Google Analytics: Analyzing Visit Duration to Improve Web Marketing

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In this ongoing series we’ve been covering some ways in which you can use Google Analytics to increase website traffic in the new Google Hummingbird era. In this article we’ll be covering average visit duration, and how that information can help you improve your website traffic.

Visit duration is measured as the average amount of time a visitor spends on your site. Obviously the longer a person spends on your site the more engaged he has been with your content. This gives more opportunity to you, as a website owner, to generate more conversions.

Conversion Rates

Here it’s important to understand what a conversion is. Basically a conversion is when a visitor takes a desired action. This action can be as simple as giving you her email address in a signup form or as involved as taking the series of steps necessary to purchase a product or service. Higher average visit duration means better opportunity to increase the conversion rate.

Conversion rate is the number of people who visit your site related to the number of people who complete the desired action. So for example if you have 1,000 site visitors, and 10 of them complete your desired action, you have a conversion rate of 0.01 or one percent. Providing content, answering questions and generally being helpful will improve visit duration, and as a result drive more traffic.

Visit Duration and Google Analytics

VisitDuration_1Where Google Analytics can really shine for you is in letting you know which source produced visitors with the highest visit duration. Basically, Analytics will give you a list of referral sources, and then list out the average visitor duration for each specific source.

To find this information, log in to your Google Analytics account. Select the website you wish you review. On the left hand side of your screen you should see several options under the, “Standard Reports” section. Click on, “Acquisition” then click on, “All Traffic” as seen in the image to your left.

Given the importance of social media signals to Google Hummingbird, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the social sources of traffic. You’ll likely see Google Plus, and Facebook on this list. Also possible is LinkedIn or Twitter depending on where you are most actively promoting your content.

Taking note of which social sources give you the highest average visit duration can help you understand how best to focus your marketing efforts. If you’re not seeing acceptable visit duration from social channels you may wish to increase your activity on one or more of them. What constitutes an acceptable visit duration will depend on your situation, but in general it’s good to have higher numbers.

Digging Deeper into Average Visit Duration

VisitDuration_2Beyond the social dimension you can also see what keywords have generated higher average visit duration. To find this information open the, “Acquisition” tab, then click on, “Keywords” to reveal, “Organic”. Clicking on, “Organic” will show you a number of keywords people used to find your content.

Here you’ll see an overall average visit duration, or an averaged average, but you’ll also see information pertaining to each specific keyword. What you’ll want to do is optimize your content so that it will have a better chance of retaining the attention of those finding your content from these keywords.

Google Hummingbird is all about matching content that answers questions with queries asking those questions. This may not be simply the content with the highest keyword density. Rather, Google is now looking to rank content that answers a question best. Find a keyword you want to optimize for, and write content that answers the question asked. Don’t just write content that is filled with the keyword.

Keeping this information in mind, and using the average visit duration metric, you’ll be able to see what traffic sources are performing best. You’ll also see what content is attracting the longest duration of attention.

Need help producing quality content that adequately answers users’ queries? Get in touch with We Do Web Content today888-521-3880.