With 50% or more of your site's traffic coming from mobile phones nowadays, this is can be a very important element of getting high rankings in Google.
As discussed in the first chapter of MyGoogleSecrets.com, one factor that Google uses to measures the usefulness of your website, once its made it into their search results, is on whether or not a visitor hits the "back" button in their browser within a short period of time of clicking on a Google search result that brings that person to your website.
In other words, Google can tell when a person has clicked on a link to go to your site. If a person stays on your page for a measurable amount of time, Google concludes that your page must be on target. This is called page read time. Within Google Analytics (free website tracking service provided by Google), it is displayed as "Average Session Duration." If you use Google Analytics on your site, and you see several pages of your website that have received one or more visitors within a specific time period (for example, 30 days), then you will see a column that tells you the "Average Session Duration."
So what can you learn from this? If you compare both articles side by side, what is it about the dog article that is keeping users on the page a lot longer than the cat article? That dog article is a golden article in your collection, and with such a long read time has a good chance of seeing a rise in the search engine rankings.
To improve things on the cat article, you should consider trying a new, more exciting headline and subheadline, as well as a compelling cover photo that reflects the search phrase that would bring a person to your website to begin with.
Headline. Sub headline. Cover photo. Links to related articles on the right or just below the fold. Everything should be clean and not cluttered (a cluttered website can overwhelm a person who is turned off by all the background noise). So design with plenty of space and easily readable blocks of text.
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