Does this top metric that businesses look at "Time On Site," really matter?
One of the top line metrics that businesses look at is "Time On Site", or average session duration. It's a unique value that tells you how long the average user is spending on your website. How important is this metric? In the overall business objective of increasing sales, sign-ups, or contacts, how does this metric stack up?
Time On Site Is Different From The Other Top Line Metrics
Opposed to a metric like decreasing bounce rate, or increasing new users, time on site doesn't necessarily give you more business with the increase or decrease of this metric. Usually in a sales meeting, you want to see the numbers go up, right? The higher the numbers mean more sales, mean more revenue generated for your business. In the case of time on site, it's a bit counter intuitive.
Think of it this way, Let's say you are going to a website to sign up for their service. You as a user of the website want to do a bit of research on the website and then sign up. You don't want to read every article or go to every page before you sign up, you want to accomplish your task. If it was the goal of the web team to increase time on site every month, it wouldn't feel that great when it takes you longer and longer to sign up for that service.
What is a good time on site?
This is the golden question, but it's also a very difficult one. You want to have a time on site that makes sense for your business. For example, if you sell a product that is very expensive and requires a lot of research by the user, a longer time on site is expected since you will have to nurture the user more to get them to buy. A cheaper and easier to understand product will most likely have a shorter time on site because the user does not have to research it as much or have to worry about buyer's remorse.
Also, time on site can be used as a diagnostic tool as well. An extremely low time on site (let's say a few seconds) can be a sign that a webpage is taking too long to load (people are leaving because they don't want to wait for everything to load up) or the page itself is not functioning correctly.
I hope that this will help ease your thoughts on the unique time on site metric and if you would like us to check your website for any issues, please contact us today to get started toward a better online presence for your business.