PPC – Average Time on Site in Analytics

In Google Analytics, there is a lot of tasty data. This data is really important to determine how well your PPC campaign is

performing. It’s not just about the click or the advert, there are so many other factors that influence if your campaign converts.

So, question.

You are running PPC.

The Quality Scores are great, CTR is really positive but the traffic isn’t converting.


Time to get your analysis on. If you use Google Analytics, which you really should do, you need to start delving into this information. I have mentioned the bounce rates before, they are important. But other things are also very important. Once of these is ‘average time on site’

You should have an approximation of this when you first log in. You can choose your advanced segments to break this down even further.

If you are considering all search traffic, consider that ‘brand’ keywords will have a long average time on site – pretty obvious, they know they already want you.

Now the thing you need to consider with this average time on site is how Google Analytics records it. It’s slightly frustrating.

Say you land on the home page at 10.AM. You spend 10 minutes reading the content, looking at the pretty images, then you click onto the next page at 10.10am. Analytics will record 10 minutes on that first page.

Makes sense. BUT if you had left the website after spending 10 mins on the page, what would time would it report?

Annoyingly, 0.00 time on site. The system uses the entrance to the next page to determine how long you have been on the previous. Makes sense logistically, just means a page that you are really engaging your audience on – you see it as being a bit rubbish.

This especially works on the idea that if you have a page which pushes the phone number or an outlook email extension that you aren’t tracking via Analytics. That page may be converting, you just don’t know it.

So. Average time on site is very important. If it’s very low and your bounce rate is very high, there is a potential problem. If it’s reasonable and bounce rate is ok, factor in the idea that the tracking isn’t 100% perfect.

Also, ensure you look at the pages ‘average time on site’ in their own right. Check their isn’t a rogue page which advertises ‘Exchellente Chopywriting SKillzs’ which might be pushing people of the website or alienating your market.If all pages look good apart from a few (unless it is a natural exit page, such as the ‘Thank you for purchasing’ page.

Think of PPC as the butler at the gate. Still need to ensure everything within is running well.