In second part of this series, we will take a close look at 'Sessions'. Sometimes, 'Visit' and 'Session' are used interchangeably. What does this metric tells us about our traffic and how it can be used to further optimize our blog? Let's try to understand this extremely useful metric, which gives a good insight about our daily blog traffic.
Session: Slice Of The Pie
The time period when a visitor enters a blog (takes various actions viz., browsing pages) and finally leaves the blog either by clicking any external link, or by typing the URL of another site, or by closing the web browser's tab or the browser itself, is called a 'Session' or 'Visit'. It is calculated by subtracting the time stamp of last page request from the time stamp of first page request.
Session ~ Time stamp (Last Page Request) - Time stamp (First Page Request)
A single person can pay many visits (sessions) in a given time period and each session duration depends on the amount of time spent on your blog before leaving the blog or closing the browser altogether. If a visitor remains inactive for about 30 minutes, the session is terminated by most of the tracking scripts. Any further activity performed by the visitor after this time is included in the new session.
What Can We Gain Out Of It?
Long 'Sessions' is one of the key performance indicators of your blog. In Google Analytics, you can get fair idea about average session duration by the metric 'Avg. Time On Site'.
In the above example, visitors are spending an average time of 1 minute and 36 seconds on the blog, which is not excellent but not poor either. An average time of less than a minute is an alarming signal. A healthy Avg. session duration is from 3 to 4 minutes. This metric gives us a quick hint about the stickiness of the blog.
How To Optimize Your Blog For Longer Sessions
Make navigation simple and easy
Keep your blog navigation simple and clear. Sometimes, cluttered navigation is the cause of frustration for the visitor resulting in bounce. Keep all important pages and links easily accessible. Do not hesitate to experiment by adding icons and graphics beside links to make them more attractive and enticing for visitors.
Use the power of 'Contextual Linking' within post
Use 'Contextual Linking' in your blog posts. It is one of the best ways to reduce bounce rates and to increase session lengths. Interlink your blog posts with one another, wherever possible. Make sure you do not overdo it. Choosing the right anchor text for contextual link is very essential part of this strategy. Soon I'll be talking about 'Contextual Linking' in detail in my coming blog posts.
1. Blog Traffic Analysis Demystified: Part - 1 (Hit Rate)