Dating missunderstood

22 Dec

How can the Average Session Duration be less than the Average Time on Page?

In Google Analytics, eyeing the time spent on your website or on individual pages is not as visible as it very first emerges.

On the last page, there is no next page recorded, so the Time on Page is unknown (recorded as 0) and the Session Duration completes when they opened the last page. All we know is that they didn’t look at another page on your site within the next 30 minutes (that’s how long a default session lasts). For example, a particular landing page with a high bounce rate like this one (87%), I discovered that 75% of users were still reading the page after 60 seconds, 43% were still reading after Five minutes! With Time on Page, if the page is not the last page in the visit, the time is accurate.

For sessions where the user only looked at one page (a “bounce”), as in the Visitor Two example above, the Time on Page and the Session Duration is 0. These “bounces” were very engaged with the content on the page! The problem is with exit pages: the Time on Page is zero.

Google Analytics Time on Page and Google Analytics Session Duration are typical examples, until you detect one not-so-obvious fact: Google can’t measure the time a user spent looking at the last page of their visit to your site.

This happens because Google uses the time of the next page view to determine the time you spent looking at the current page. There are some technologies (read Measuring Time On Bounce Page) you can use to see if people are actually reading your pages, even if they bounce.

This confuses a lot of people —, the Avg Time on Page calculation liquidates the effect of Bounces (Exits), but the Avg Session Duration calculation includes the Session count for those Bounces which reduces the average.

Every session has an exit page, and if there aren’t many pages in the visit, the loss of that last page timing can have a massive influence on the total.

In the extreme case of a “bounce” visit that has only one page viewed, the Sessions count is 1 but the Session Duration is 0!

If you have long detailed articles (like this one), you should expect the people indeed reading it should be engaged for a few minutes.

I have a page with the average time on page of Four min. Does this mean that the remaining 10% stay on the page for Four min? Yes, BUT use the Landing Pages report to determine your Bounce Rate NOT the All Pages report. Do let me know if you see anything that can be switched/improved here 🙂 Count(Case When Hits.