Over at Coffee, Sun & Analytics, Xavier has a couple posts on session length. Some good thoughts there, but I was surprised at the statement
Session length = number of pages users viewed during their session on the site.
Call me old school, but I thought session length was the amount of time a user spent.
I can’t find any definitive phrase for what Xavier is talking about. At Accrue we called it Session Depth or Visit Depth (we said a session was user-centric: a user may visit many sites during a session). At Yahoo there’s no new term, it’s just “pageviews per session.”
Argh. Here we have two people with a lot of experience in web analytics and we’re not even speaking the same language. What a mess!
3 thoughts on “You Say Tomato…”
For the amount of time spent, we call that “session duration”. To your point, I think the confusion goes beyond semantics actually – take the example of “conversion rates”, a fundamental metric for any transactional site. I can think of at least 3 or 4 other names for this which are commonly used – close ratio, session completion rate, book to viewer ratio, etc – AND worse, the formal definition for this metrics varies across vendors (sessions/orders? unique daily visitors/orders? etc). So what does it mean to have a 3.4% conversion rate?
I think we would all embrace some kind of standard definitions for the 10-15 key metrics we all use. But I wonder who would lead this effort – WAA? A research firm like Jupiter, Forrester or Aberdeen?
Agreed that we as an industry are all over the place — I’m hoping the WAA standards committee will tackle this.
my idea is inline with u bob. toll date my equation is something like this,
session length/time/duration = total time spend by the user in the same site.