How Long Do Readers Stay On Your Blog?

Kennet over at Investor Blogger sent me a Business Week article about how Nielsen now rates by time spent on a site instead of page views.

This month, Nielsen again flipped around a key ratings measure. It will now rank Web sites by how much time users spend on them, and de-emphasize total page views as the prevailing metric. Nielsen’s move is a nod to how habits and technologies on the Web have changed, thanks to video and applications like Ajax, which delivers fresh content to Web pages so users no longer need to click through more screens to see more stuff. The theory is that time spent is a better measure of (pain-inducing buzzword alert) “engagement” with a given Web site, although this remains a highly inexact science.

The new ranking doesn’t significantly reshape the Web’s top ten sites, but three sites that never made the top 10 in terms of page views entered the list based on engagement. The article is disappointing in the sense that it doesn’t list how much time users stay on those sites. It would have been nice to know so we can compare our engagement to the web’s top 10.

You can find engagement information in your Google Analytics dashboard. Most other third party stat tracker shows engagement time as well. Looking at my Analytics stats, I see that over the past 30 days, the average reader stays 9 minutes and 3 seconds on my blog. I am not really sure if that is good or bad so I like to ask you how long readers stay on your blog. Please post your engagement time in the comments.


61 thoughts on “How Long Do Readers Stay On Your Blog?”

  1. Do you think this will lead to advertisers paying per second or minute instead of per view?

    1. Cash Quests says:

      Definitely that’s the way that it appears to be heading. It makes perfect sense considering the way that things are going in the blogosphere and how companies are moving. The more that video is used on the internet, the more pageviews become irrelevant.

      Consider this – Google has YouTube and also the online advertising giant Doubleclick in their stable. Hence, Google would theoretically be able to track how long a video is viewed on a site and sell advertising based upon how long people view the video on your site. If you have a site where people watch 8minutes of video, your site is going to be more valuable than a site where people only watch for a minute.

      It means that an ad next to the video would be exposed for a longer amount of time. Just as TV stations charge advertisers based on the length of the commercial – the internet will be able to do the same.

      To answer Mr Chow’s question – Cash Quests is currently on an average of 8:08 for the past 30 days. Perhaps not too bad considering that it influenced by the amount of time it takes to write a comment.

      1. I personally think that this is too difficult of a metric to track for advertisers to pay per second. There are too many factors involved that would mess this up, like browsers that have javascript disabled, tabbed browsing, etc. Plus, I’m sure some ingenious people would think of some pretty clever ways to trap you on a page to increase revenue. This would just be odd.

        btw DEVTRENCH.com is currently averaging 6:50 because of all the great content there.

        1. i don’t think it’s possible. just remember it’s not a porn movie.

        2. Debo Hobo says:

          Excellent point. I am only holding readers for and average of 1:30 mins. I know that if I were to move to wordpress and own my domain so that comments conversations like this one can go on that would hold them longer. But my content is not really a conversationl topic. Or perhaps it is and I need to work on my writing.

          🙄

  2. Average time on my site is around 3 minutes and 32 seconds. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but seems good enough to me.

    1. Santosh P says:

      I guess that should be Good..
      Mine is around 5 minutes and 4 seconds…
      I am happy with it…

      1. Over the past 30 days, my blog has an average visit time of 10 min 12 seconds.

  3. BeachBum says:

    On average visitors stay on my site over 2 minutes 30 seconds. Some days it goes way over 3 minutes.

    BeachBum

    1. That is not much. I am stazing on sites I visit like 10 minutes.

  4. SEO Mash says:

    The unknown with these Nielsen ratings still is how do they deal with tabbed browsers. I have seven tags open right now and two of those session I have not looked at in over three days. For ratings purposes do those still count?

    1. That’s a pretty interesting question. I wonder how accurate all these metrics really are.

  5. AsiaPartTime says:

    Visitor stay on my site averagely 8:14 minutes. Is it good or bad?

    Anyway, I know my reader eagerly looking for good content (Part Time Job) from my website.

  6. On average, folks stay on my site for about 4 minutes. Not too shabby.

    The shortest visit I’ve had in the last month was 10 seconds, and the longest visit was over 22 minutes.

    What’s the range on your site, John?

  7. 5:19 today.
    You?

    One Man. One Year. $100,000 online. So I can hold your attention for 5 minutes 😉
    http://www.oneyeargoal.com

    1. Lewis Empire says:

      13:56. I never really noticed before!

  8. William Ryan says:

    I just started so am at 1:18
    http://www.wjosephryan.com

  9. No one metric can be “the” one but I like the time on site idea better than some. Actually I’m surprised johnchow.com has a time as short as 9 minutes … I never get away from here in under 15 or 20 … there’s always an interesting related post or new idea to explore.

    On blogs I write/manage:

    a cooking/recipe site: 7:20 (thought this would be higher)
    A very narrow non-web related tech niche: 6:08
    An infrequently updated narrow nuche in the retirement area: 5:21 (proof that neglecting a blog is bad)
    A niche blog about overseas living: 9:35 ( the site I treat more as a hobby than anything else … has the least on it, gets the longest reads … are my readers trying to tell me what they are interested in?

    Valuable field of study I think.

  10. chtanxw says:

    I always stay in some particular sites for whole day more than 10 hours…I minimize those screens. When I am free I will refresh and read them. So, JohnChow.com may appear in my screen 10 to 17 hours per day.

    1. Nabloid.com says:

      HAHAHA… I wonder if the stat programs somehow keep tabs on people that do things like this so the stats are completely out of whack due to people like chtanxw! 😆

  11. 8-9 minutes is very good! I generally aim for at least 5.

    1. Freebies says:

      Yeah, at least 5 minutes is what I try to set my sights for.

  12. bob cobb says:

    Mine is 7:50, but I really don’t think its the best way to measure. I’d say a combination of of page views, time on site, and uniques would be the best way to measure.

  13. blackysky says:

    How long they stay doesn’t matter at all . they can stay 1 sec or 10 mins but the real deal it is if they ever come back. Visitors that come back are the best because they make your website grow. With a blog, visitors that come back and leave a comment ( like me lolol) are what we looking for …

  14. The average visitor to Sweet Site of The Day stays 4 minutes, 1 second.

  15. cmanlong says:

    as my content has built up the time on my site has increased as well. I’m sure though that as traffic starts to increase the time will go down, as more people will be visiting so the sample size will be bigger. As of right now the average time on my site for june 23 – july 23 is 17:44.

    later all and have a profitable productive blogging day

  16. Hi John,

    My average is 11 mins and 22 seconds but I think that is because I have a very new blog and I’m only getting a few visitors a day so they are probably new visitors everday and therefore spend longer reading through the posts whereas on your blog you have regular visitors who will probably just read your latest posts and therefore spend less time on your site. So I think that ranking sites by the time spent on it is not really accurate.

    Stephanie

  17. geeks-corner.com says:

    Average visitor on my site is 6min, Im wondering wether more visit time = more revenues on my adds?

    1. Can you find out somehow?

  18. David Ledoux says:

    John, at my new blog the average visitors stays 6 minutes 52 seconds this month. 14% of them stay over 15 minutes per visit.

    David Ledoux
    The World’s Most Dangerous Internet Marketer
    http://www.didyousmellthat.com/intern

  19. Dev says:

    My average is around 8 minutes, and my blog about making money online is just a week old.

    http://www.dailymoolah.com

  20. chinna says:

    I feel that those are not correct Predictions, Since , if a person loads a new web page in the same window with out any exit click , the time spent cannot be captured.

  21. blackysky says:

    My average time is 8 minutes but I still think visitors that come back and stay 30 secs are better than visitors that stay a long time. I’m sure it already happens to you that you open one browser and you leave it opens. Suddenly you open an other browser to do read something else right away. In this case an 8 minutes doesn’t mean anything only if this visitor leaves a mark on your website…. Like they always told me quality is better than quantity

  22. Depends on the post (size of it), 3-5 minutes on average.

    BTW, check this news:

    Google Is Battling Verizon and AT&T for free access to the cellular frequency!
    http://fundszine.com/94-google-is-battling-verizon-and-att/

  23. Rich Minx says:

    3 seconds, then they exit crying, “My eyes, my eyes!”

    1. Nice blog… worth of stazing longer.

  24. The average is about six minutes two seconds- I’m not sure if that is good or bad..

  25. The average is 6 minutes 2 seconds.. is that good or bad?

  26. ..probably bad.. my adsense rev. ain’t so great…

  27. Jimson Lee says:

    My site (primarily sports and fitness) uses blip.tv and not YouTube to host the videos. Thus my monthly average is 11:12 based on 12,000 pageviews.

    My guess is readers are watching the videos instead of reading the content!

    Does that count? Time is time, right?

  28. Rhys says:

    20:12 🙂

    Though it’s largely down to another blogger sending me traffic with an average time of 1:35:09 :S

  29. Mybloggo says:

    Haven’t check it out this!!! 😀

    1. Mybloggo says:

      My average time is 5 min and 7 seconds

  30. Mubin says:

    00:06:58 Avg. Time on Site

  31. J.D. says:

    I’ve got over an 8:40 average on my site. Kind of cool, really. Originally when I started out, people were spending about 2:15.

  32. Freebies says:

    I hate Nielsen ratings though. It seems like they haven’t been able to accurately predict much lately, whether it be Internet stats or TV viewership.

  33. Casey says:

    Average in the last 30 days for http://www.newsnotion.com is 4:60. Wait, that would be 5 minutes. Lol! Well, on Analytics it reads 04:60. I guess it tried to trick me. (Like Google hasn’t done that before!)

  34. This is definitely a stat to keep an eye on. After all, it tells you that people are doing more than just visiting and then leaving for some reason…

  35. Average 7:31 here, but that is my blog. Ecommerce websites could/would greatly vary versus most blogs posted here.

  36. Actually it would be nice to see everyones bounce rate along with time on website. My bounce rate is 66% ouch!

  37. Matt says:

    From an advertising point of view length of stay is more important than any other statistic. If you think about regular TV spots they sell for millions of dollars for that 30seconds of eyeball time. If you had a site that was both popular and engaging and you had advertising on it you can charge for the eyeball time just like TV advertisers.

  38. kangkongking says:

    based on my analytics its around 5 mins average. i think its not too bad since i only started blogging this week 😀

  39. Diiego says:

    i use analytics, but i dont really care what time does my readers stay in my blog, cause i dont have many blogposts..

  40. “Avg. Time on Site” for my blog is 00:06:21

    Not sure if that’s good or bad… I’m fairly satisfied – I don’t have that many posts that people can read. This will hopefully increase as I add more posts 🙂

  41. CS says:

    I couldn’t comment at this moment cause NO BODY VISITED MY SITE YET. What a tragic. Please visit and peek through my site at http://csgonsilou.blogspot.com. I’m longing for a visitor. I’m not ashame to announce it LOUD and CLEAR. Thank You.

  42. The Old Vic says:

    I open blogs up in new windows all the time and then often forget to close them. So sometimes I walk away from the computer and come back two hor slater to see the same blog pages still there ’cause I forgot to close them down. I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this.
    The Old Vic at sharescity

  43. Nathan Roe says:

    I do need to do this, but how complicated!

  44. Nathan Roe says:

    This is the #1 thing I have been working on. Orignally it was under 30 seconds, but I have been trying to use plugins and other methods to try to make viewing more articles appealing

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