Archive for the ‘Google Analytics’ Category

Google Analytics’ Time On Site

Friday, December 17th, 2010
Google Analytics Time on Site

Spikey two weeks of Time on Site

At a session called Learn Google Analytics the other night, I learned that Google Analytics’ Time on Site measurement does NOT include the last page viewed.

On one hand this makes sense because Google measures time on each web page by logging the time you arrive at each page. (In simple math, you arrive at the first page at 10:00 a.m. You arrive at the second at 10:01 a.m. You spent 1 minute on the first page.) If you close the browser or browse to another website, there is no additional information for Google to record, and so the time spent on the last page you visited cannot be accurately calculated because there is no “end” value for that page.

From a technical standpoint this makes sense. BUT…When I think about people’s habits, I get concerned. For example, when I go looking for information, once I find it, I leave the website. I have no reason to view additional pages.  I may have spent 5 minutes on the web page, scrolling up and down, reading and re-reading, maybe even printing out the page. I found my “nugget”. The information on this web page has great value to me (and how many others?) and that information is apparently invisible to the web owners who are unaware of the “real” value of the web page.

What are your thoughts? Is this a big deal for you?

How Google Analytics Records Visits

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Last night, I attended the Boston PHP meetup group’s session Learn Google Analytics presented by Jay Murphy. I learned some information that will change the way I analyze the website statistics as compiled by Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Visits - Sampling

Snippet of Google Analytics' Visitors Overview Page

For example, Google Analytics measures a “visit” in 30 minute chunks. So, if you visit a website and spend 15 minutes on one page and 14 minutes on another, that’s a total of 29 minutes and counts as 1 visit with 2 pageviews during the visit.

When One Visit Equals Two
If, however, when you get to the second page, you then go to lunch, return 40 minutes later, and view a third page. That session will be recorded as 2 visits with 2 pageviews during the first visit and 1 pageview during the second visit.

When One Visit Equals One
In Google Analytics terms, the second scenario renders 1 Absolute Unique Visit with 2 Visits .