What is Average Session Duration?

Average session duration is a web analytics metric that measures the average amount of time users spend on a website during a single session.

A session starts when a user opens your website and ends when they leave, or after a period of inactivity.

This metric is helpful in understanding user engagement and interest, with longer durations typically suggesting more in-depth interaction with the site content.

How to calculate average session duration

Average session duration is calculated by dividing the total duration of all sessions within a specific time frame by the total number of sessions within that same time frame.

Average Session Duration = Total Duration of All Sessions / Total Number of Sessions

For example, let's say you had 3,000 sessions on your website over the past 30 days. And over that time span, your website visitors spent a combined total of 6,000 minutes on your site.

In this case, the average session duration was 6,000 / 3,000 = 2 minutes.

What is a good average session duration?

Not all websites are created equally. As a result, a "good" average session duration can vary significantly depending on the industry, the type of website, and the goal of the site.

With that in mind, here are some loose benchmarks for a few different types of websites and businesses.

Content Websites (Blogs, News, Articles): For websites focused on content delivery, a longer session duration is generally better, as it indicates that users are engaging with the content. An average session duration of 2-4 minutes might be considered good, but for in-depth articles, you'd hope for even longer.

E-commerce Websites: For e-commerce, the session duration might also be longer, particularly if users are browsing products, comparing options, and reading reviews. A session length of 3-5 minutes or more could be considered positive.

Service Providers (Banking, Utilities, SaaS): For service-oriented sites, the desired session duration can be less straightforward. While efficient self-service tasks (like paying a bill) might result in shorter sessions, longer sessions could indicate users are taking advantage of multiple services or having difficulty finding what they need.

Entertainment and Multimedia: Websites focused on entertainment or multimedia (videos, music streaming) typically aim for the longest session durations, as users consume content. Session lengths could easily average 5 minutes to several hours, depending on content type.

Landing Pages and Specific Campaigns: For landing pages designed for quick conversions or specific actions (sign-ups, downloads), shorter sessions could be expected and desired. The effectiveness here is better measured by conversion rate rather than session duration.

How do you increase average session duration?

When it comes to increasing the amount of time users spend on your site, it mainly comes down to two important factors.

1. Providing high-quality content

Make sure that you're offering valuable, informative, and engaging content that meets the needs and interests of your audience. Try to use various formats such as videos, infographics, and blog posts.

It's also important that the content on your website matches the intent of the user when they land on your website, otherwise they run the risk of bouncing.

2. Providing a positive user experience

While this topic is beyond the scope of a glossary page, here are several ways you can enhance the user experience on your site.

  • Improve website speed since users often leave a site if it takes too long to load.
  • Ensure your website is mobile friendly as a significant portion of web traffic now comes from mobile devices.
  • Use a clear and simple navigation structure to help users find what they're looking for.
  • Optimize page layouts with headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs to make content easy to scan and read.
  • Use internal linking wisely to guide visitors to related content or important pages.
  • Keep content on your website fresh and up to date to encourage repeat visits.

Average session duration vs. average time on page

Average session duration and average time on page are distinct yet complementary web analytics metrics.

While average session duration measures engagement across the entire site, average time on page calculates the average time spent on a specific page.