Time-Spent on site can often be a misleading metric and is dependent upon the content type and length, intended experience or task based interaction.
If a user is moving through the product purchase process, the time on page/time of site goal would be the time it takes to move a prospect or customers from product selection on to payment and exit.
Some organizations experience a high bounce rate which results from single page/session views of content or function.
As an example a user clicks on a link via Google search results that leads them to a page on an organization’s site, the user scans the page and determines that either the single page has met their needs or that it hasn’t. Then closes the tab or browser.
The page view/session is recorded in the overall total but most often results in an inflated understanding of site/page usage when the bounce impact is not subtracted.
An organization must develop and assign appropriate metric values and KPIs to content, experience and interaction types that will result in measureable understanding of page performance and in successfully meeting the user needs. It isn’t a one size fits all exercise.
As an example: a page that has long form content with have a higher time on page/time on site value and metric for success than a transactional based page where a user should quickly move through the purchase experience.
It is often best to break time on page and time on site into categories to improve understanding of user behaviors and interactions and determine appropriate tweaks and adjustments.
It is often best to have a clear understanding of what you are selling, what you are offering and who you are sized with the content or experience types to determine time on site (and page). Use your goals combined with user behaviors to determine if you are effective and what you need to improve.
Be mindful that we all have things we like to complete quickly and those where we like to take or time. Ensure your site and your measurement reflect your uniqueness and your customer, member and subscriber preferences of interaction.
We offer a downloadable measurement guide for Audience Engagement that can help you get started.
We also offer an Inbound Methodology Primer to kick start your efforts to gain insight and understanding of your members, your customers and your subscribers. Follow this link to receive the download.
If you want to learn more about content and usage analytics, please see the blog series Demystifying Analytics for Editors and Publishers.
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