Average Session Duration by Industry

The average session duration by industry is an interesting metric that helps benchmark your website performance. It’s a popular metric for analyzing website success and making improvements to poorly performing web pages.

In this article, we’ll reveal the average session duration for different industries and offer suggestions on improving your own. This ensures you can reap the rewards of having a higher average session duration, which is numerous.

To view the average session duration in Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you can add the metric manually to your report:

  1. 1
    Select Reports on the left side of the screen
  2. 2
    Choose any report
  3. 3
    Click the pencil icon in the top right corner
  4. 4
    Select Metrics
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    In the search bar at the bottom, type "average session duration"
  6. 6
    Click Apply
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    Click Save to keep the setting for future reports

What is the Average Session Duration by Industry?

The average session duration by industry refers to a metric that describes the average amount of time users spend on a specific website during a single session. The data contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of your website user behavior and engagement. 

Here are some examples of the average session direction by industry (in minutes):

  • Automotive: 2:41

  • Cybersecurity: 2:49
  • Fintech: 3:28
  • Real estate: 3:52
  • Software development: 2:38
  • B2B SaaS: 4:26
  • eCommerce: 2:03
  • Financial services: 4:56
  • Healthcare: 2:58
  • Pharmaceutical: 3:47

Based on the data above, you can see that the average duration ranges from around 2 minutes all the way up to the mid 4’s. This may seem like a small difference at first glance, but it can have a massive impact on your web page conversion rate and onsite SEO

Advantages of Knowing the Average Session Duration 

Now let’s explore the advantages of knowing your average session duration and its role in improving your SEO performance. By the end of this section, you’ll see why this is one of the website key performance metrics you shouldn’t overlook. 

Benchmarking and Performance Comparison

Knowing your average session duration helps benchmark against industry standards to understand where your site stands and set realistic improvement goals. You can use comparisons as a goalpost for where your average session duration should ideally end up. 

Furthermore, monitoring changes in session duration over time helps assess the impact of content updates, design changes, and marketing campaigns. Monitoring the before-and-after average session duration data helps conclude whether a change is positive or negative. 

User Engagement Insights

The average session duration helps understand how engaged users are with the content. Typically, longer sessions indicate that users find the content valuable and are spending more time exploring the site. Hence, you’ll want to increase this metric to ensure users are finding your website more useful.

Website Optimization

You can analyze which pages have shorter session durations to identify areas where the content might not be meeting user expectations. Therefore, you can focus on parts of your website that are weaker and not doing a good job of ranking for target keywords in the search engine result pages (SERPs). 

Additionally, insights from session duration can guide improvements in website navigation, layout, and overall design. This is required to enhance user experience and keep visitors on your website for longer.

Marketing Strategy Enhancement

Understanding which content engages users the most can inform more effective targeting and messaging strategies for marketing campaigns. You can do this by identifying web pages that have a higher average session duration than others. 

This will increase marketing conversion rates since engaged users are more likely to convert. By optimizing for longer sessions, businesses can improve the chances of conversion, whether it's a sale, lead generation, or another desired action. 

Enhanced SEO Performance

Longer session durations signal to search engines like Google that users find the content valuable. This potentially improves search engine rankings and increases organic traffic to your website. 

Furthermore, understanding and improving session duration can help reduce bounce rates, which further supports better SEO performance and ranking. The two metrics are correlated since you may see bounce rates go down while the average session duration increases. 

What Tools Can I Use to Measure Average Session Duration?

You can measure the average session duration with tools like Google Analytics. This is a free toolset that tracks and reports website key performance indicators like the average session duration. 

Furthermore, you can use the software platform at Hike SEO to monitor the average session duration for every web page. Also, the user interface is optimized for fast data analysis, which empowers you to quickly monitor your website at a glance.

Average Session Duration vs. Average Time on Page: What’s the Difference?

Average session duration and the average time on page are crucial web analytics metrics, and each offers distinct insights into user behavior. 

Average session duration measures the total time users spend on a website within a session. It is calculated by dividing the total duration of all sessions by the number of sessions. Furthermore, this metric provides a broad view of user engagement across the entire website and reflects how well the site retains user attention overall.

In contrast, the average time on page focuses on the time users spend on individual pages during a session. It is calculated by dividing the total time spent on a specific page by the number of page views. This metric offers more granular insights into the engagement level of specific pages, which helps to identify the content that is most effective or needs improvement.

9 Strategies to Improve Your Average Session Duration

Are you unhappy with your average session duration and are looking for ways to improve it? In this section, we’ll reveal a few proven strategies that will keep your audience on your website for longer. 

Break Up Text With Engaging Images

It’s hard to read hard chunks of text, regardless of the content quality. Nowadays, users expect to read skimmable content, which means you must break it up with different visual elements. This includes charts, infographics, and images. Remember to optimize your images before uploading them!

Furthermore, adding visual elements helps to better understand your content. This is ideal when trying to convey complicated concepts or provide detailed product tutorials. 

Add Videos

Videos are an increasingly popular way to consume online content. Therefore, 88% of marketers feel that video is an important aspect of their marketing strategy. In particular, videos are excellent for increasing the average session duration since they take time to watch. 

Ideally, add your videos above the fold since some users may decide to leave your website without scrolling down. This will increase the number of users who watch your videos, which can have a positive knock-on effect on conversion rates. 

Track Visitor Behavior

Make sure to use software solutions like Google Analytics to track visitor behavior for each web page. However, you also need to track other metrics and combine the analysis. As mentioned previously, the average session duration is typically linked to bounce rates. Using more than a single metric to make conclusions can help make the right decisions. 

Understand the Customer Journey

You can improve your average session duration by figuring out what your target audience wants at each stage of the customer journey. For example, audiences may want to buy products without a lengthy research process. 

In comparison, some niches require extensive educational content to help users make the correct buying decisions. This might be the case with high-ticket items where users may want to verify they are making the right purchase.  

Optimize the User Experience

Your website may have a low average session duration because it’s complicated or unresponsive. Therefore, you need to focus on creating a simple and smooth user experience that competes with industry leaders. 

Furthermore, you must create a website with mobile optimization. After all, 96.3% of all internet surfers use a mobile at some point to go online. Hence, you can improve your overall average session duration by offering a great experience to mobile users

Focus on Interlinking

Adding internal links is not only good for SEO, but it also keeps users on your website for longer. That’s because you offer visitors more ways to go deeper into your website and consume additional content. 

For example, on the Learn SEO page, you can see there are strategically placed internal links to lead readers to discover more content about different SEO topics:

This increases the chances that users find a piece of content that matches their search intent. Furthermore, getting users to click hyperlinks increases the chance of converting them into an email list subscriber or paying customer. 

Create Content Libraries

Building content libraries is great for educating your audience and keeping them on your website for longer durations. In any niche, you can find a countless number of topics that can help address the search intent or push visitors along the buyer journey. 

Furthermore, content libraries provide more opportunities to capture search engine traffic for a wide range of keywords. In fact, constantly posting content allows you to target a large number of long-tail keywords. 

Satisfy the User Intent

Users arriving from search engines must feel that their search intent is addressed. Therefore, you must align your content with a target keyword, which includes optimizing the metadata, title, and headings

You must also understand that there are different types of search intent, which include informational, navigational, and transactional. Here’s a summary of each one:

  • Informational: Users seek information or answers to questions. Hence, you’ll need to create comprehensive and well-researched content that addresses common queries within your niche.

  • Navigational: With navigational searches, users aim to reach a specific website or page. Therefore, optimize your site’s structure and navigation to facilitate easy access to key pages.
  • Transactional: Here users intend to complete a transaction, such as making a purchase. This means you need to create a seamless user experience with clear CTAs, product information, and an easy checkout process

Simplify Your Design

Less is more when it comes to optimizing your website design to boost user engagement metrics. The biggest websites in the world have a simple and uncluttered user interface. This means fewer CTA buttons and design elements that take users away from the website’s core functionality. 

Too many options when users load a webpage and lead to confusion, which causes them to press the back button instead of delving deeper into the content.


Why is average session duration important?

Average session duration is crucial because it describes user engagement and content effectiveness on a website. Longer session durations suggest that users find the content valuable and are interacting more deeply with the site.

This can lead to higher conversion rates and improved SEO performance. Furthermore, analyzing this metric helps identify areas for content and design optimization, thus improving the overall user experience.

How is the average session duration calculated?

The average session duration is calculated by dividing the total duration of all sessions by the number of sessions over a specific period of time. Here is the formula:

Total duration of all sessions / Total number of sessions = Average session duration

As an example, let’s say that a website has 1,000 sessions in a month and the total duration for all sessions is 10,000 minutes. Then the average session duration would be 10 minutes. 

What is considered a good average session duration?

A good average session duration varies significantly based on the industry. The factors that influence this user engagement metric include content type, website, purpose, and user intent. 

You’ll need to research the average session duration for your niche and aim to beat this number to be among the better-performing websites.

Why does the average session duration differ across industries?

Average session duration varies across industries due to differences in user intent, content type, and the nature of interactions. For instance, educational and financial websites often have longer session durations as users seek detailed information and in-depth content. 

In contrast, e-commerce and travel sites may see shorter sessions because users have specific transactional goals. This includes making purchases or bookings, which can be completed more quickly.

What factors can affect average session duration?

Several factors can influence the average session duration on a website, which include content quality, website design, loading times, relevance, and more. Improving many of these factors also leads to a positive impact on your SEO and marketing conversion rates. 

Can a high average session duration ever be negative?

Yes, a high average session duration can sometimes be negative since it may indicate issues such as poor site navigation or unclear content. This can cause users to spend more time finding what they need. 

You’ll want to avoid this on e-commerce websites, where optimizing the checkout process is ideal for increasing sales. 

Hike SEO

Understanding the average session duration by industry reveals there is a decent amount of variety. Every website is different and no single engagement metric is the optimal number. However, monitoring and optimizing your average session duration can guide you towards better overall performance, whether it’s for boosting SEO or sales. 

You can monitor, analyze, and optimize your website's average session duration by using the software at Hike SEO. We also offer a number of other useful features, which include finding the right keywords, analyzing the competition, AI-powered content creation, technical SEO improvements, and more.