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Average Time on Page

If your responsibility in your business is to blog relevant content, you need a metric to reliably measure how effective your content is. One such metric is average time on page. In this article, you will learn what average time on page is, why should you calculate it, what should you take note of when calculating it, and how you can improve it. 

What is average time on page?

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You surely spend more time reading a page that piques your interest. That can actually be tracked by the websites you browse, and they use it to analyze their web content. One metric that can be used to analyze web content in a page is average time on page, which is calculated as follows:

I am sure you are wondering what’s with the deduction of exits on the denominator of the formula. It turns out that analytics tools in websites do not count the time spent by a user on a page when he decides to exit the website afterwards. The analytics tools only count the time spent on a page when the user goes to another page in the same website. Counting these so-called exits will artificially lower the average time on page. 

Why should you calculate average time on page?

Engaging content will make a user stay on a page longer, thus leading to higher average time on page. Therefore, average time on page is a good metric to measure how engaging the content of a certain page is. The higher the average time on page is, the more engaging its content.

What should you take note of when analyzing average time on page?

The reliability of average time on page depends on the exit rate of the page. If a page has a low exit rate, the average time on page is reliably close enough to the actual value (which cannot be calculated because the time on page for exits are not calculated by analytics tools). For pages with high exit rate, its corresponding average time on page is not reliable enough to be used for subsequent analysis.

How can you improve average time on page?

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Whether you are satisfied with your average time on page values or not, there is always room for improvement. Here are some tips in improving the average time on page:

Improve site mobile-friendliness

Obviously, not all users browsing the internet use their mobile phones right now; half of them still use laptops and desktop computers. However, why should we ensure site mobile-friendliness? It ensures that your website will load reliably in the shortest time possible and display the content the best way possible for a given screen. Here are some tips to make your site mobile-friendly:

  • Use responsive design for your website - a responsive design adjusts well for a wide variety of screens that are present in the market today.
  • Choose a simpler theme - a simpler theme loads faster because the browser will have a smaller set of settings to process to display the webpage.
  • Reduce images so they load faster - some high-quality images load slower because they contain more image data; you can compress it further without any significant loss in quality.
  • Only include plug-ins that your website really needs - several plug-ins are necessary to add functionality to your website, but some of them may no longer be necessary due to changes in the functionality offered by your hosting services.

Improve content quality

The best way to improve average time on page is to improve content quality. Users will spend more time on a page that they think has high quality content and that fulfills their expectations!

When you publish high-quality content, it does not only make your users stay longer on your website, but also bring the following benefits to your business:

  • Drives traffic and generates leads
  • Helps you further promote your brand and influence your niche
  • Helps you build a good content library for long-term presence
  • Brings transparency and updates

Improve site navigability

Putting high-quality content is one thing; it is another effort to make your page accessible. If the user is having a hard time finding the section they need, then the user will just opt to look at other possible sources listed by Google search results.

An easily-navigable site helps the user to look for useful information buried in the content. Here are some ways you can improve site navigability, brought to you by Databox:

  • Add a table of contents
  • Insert a summary on the top of the article
  • Add images and videos that help the user understand the contents of the article
  • Follow the basics of web writing 


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