Is quantity as important as quality?
Metric Stack 25: Average Session Duration and more!
The focus of this edition of the Metric Stack Newsletter is one particular metric: Average Session Duration. However, the question I’ll explore this week goes beyond any specific metric.
I’ll try to answer a bigger question: is quantity as important as quality?
Welcome to Metric Stack. I’m Priyaanka Arora, your personal metric assistant and Content Researcher & Writer at Klipfolio. Let’s dig in to some basics first:
What is Average Session Duration?
Average Session Duration is the average length of time spent on your website by your website visitors. Usually expressed in seconds, this metric helps you understand how engaged the average visitor is with your website and/or specific webpages. Here’s the formula:
Average Session Duration = Total session duration / Number of sessions
In general, you want visitors to stay on your website for as long as possible, although this number usually ranges around a couple minutes.
What’s a good Average Session Duration benchmark?
In general, multiple sources agree that your Average Session Duration should range between 2 - 4 minutes. Take a look at the chart from ContentSquare’s 2021 digital benchmark report:
This chart shows time spent per session on mobile application screens, by device type. Note how the number is higher for tablet users. According to this study, application screen time is 4 minutes and 24 seconds on mobile, and 6 minutes and 38 seconds on tablets. Your main takeaway here should be to optimize your website for multiple device types.
How to prioritize session quality versus quantity
Average Session Duration measures the average time in seconds or minutes spent per session on your website or app. You want that duration to be up. You benefit from increasing those seconds and minutes spent on your website. Or do you?
Yes and no.
I see it as a step-by-step process where you start by increasing your average session duration, and follow that up with engagement and conversion. So, the quantity (number of minutes per average session) is merely a qualification that opens up the possibility of quality (engagement and conversion).
Humans are bad at understanding large numbers.
We often jump to the conclusion that higher traffic means higher probability of achieving goals.
But not all is lost: there is a difference between tracking page views and sessions. While higher page views do not guarantee higher conversions, longer Average Session Duration can be an indicator of quality traffic.
And that’s the answer to the existential question we asked ourselves: it’s important to strike a balance between quality and quantity. Measuring the right type of quantity; metrics like Average Session Duration that impact conversions, can unlock that elusive quality you search for.
Tune in to the Metric Stack Podcast!
Catch up on the Metric Stack podcast with Mike Grouchy, CEO at Pagecloud. Mike shares how Pagecloud approaches everything with a hypothesis and how that helps to build a culture of trust and discovery. And when you combine a hypothesis, curiosity, and key metrics—that’s where the magic happens. Listen now on Apple, Spotify, or YouTube.