80% of my visits are less than ten seconds long

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  1. Eric Newland profile image61
    Eric Newlandposted 8 years ago

    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?

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      But Eric, you have an accolade for engaging hubs that readers like to read from start to finish.

      Can't be that bad!

    2. FloraBreenRobison profile image60
      FloraBreenRobisonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      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.

      1. Eric Newland profile image61
        Eric Newlandposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        That's some pretty ninja commenting within ten seconds of the pageload!

        It's puzzling. Some of those <10 second visits even looked at multiple pages.

    3. Susana S profile image97
      Susana Sposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Read this. It'll help you understand those metrics better.

      http://peterhoggan.hubpages.com/hub/Goo … Exit-Rates

      1. Eric Newland profile image61
        Eric Newlandposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        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?

        1. Susana S profile image97
          Susana Sposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          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?

          1. Eric Newland profile image61
            Eric Newlandposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            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.

            1. Shadesbreath profile image82
              Shadesbreathposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              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).

  2. Stacie L profile image90
    Stacie Lposted 8 years ago

    I always wondered how HP could tell if readers were reading the entire hub? lol

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Shosh lol

    2. FloraBreenRobison profile image60
      FloraBreenRobisonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Well, they aren't reading my entire hubs anymore. smile 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.

  3. Greekgeek profile image94
    Greekgeekposted 8 years ago

    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.

    2) Improve the first screen of the article: the headline, the graphic, and the copy. The first screen has to tell them what your page is is about (preferably in the first sentence) and thus confirm they're on a page that will give them what they're looking for, prove your competence (with polished, engaging, crisp writing and proofread prose) and familiarity with/knowledge of the subject, and hook them like a movie trailer, sucking them in. Graphics and headline can reinforce these traits and add to the "wow" punch that makes them interested. Look up Copyblogger's Magnetic Headlines for tips. And spend a little more time picking out a graphic that helps draw the eye and increase the liveliness of the page instead of just being a placeholder. (Stock Xchng, Wikimedia Commons, Flickr Creative Commons Commercial Search, and Morguefile are our friends...be sure to check terms of use and link/credit where required.)

    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. smile


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