What’s wrong with “Time on Page”?

Last week, we looked at “Time on Page”, a statistic used by most traditional web analytics to gauge user interaction within a webpage. And while we weren’t Google-bashing (really, we weren’t!), we did point out some very serious inaccuracies with Google Analytics’ method of calculating “Time on Page”.

In this post we’ll be talking about “Engagement Time”, which measures exactly how long your visitors are actually interacting with your content. We’ll be looking closely at how it works, what it tells you, and how you can ultimately use it to improve your web content, conversion rates and ROI.

“Time on Page” vs “Engagement Time”

Traditionally, “Time on Page” tells you one thing and one thing only – how long a visitor has a web page open for. However, we’ve seen from countless observations that users will often open a new tab, minimize their browser or even go off and do something else while browsing a site. All of this is normal browsing behavior, but it gives rise to one major point: “Time on Page” tells you nothing about how long your visitors actually interact with your online content!

Knowing how long your visitors spend interacting with each page is vital. You need to know what content keeps your visitors interested, what keeps them busy, and what bores them. For example:

•If you have a product features page, then you want to maximize your customer’s interaction with the page, keeping them interested until they convert.

•On the other hand, if you have a signup form, you want to keep the necessary user actions to a minimum, improving usability and minimizing form abandonment.

Knowing how long the average customer really takes to convert or fill out a form is the critical first step towards tightening the funnel and increasing your conversion rates.

That’s where “Engagement Time” comes in. ClickTale can tell you how long customers actually spend reading your content, looking at your pictures, watching your videos and browsing your products. Not just how long they had a page open for, but how long that page held their attention, and whether or not they liked what they saw.

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