Time on Site
precise measurement of the time spent on your site
What is it?
CounterCentral measures the time actively spent on your site by a visitor. When your site is first opened in a browser tab the timer starts. If the browser window where your site is loaded loses focus (because the user opens another application or goes to another tab), the timer is paused. It resumes when tne user returns to your site and this until the browser tab is closed or the timer reaches 30 minutes, whichever happens first.
Time on site, along with visits depths and bounce rate, is an important measure of a visitor's engagement with your site. It is available per referrer, per entrance page, per type of browser & OS, per screen size and in the live detailed visitors report. You can also see it evolve over time in the daily, weekly and monthly traffic reports
Note that there is no 'right' value for time on site. It is used to compare traffic patterns over time on a given site. For instance, if you redesign your navigation and the time on site suddenly drops, then it is a sign that your visitors may be confused and unable to navigate the new site. Seeing that report drop is an alarm bell telling you that something might be wrong.
A poor or dropping time on site value can be caused by two general factors:
- Poorly targeted traffic: People come to your site but they are not looking for the service/product you are offering so they leave. Site design is not an issue in this case. The marketing strategy is what needs to be adjusted.
- Poorly designed site: People come to your site for the right reasons but their experience is not positive enough to convince them to stay a while and browse through it. In this case, site design is what must be addressed.
We present Time on Site in different ways:
Average time-on-site over time for the entire website:
Have you made changes to your site recently? If your time on site goes up afterwards it's a sure way to confirm that the changes are having a positive impact and that your site is better at retaining visitors. Time-on-site over time can be accessed from the main stats menu > TRAFFIC OVER TIME
Average time-on-site per referrer:
This helps you figure out if some referrers are sending you bad traffic compared to others. Do you need to re-evaluate relationships with sites that are not sending you high quality traffic? Are your email, affiliate, other marketing campaigns yielding high times on site? This metric will help you answer these questions. Time-on-site per referrer can be accessed from the main stats menu > TRAFFIC ORIGIN > Referrers
Average time-on-site per entrance page:
People may enter your site through a variety of pages ; the time-on-site per entrance page helps you figure out which pages are good at retaining traffic and introducing the visitor into the site, and which ones are leading them away. If a page has a low associated time-on-site, you need to evaluate its contents: is it optimally organized? Does it contain the right calls to action? Time-on-site per entrance page can be accessed from the main stats menu > NAVIGATION > Entrance Pages
Average time on site per browser/operating system/screen size:
People access your site with a variety of equipments ; the time-on-site per equipment reports (browser/OS/screen size) allows you to spot equipments for which your site is not optimized. Do you see a low time-on-site from Opera on Mac? Then you may need to view your site under that configuration to see what might be the matter. This is especially important when looking at screen sizes. Are there a bunch of screen sizes for which time on site drops? If yes, simulate that screen size with your browser and see if your site is rendering properly. Chances are it is not. Time-on-site per equipment can be accessed from the main stats menu > EQUIPMENT USED
Time on site for individual users:
In the 'Click-Path' column of this report you can see the time on site for each individual visit, along with the pages viewed. Click on the cell for full details about the visit, including time spent on each individual page. Time-on-site for individual visitors can be accessed from the main stats menu > DETAILS VISITORS