How Videos Can Boost the Average Time Spent on Your Website

Ezra Fishman

Business Intelligence

Did you know that the more visitors engage with your page, the more likely your page will rank higher in search engines? Yep. Simply having your visitors camp out on your page and interact with the content will boost your website’s chances of making it to the first page of Google!

While Google has never confirmed that it uses visitor engagement as a ranking factor, many SEO experts have noticed a correlation between overall page engagement and search engine rankings. It’s likely because search engines see a page with high visitor engagement as an authority that’s worth ranking.

The best way to increase your page’s engagement and rank higher in search results is to get your visitors to:

  • Spend more time on your page: Visitors will stick around longer if they find your content useful, engaging, and easy to understand.
  • Interact with your content more: Examples include watching videos, submitting email addresses, responding to calls to action (CTAs), filling out surveys, leaving comments, etc.

That’s where video comes into play! You can achieve both goals at once by making truly engaging video content for your visitors. Just ask us. After looking at some numbers, we found that video can be an effective way to increase the average time spent on your website. And if done well, video can also be a great way to engage your audience.

It worked for us: Our videos increased the average time spent on our website

Here at Wistia, we put a lot of time and effort into creating quality video content for our visitors. With Wistia analytics, we can easily assess how engaged our audience is with our videos and whether or not our videos are driving conversions.

However, we still wanted to know more about the impact of video on our pages. Do visitors spend more time on our pages with video, compared to pages without?

To find out, we looked at data from the 100 highest-trafficked pages from January 1, 2021 to April 24, 2022 and focused specifically on the amount of time our visitors spent on these pages, or “time on page,” as Google Analytics would call it.

Our findings

This figure shows the average time on page for each of the top 100 pages in descending order:

You may have noticed that there is a much higher concentration of pages with video (blue) on the left, correlating with more time spent on the page.

When we take the average of the total time spent on pages with video and compare it with the average of the total time spent on pages without video, it’s clear that visitors spend more time on pages with video.

Looking at the numbers, we concluded that:

  • The average time spent on pages with video is 6 minutes.
  • The average time spent on pages without video is 4.3 minutes.

This means people spent on average about 1.4x more time on pages with video than without!

“People spent on average about 1.4x more time on pages with video than without!”

So it appears that having video on a page, assuming it’s useful and engaging, correlates with more time spent on the page. This brings us to the question: Do longer videos perform better?

Video content matters more than video length

There are a bunch of different metrics in Google Analytics that people use to measure how well their content is doing, but time on page seems particularly linked to video. Right now, you might be thinking, “Of course long videos keep visitors on a page longer. It’s not rocket science!” Well, what if we told you that short videos or multiple videos also get visitors to stay on your page longer? In fact, the top three pages on our website with the highest average time on page all had multiple videos. Take a look:

Interestingly enough, we didn’t find a direct correlation between longer videos and higher time on page. You may have noticed that the page with the longest average time on page only had 5:33 minutes of video total.

There may be a reason for this, though. Most of the Wistia pages that contain multiple videos teach a step-by-step process and provide visual examples along the way. So it wasn’t super surprising that these pages had the longest average time on page. Still, the fact remains that short and multiple videos can be strategically used to keep your visitors on your page longer.

“Most of the Wistia pages that contain multiple videos teach a step-by-step process and provide visual examples along the way.”

Is a longer visit an engaged one?

If increasing the time spent on your site is good for SEO, it begs the question: Is a longer site visit an engaged one?

It can be, but not always. The good news is that there are ways to find out if your visitors are actually engaging with your content.

For example, you can use Wistia analytics and our Google Analytics integration to observe the total number of plays your videos have, the average engagement of your videos, and more. When you notice both longer visits and good video engagement, you can safely assume that the page has high visitor engagement rather than just long visits.

Longer page visits can be great. They can mean that people find value in your content, but it can sometimes indicate that people aren’t finding what they need on your page. That’s why it’s important to figure out how much value your content is providing to your audience.

Let’s say you have a help doc that answers FAQs from customers. If the average time on page for this doc is sky-high, it’s likely a sign that your customers aren’t getting the answers they need. You can fix this by reformatting the page or adding more information.

If you have a page with only one tutorial video and no other content, for example, it might make sense to compare the length of the tutorial video with the average time on page to determine whether or not something is wrong. Let’s say your video is only about a minute long, but the average time on page is much longer than that. You might want to find out why. The discrepancy might indicate that the information in your video is confusing enough to make your visitors rewatch parts of the video multiple times. If you have Wistia analytics, you can track which section of your video is being rewatched the most and then revisit it to make sure it’s not confusing.

Video provides value

Having relevant video on your page can increase the value your visitors get from your content, and our data suggests that it also keeps visitors around longer. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

The more time people spend engaged with your content, the more time they have to familiarize themselves with your brand and potentially notice and act upon a CTA. If you’re looking to really take advantage of the engaging power of video, place that CTA right within the video that’s holding their attention.

Now you’re cookin’!

We knew that if you made it this far, an engaging video would be the best way to keep you around longer. Naturally, we decided to go with the most entrancing thing we could think of :  our CEO awkwardly playing an amateur rendition of “Brian Wilson” on an out-of-tune guitar. He knows it “by heart.”

Ezra Fishman

Business Intelligence

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