Thu Sep 01, 2022

Metrics that assess how visitors interact with a website and how many visitors interact with a website are becoming more important as a KPI or indicator of a brand website's success as more and more successful organisations push towards the data-driven digital growth phase.

These qualities can be measured with the aid of tools like Google Analytics. In this article, we concentrate on the average time on page and the average session duration, two important web analytics measures. We will discuss what they mean, how they are calculated, and the kind of data they might offer regarding a website's functionality. Let's start by explaining what "time-on-page" and "session-duration" mean.


The amount of time spent on a web page between when a visitor first arrives and when they leave to see another is known as the time-on-page. The trigger that starts the clock counting down from the time spent on the previous page is clicking a link to navigate to another one of the website's pages. The time-on-page is zero if a user leaves a website without visiting any other pages.

The period of time during which a user regularly interacts actively on a website is known as a session-duration. When the user is inactive for a predetermined period of time, the session is timed out (30 minutes by default). The term "session-duration" refers to the total amount of time a user spends on a website. In essence, it represents the total amount of time spent on each page of a website within a single session. Once more, the visitor's time spent on the last page before leaving will be 0.


We can now describe "average time-on-page" and "average session-duration" since we have a clear understanding of the words "time-on-page" and "session-duration":

Average Time on Page

The average amount of time spent by all users on a single page of a website is calculated using the term "average time on page." It excludes exit pages and bounces and is limited to time spent on non-exit pages.

Average Session Duration

The average amount of time spent per session on a website is measured using the average session duration. The result is calculated by dividing the total time spent across sessions by the total number of sessions.

Let's look at the samples below to better grasp these metrics. For the same page during the same time period, the average session duration and average time on page are calculated:

Confused Why the Average Session Duration is much less than the Average Time-on-Page?


When we look at the averages across numerous sessions, we frequently see the inverse of the rule that states that the time-on-page can never be longer than the session-duration for a single session. This is due to the fact that while all visits are taken into account when calculating the average time-on-page, the number of exits is excluded. The sum of all session lengths divided by the total number of sessions yields the average session length.

This implies that the average session duration for all of our sessions will be impacted by all of our 0-second sessions that were the consequence of bouncing sessions. As a result, your average session duration will decrease the higher your bounce rate.

The influence of exit pages cannot be completely disregarded in the Session Duration measure. Every session has an exit page, and if there aren't many pages in the visit, losing the timing of that final page might significantly affect the overall. The Sessions count is 1 but the Session Duration is 0 in the extreme instance of a "bounce" visit with only one page read!

As a result, it is not advised to use Average Session Duration as a critical performance indicator because variations in the quantity of pages viewed each session, bounce rate, and session count can all affect the measure.




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