Sessions, sometimes also referred to as ‘session times’, is an essential concept in marketing, which until recently had become overlooked, but is now enjoying renewed focus. This article will provide a comprehensive overview, guide and guidelines for best practices with sessions.
What is a Session?
A session (or visit) occurs when a user visits a website and interacts with it from a single device in a given timeframe. The session begins when the user lands on a page and ends when either the user leaves or when the inactivity timer runs out. Sessions that end because of inactivity are called ‘timed out sessions’. Most sessions last for between 30 to 60 minutes and the session metric measures how many times a website has been visited during the time period.
When measuring a website’s traffic and usage, it is essential to differentiate between sessions and unique visits. A unique visit (sometimes referred to as a ‘user’) is defined by a specific user, who visits a web page multiple times. A session is the opposite, a sum of all instances when a single user browses a website, regardless of the number of visits.
The Importance of Sessions
Sessions are an important concept in marketing because they give us an insight into user engagement and behaviour. They can be used to track user behaviour across devices, identify sources of traffic and analyse the effectiveness of campaigns. As a result, they help marketing teams focus on the most successful activities and take the necessary measures to optimise their website based on the most recent visitor data.
Session length is calculated by adding the length of each pageview and total duration that the user spent on a page before ending their session or changing page. It is typically measured for single-page visits and sessions during a specific timeframe, usually a month or quarter. This can provide an indication of how engaged users are with a website, as it reveals how long a visitor typically stays on a web page and scrolls through the content. The longer their session, the more likely they are to be engaged and find what they are looking for.
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Session depth refers to the number of pages a user visits during the time they are on the website. It gives an indication of how deeply engaged users are with the website. Analysing the depth of a session can help marketers identify which pages are the most popular and effective, which can help to inform decisions on how to build a website, what content to prioritise and how to structure user experiences.
Session Bounce Rate
The session bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of visitors who exit the website without viewing any other pages or engaging in any activities during a single session. It is typically calculated by the percentage of visitors who reach a page and exit without visiting another page during the session. A high bounce rate indicates visitors may not be finding the information or content they are looking for, or the page does not meet their needs and expectations. Session bounce rate can help marketers monitor visitor behaviour and make improvements to their website accordingly.
Session to Conversion Rate
Session to conversion rate is a metric that measures the percentage of visitors who convert from a session to a customer or take the desired action. It is calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of sessions. This metric can help marketers track the effectiveness of their website, campaigns and marketing efforts, so they can identify the channels and pages that are driving conversions and use these insights to further optimise their website.
It is important to ensure your website offers a user-friendly experience, with intuitive navigation and clear information, as this can help to reduce bounce rate and increase session length and depth. Additionally, tracking user behaviour, such as time spent on pages and frequency of visits, can help to understand user intent.
It is also important to create content that meets user expectations and drives conversions. Analysing session to conversion rate and identify areas for improvement, such as pages or campaigns with high or low activity. Finally, streamlining processes, such as reducing website loading times, can help to improve user experience and engagement.