Google Analytics provides marketers with several data sets and when interpreted correctly, can be very beneficial. Some datasets are easy to understand (Number of Sessions, New Users, and Page Views) while others like Bounce Rate or Exit Rate may need more understanding. While Average Session Time is straight forward to understand, how it fluctuates on your site will tell you a lot. We wanted to write a blog about Average Session Time and what it can tell you about how users interact with your site!
What’s an Average ‘Average Session Time’ across the web?
Depending on your industry and the purpose of your site, this will vary. From a quick search on the web, it is estimated that a normal, average session time should be anywhere between 2-3 minutes. Hopefully, this will include a user going to multiple pages throughout their journey on your site and ultimately leading to conversions such as a call, email, contact form, etc.
My Average Session Time is well above 2-3 minutes. What does that mean?
If you notice your session time is in the 4-8-minute window, it is more likely than not, the information is not accurate. As the human attention span dwindles due to the speed and availability of information that the internet has to offer, it is unlikely someone will stay on your site this long. As users find your page, they either find the information they are looking for within 2-3 minutes or move on. So how is your average session time so high? This could be due to spam traffic coming to your site and staying for lengthy periods of time. Additionally, if your site isn’t pulling in a lot of traffic yet and there isn’t filter set up in analytics to filter out traffic from yourself, that will affect average session time if you have your site pulled up all day.
My Average Session Time dropped after making edits, is that bad?
If you recently optimized your site to include more calls to action and conversions have gone up, this is a good thing! Due to your edits in prompting users to either call or fill out a contact form early in their user journey, you now have their information which is a lead! If conversions didn’t go up, there is more to look into on Analytics and your site as a whole.
Average Session Time dropped after no edits were made to the site?
This would be due to spam traffic bombarding your site and leaving immediately after. An easy way to tell if this is the case is if you also notice an increase in the Bounce Rate. To combat this within your reporting, go into Google Analytics and see where traffic is coming from. You will often find a town or city, either domestic or abroad, with Sessions equaling the same number of new users with 100% Bounce Rate from that specific area. The average session time will also be zero within that town or city. This outlier of data will skew your average session time. You can set up a filter for specific locations or even IP addresses so moving forward, your data will be accurate.
Boston Web Marketing: Boston’s Premier Web Marketing Company
Understanding and deciphering data found within Google Analytics takes time, knowledge, and expertise. It is also important to understand when edits were made and how they would have potentially affected a user’s experience. Here at Boston Web Marketing, our SEO account reps are trained in understanding the information Google Analytics has to offer and make edits based on conclusions from the data itself. If you have questions regarding the numbers in your Google Analytics account or how Boston Web Marketing can help your site, give us a call today!