm changes.

Therefore, site additions that encourage longer viewing times are likely to benefit the site much more than they used to.

To put this theory to the test, last week we found a page on one of our own sites with consistent heavy traffic and added an appropriate video to it. Today I can reveal that the analytics are in and the page has performed amazingly.

Time on page has jumped 85%  from 46 seconds to 1 minute and 25 seconds.

In addition the bounce rate fell by 29.6% which was pleasing.

Now this was hardly a conclusive double blind study, but the early indications are that this is a technique that will benefit most sites.

The issue of finding or creating an ‘appropriate’ video are of course not being addressed here, but with modern mobile phones offering quality video as standard, it shouldn’t present any technical difficulties.