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what does Average time on site mean?

     
4:02 pm on Jun 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



In google analytics, what does Average time on site mean? Does it include time spent on all pages?
What does bounce rate mean? If a person quickly went from the landing page to another page on the site, does it mean it did not bounce? I have a high bounce rate and pretty good Average time on site, and I want to make sense of it all
6:21 am on Jun 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Avg. Time on site is the average of all time all visitors spend on the site.

e.g.- if 10 visitors visit the site during the elapsed / measured period of time, and 1 visitor spends 60 seconds, 6 spend 120 seconds and 3 spend 240 seconds, the average is:

((1x60) + (6 x 120) + (3 x 240)) / 10 = 150

... or 2 min. 30 seconds "Avg. Time on Site"

Bounce rate is people that view (1) page and leave.
3:10 pm on Jun 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



if 10 visitors visit the site during the elapsed / measured period of time, and 1 visitor spends 60 seconds, 6 spend 120 seconds and 3 spend 240 seconds, the average is...

Is that begging the question or does g### actually say so somewhere? That is, does "average" mean (sorry) mean or median? Both can be useful, but if you're only getting one, you need to be sure which one it is.
10:52 pm on Jun 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I don't know -- they do warn you that open browsers when someone "skips to the loo" can skew the numbers, and that bounces can count as "0 seconds" and both can throw the numbers off.

I think you should look at the pretty colored graphs and mentally throw out the extremes.
1:24 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Note that 1 page visits are NOT counted in this calculation, as Google cannot know the time spent on site for them
5:20 pm on Jun 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



?
I thought the whole point of javascript-based tracking was that they can tell how long you've been on the page. Or at least when you arrive and when you leave. Can't tell if you wander off midway to answer the phone, go to the bathroom or deal with a child. Or open another tab while leaving the original page open.

I had piwik for a while-- uninstalled because it was making me crazy-- and it gave times for single-page and final-page visits.
2:40 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)



Nope, Google Analytics only increments time on site when the user sends a new pageview. So single-page visits return zero time on site, and GA doesn't record how much time a visitor spent on the final page of their visits.
7:19 pm on Jun 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Nope, Google Analytics only increments time on site when the user sends a new pageview. So single-page visits return zero time on site, and GA doesn't record how much time a visitor spent on the final page of their visits.


correct me if I am wrong, but...

If a visitor goes to Page 1 on your site that has GA code on it

Then goes to Page 2, which DOESN'T have GA code on it,

Then goes to Page 3, which DOES have GA code on it

It will then appear to goole that the time the visitor spent on Page 2 (the one WITHOUT GA code on it) was actually spent on the first page (which did have GA code on it).

Or am I totally confused?
2:54 am on Jun 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



1). User opens browser or browser was otherwise dormant before viewing a page on YOUR site.

2). User navigates to a page on YOUR site either by a referring link or directly typing the address in the address bar (which would mean no referrer in second case).

3). User browses YOUR page --- scrolling up, down, all around -- but not clicking anything else on YOUR page.

4). User clicks the [HOME] button on THEIR browser.


... and the total time on YOUR page can only be calculated as "0 seconds" because once the page is loaded, the user has no other interaction with YOUR site -- the content has been loaded into THEIR browser and even if the page contained 1,000,000 words and they took 6 months to read it.... all Google, or any stats / analytics program makes is (1) entry in the log [it provides YOU], so there is no way YOU can calculate how long the user was on YOUR site.

This is not true for Google itself in many cases... Google can track how long the user was browsing YOUR content in many situtations and discover the next track-able action the user takes.

Lets say the user decided to Tweet about it, or went to YouTube to watch a video related to it, or, after clicking [HOME] went to another page that had a DoubleClick ad related to what they were browsing at YOUR site --- well then, Google (since it owns YouTube and DoubleClick -- among many other web properties), and since Google read social signals from Twitter, Google could make a logical conclusion that:

USER "X" read about "blue widgets" and 2 minutes and 30 seconds later, USER "X" watched a video on YouTube about "blue widgets" for 1 minute and 58 seconds, then when the video ends, Google served a Doubleclick driven ad selling "blue widgets", which USER "X" clicked on...

In the above situation, something like [donottrack.us...] is appropriate to discuss next...

Google knows all, sees all -- we are blind.
3:21 am on Jun 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Thanks lexipixel.
8:47 am on Jun 24, 2011 (gmt 0)



... so there is no way YOU can calculate how long the user was on YOUR site. ...


Actually,

It is possible (don't know if it's allowed by Goog).

I have on my site a small piece of javascript, triggered by onload, to start counting untill the webpage loses focus, when it regains focus, it starts the counting again...

In the onunload event you simply make sure this counter is sent through an ajax call to a special script on the website which records the time you had your focus on site, and the full url of the page you where at.

Simple and very effective.
11:27 am on Jun 24, 2011 (gmt 0)



You can also set up a script to trigger an event in Google Analytics, that fires once the user has spent a certain amount of time on your page. One nice thing about that is it means those visits are no longer counted as "bounces".
 

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