On the other hand, my average time on site is 1 minute 52 seconds. So the other twenty percent must spend, at minimum, 8 minutes 40 seconds apiece to work out to that average.
From this I gather that most of the people who find my hubs are somehow revolted by what they find and scramble to close their browsers, while the rest are sucked in and stare at my writing in a zombie-like trance.
But, er, I guess what I'm asking is, is this atypical?
But Eric, you have an accolade for engaging hubs that readers like to read from start to finish.
Can't be that bad!
It depends upon who these visitors are. If they are outside HP, who knows why. But if they are HP readers, they only need to visit your hub for a few seconds if they want to say "Great hub!" in the idea that you will leave a comment on one of their hubs. Cynical point of view, yes. But HP viewers aren't the ones who are our regular customers anyway as we cannot click on each other's ads.
On the other hand, if those 20% spending 8 minutes on your hubs are fellow hubbers that leave insightful comments, that would explain your badge John Holden mentioned.
Read this. It'll help you understand those metrics better.
http://peterhoggan.hubpages.com/hub/Goo … Exit-Rates
Ohhh is this the relevant part?
So those "short" visits are probably more indicative of my bounce rate than the time actually spent the page since GA can't measure that for bounces?
Yes, that part is relevant because it tells you that many of your visitors (probably around 80-90% of them) will have no time no page stats displayed in google analytics. That's because they only visited one page and were counted as a bounce.
Short visits: if your bounce rate is 90% (bounce = a one page visit), the figures for time on page are only being calculated from 10% of visitors (those who visit more than one of your pages). So of 10% of visits (non bouncing visitors), 80% of those are staying less than 10 seconds.
Does that make sense?
Yes, I think I've figured it out.
I write mostly humor. I've already figured it's a different beast than typical hubbing, and I'm still trying to figure out what it looks like.
I definitely get the impression that word-of-mouth is going to do more for me in the long run than search hits. The internet is chock full of lolcats and Dave Barry wannabees, so it seems natural to assume that people aren't going to have much patience for humor attempts unless a friend (or at least a trusted source) recommends it to them. My stats seem to back that up; my bounce rate is lower and average page depth is higher for referral traffic than organic traffic.
So for now I'm kind of expecting a higher-than-average bounce rate that will hopefully be offset by more loyalty from the people who are actually engaged by the first page they find. I'm still learning the game too, of course, so I could easily be wrong.
For humor to work, you have to write regularly in a predictable fashion (weekly, every Wednesday and Friday... 1st of the month even... etc.). That's an essential element. A blog site would probably work better, frankly.
However, if you can write comedy with search friendly terms (which I have a hard time remembering to do until it's too late), you can get traffic from search, which I have done with a few bits, so I know it works. The problem is, if you're going to write a comedy hub on something like "10 Ways to Lose Weight Fast," you're going to get people who find it through organic search looking for real information. Odds are, they aren't going to think that "chop off your head" entry is as funny as a regular humor-subscriber would. (sigh).
I always wondered how HP could tell if readers were reading the entire hub?
Well, they aren't reading my entire hubs anymore. I've lost those badges. Not sure how my writing has changed, but badge-wise, no one comments on hubs and I never comment either.
I take these stats as encouragement to do two things.
1) Optimize better for the audience that's actually interested in my article. It's hard to do with Hubpages, because its search query stats are so incomplete... I want a COMPLETE LIST of search phrases that brought people to the site for the past week, the past month, and the past six months so I understand what my audience is looking for, what level of writing they're looking for, and general demographics! Google Analytics can give you a little more of this information. This kind of optimization isn't chasing the most traffic, but zeroing in on your audience and giving them the content and writing style they're expecting, want, or find useful.
Or, if you're clearly attracting the wrong audience (as I was when I used the scientific names for species on a page about beachcombing, and started getting a busload of neuroscience graduate students looking for lab research using those animals), you may need to remove the words and phrases drawing the wrong traffic and replace them with vocabulary used by your target audience.
Some of your bounces may indeed be traffic Google Analytics simply failed to capture since Google doesn't detect how that traffic left. (Closed the tab, e.g.) But assuming that GA is being sneaky and gathering some data from the Adsense blocks, which allows Google to monitor user behavior, then maybe it's a suggestion to work on the opening moves of our game: sucking in the reader. No harm in spending a little more effort there, anyway.
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