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Average Time on Page

Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding the Average Time on Page Concept

Last Updated June 19, 2023

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Average Time on Page

How to Calculate Average Time on Page

The average time on a page is a website performance metric that provides insight into how engaging and well-structured the content on a page is to visitors. The average time on a page measures the amount of time the visitors of a website are spending on a specific page.

For companies with an online presence, such as a blog, optimizing the website for users can have a significant impact on the company’s branding, with the end goal being a positive effect on sales. Hence, the average time on a page is considered an important marketing metric.

Note that neither bounces nor exit pages are included within the metric.

  • Bounces → A session in which a page is opened and then exited immediately, without any other activity such as clicking on another link or tab within the page
  • Exit Pages → The last page viewed by a visitor right before leaving the website entirely.

Average Time on Page Benchmark

In general, the following rules tend to be true in most cases.

  • High Average Time on Page → Engaging Content with Easy Navigation, i.e. “Hooked” Audience
  • Low Average Time on Page → Disengaged Audience with Poor Website Structure

But an increase in the time spent on a page should only be interpreted in a positive manner if it stems from more interactive content, improved navigation, and an overall better end-user experience, rather than the user encountering difficulty finding certain information (or other technical difficulties).

As a rough benchmark, the average time spent on a page per visitor is often cited as ~50 seconds across most industries.

As is true in most scenarios, the context must be taken into account for the average time on page metric, e.g. a page intended to be an introduction to a concept and act as a bridge to another page should expect to have a lower average time spent on page, since a large proportion of users would simply scroll through and click on the next page. Likewise, a page where the user forgets their password and is resetting it should also not have a long average time spent on page.

Google Analytics — Average Time on Page Definition

“The average amount of time users spent viewing a specified page or screen, or set of pages or screens.” (Source: Google Analytics)

Average Time on Page Formula

The time-on-page for a web page is calculated as the time difference between the point when a person lands on the page and when they move on to the next one.

If the person exits the website without going to any other page, then the time-on-page is zero (i.e. a “bounce”).

The formula for calculating the average time on a page is as follows.

Average Time on Page Formula
  • Average Time on Page = Total Time Spent on Page ÷ (Total Page Views – Total Exits)

Common methods to increase the average time spent on pages are listed below.

  • Faster Load Time
  • Simpler Interface
  • Table of Contents
  • Internal Links
  • Optimization for Mobile
  • Images (e.g. Graphs)
  • Embedded Videos

Average Time on Page Calculator — Excel Template

We’ll now move to a modeling exercise, which you can access by filling out the form below.


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Average Time on Page Example Calculation

Suppose we’re calculating the average time on page metric for two different pages, which we’ll refer to as “Page A” and “Page B”.

On this particular date, a total of 5,000 seconds was spent on Page A, with 120 total views and 20 exits or bounces.

  • Total Time Spent on Page = 5,000 Seconds
  • Net Page Views = 120 – 20 = 100

We’ll repeat the same process for Page B, for which 4,000 seconds were spent on it with 250 total page views and 50 exits or bounces.

  • Total Time Spent on Page = 4,000 Seconds
  • Net Page Views = 250 – 50 = 200

If we plug our assumptions into the formula from earlier, we arrive at an average time on page of 50 seconds for Page A, while the average time on page for Page B is only 20 seconds.

  • Average Time on Page
    • Page A = 5,000 ÷ 100 = 50 Seconds
    • Page B = 4,000 ÷ 200 = 20 Seconds

Average Time on Page Calculator

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