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Help! Not sure why average time on page has decreased.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey everyone, 

 

We've recently revamped one of our company websites. 

 

Before the revamp, there were two page: The homepage / landing page and a form submission thank-you page. 

 

After the revamp, there was only one page: The homepage. There is a submission thank-you modal that pops up when the form is submitted successfully. 

 

We've noticed after the revamp the average time on the homepage has decreased, and are trying to pinpoint the reasons why. 

 

I've read in numerous articles that average time on page is calculated: 

  1. via the user landing on a page and navigating to a different page
  2. via the first "hit" on the page and the last "hit" on the page

Point 1. doesn't seem to apply because the post-revamp website only has 1 page but still has an average time on page (around 5minutes). 

 

Point 2. - I've seen contradictory / seemingly conflicting advice on this point. Some articles have mentioned this is how SESSION DURATION is calculated. The session duration for the website pre- and post-launch are drastically different from the average time on page (i..e 30 seconds vs. 5 or 8 minutes). 

 

do We have event tracking set up on the website that registers when a user lands on the homepage and various actions they do on the website. 

 

I'm wondering how exactly is average time on page calculated for a single-page website and what may explain the variance (i.e. pre-launch the average time on homepage was around 8 minutes, post-launch it's around 5 minutes). 

 

Thanks!

 

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Help! Not sure why average time on page has decreased.

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi Jeremy,

 

Your calculations are going to be based upon the first and last engagement hit.  The first is the initial pageview, and the second is whichever event (as long as its not set to a non interaction event)the user actually triggers.  You should consider adding an event trigger after the form is validated and use this as a goal; this would also give you better before and after comparison.

 

Best,

 

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Help! Not sure why average time on page has decreased.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you for your response Theo! 

 

For a single-page website, is that also how average session duration is calculated? Reference article: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1006253?hl=en

 

If so, that still doesn't explain how the avg. time on page vs. avg. session duration on our sites are so drastically off for a set time range (i.e. 30seconds vs. 8 minutes) 

Help! Not sure why average time on page has decreased.

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

Hi Jeremy,

 

Yes that's correct.  You may have noticed the note on the top there that individual session duration is calculated differently than Average session duration.

 

You'll have a conflict between those metrics because avg time on page (or individual sessions) removes your bounces from the calculation.  Average session duration does not.

 

Best,

 

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Help! Not sure why average time on page has decreased.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey Theo, 

 

Thanks for the clarification. Still a little confused about the disparity between avg. time on page and avg. session duration because our bounce rate is less than 1%. If there was a high bounce rate (i.e. 30-50%), I could see how that would drive down the overall session duration from minutes to less than 1 minute. 

 

Hmmm....

Help! Not sure why average time on page has decreased.

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star

Hey Jeremy,

 

Bounce rate of less than 1% sounds like a problem.  Events firing on page load or double tagging of Google Analytics are two things to look for on your site. 

 

If you're double tagged or have some other coding issue, it could be skewing things.

 

Best,

 

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn