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Understanding Bounce Rate and Average Page Times

October 18th, 2012 by Edward

Google analytics is fabulous if you want to know who is visiting your site and what they are doing when they get there! However, you have to know what the statistics can and can’t do or else you can easily be fooled! In this post I briefly explain two ideas – “bounce rate” and “average time on a page”.

Here’s a few lines from one of my sites -this blog in fact

A few lines of analytics statistics

See how two of the two of the bounce rates are 100%… that sounds bad! So does the average time on the page – 00.00.00!

The Joy of The Bounce

A visitor bounces when they arrive at a page, and the leave your site from the same page. So for my first post it looks like a visitor arrives, thinks “This is no use” and leaves immediately. But this isn’t necessarily so. There are lots of situations when a “one page visit” is exactly what you are after – for example a blog post, a pdf download page, a long, long page. Your visitor arrives, reads the post, and then leaves. There’s no problem there.

Tick Tock – 11 O’Clock

Time on the Page – in my chart above its important to remember that this is an average. So for my first line again it looks like I had 5 unique page views, who stayed for no time and then left the page. Again, that interpretation could be wrong. Google measures time on a page by measuring the gap between arriving at that page, and then going to the next page. So what if they arrive at one page and leave from that one page – result, time on the page will equal 0.00 – even if they read the whole blog post!

This all begs the question of just how useful these time figures really are? But that’s a post for another day!

Want to know more about how your users are using your site Рanalytics is the way to go. Why not contact ee-web design for help?



Edward owns and runs ee-web design and has been building websites for over 12 years. He is passionate about... most things really

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