Image credit: ToniVC via Flickr
I’ve been asking myself that question for a number of months now. It really bothered me that my blog posts were appearing to have an a Time on Page value of 0 seconds. I was doubting that my content was being read.
I became curious when people would comment on Twitter about a certain blog post, but then in Google Analytics, it would say the post had a Time on Page of 0 seconds. I know that people were reading the post, but the analytics indicated different. This got me to research more about the Time on Page metric. I came across some valuable information I want to share.
Time on Page
When someone first visits your site, a session is created for them. When they visit another page in your site, the difference from the start of the session to the time they visit another page is the time on page for the first page visit.
If they visit three pages in your site and then leave after the third page, the time on page value for the third page cannot be calculated because the analytics program does not know when you leave the third page. So it appears that the visitor spent 0 seconds on that page.
This can ultimately lower your average time on site metric.
How This Affect Blogs
Blogs are nothing more than a summation of the posts. Visitors to your blog are generally directed to your blog for a specific blog post. They may browse around your blog, but more often than not, they will leave once they have consumed the content they were looking for.
This will impact your analytics by causing a high bounce rate and a low time on page or site.
So when I look at the analytics for my individual posts and see 0 seconds for time on page, it doesn’t mean that no one is reading my content. It just means they found what they were looking for and left my blog.
If you would like to learn more about the time on page or site metric, visit this post by Avinash Kaushik.