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Topic: Website Critique

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What Is The Industry Average "time-on-site"?

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
I am working on a marketing project for a large auto dealership. They average less than 40 seconds in the category of "time-on-site" for their website and this seems extremely low to me. Does anyone know where I can find the industry average time-on-site?

They are spending thousands of dollars to generate website activity. But in my estimation this is not a proper use of their marketing dollars b/c the website is not the place that is generating their income.

Also, how can I express that sending all of these people to a website is not the best strategic plan?

  • Posted by NatashaChernavska on Accepted
    Hello, joshstites.

    Well, I believe It will be pretty hard to give you a number for what is average for this particular industry, but I don't think it should be different from any other industry.

    40 seconds seems pretty low for a website, especially if you conduct part of your business through it. It will be easier for us to say anything if you have posted a link to the website, so we could evaluate it and tell you what mistakes you have made not to be able to keep your visitors. It's very individualб and depends on several factors. It could be design, could be wording, could be some technical problem. Or, may be, you use wrong keywords and when your website is found in a wrong category, visitor realizes that he didn't find what he was looking for and leaves.

    However, 40 seconds may be enough to read all important information about your business and get a phone number and contact you offline, then you shouldn't worry!

    Without seeing the website itself I can only give you an advise to test it. Ask a person who have never seen your website to go there in front of you and have him try to get all important information about the business. A person has to answer those questions:

    - What do they do?
    - How it may benefit me?
    - Do I want to use their service?
    - What is the contact information?

    Check the time it will take him to find answers for all those questions. And if it will be about 40 seconds, don't worry. 40 seconds is enough for a visitor to find everything he needs.

    If your website provides interactive service like searching for a car, than it may take much longer, and you will have to test your project for possible bugs, bad written copy or bad design.

    I hope all this information helped you! Anyway, I wish you

    Good Luck!

    Natasha Chernyavskaya
  • Posted on Accepted
    Josh,

    I have never seen an industry standard for car dealers, but would agree that you would expect it to be higher -- presumably people would be spending at least a few minutes doing some browsing/research.

    I think the more important metrics in this case may be:

    1) Have the traffic trends changed at all? i.e. is 40 seconds an improvement? Also are page views increasing/decreasing/stagnant? That would also better show whether the advertising is actually working.

    2) What pages are people hitting? Is it predominantly contact/address type information, service. What part of that 40 seconds is spent in the dealer's database?

    One thing I would definitely suggest is to do some market research by trying to contact a non-competing dealer in a distant market. Maybe this is about right.

    The presumption might be here that people are doing the bulk of their research on a third party site like the manufacturer's or Cars.com or something like that and then just quickly going to your dealer's site to verify if they have the model in stock, their price and where you are located.

    Regardless, I think you have some good insight and that your employer may indeed be wasting money by trying to focus on driving incremental gains on the website.

    Regards,

    ~Jason


  • Posted by Harry Hallman on Member
    The problem with "time on site" is that it registers everyone and creates an average. So someone who links to the site and then gets off the site in a few seconds is measured along with those who look over the site in detail. Don't obsess over time on site. Rather look at the content stats. Are people going to the content you want them to visit.

    Google measures time on spent on content pages and that would be a better measure for you. It allows you to set goals and measure them.

    40 seconds is not bad for a site in the main stream as you will receive lots of visits from people who really did not want to visit in the first place.
  • Posted by jcrooks on Member
    From what I've seen and experienced in the past, most people begin their search for a new car online. You mentioned trying to reduce/eliminate the website from the strategic plan. I think this would be a serious mistake.

    Since we don't have the URL, we can't evaluate the site to see why time on may be so short. It is possible that visitors are finding your hours or phone number that quickly, and don't require anything else.

    I'm wondering if you have your inventory available for viewing through your website. All of the dealerships in my area do so, and it enables customers to shop and compare online before ever coming to the showroom. While this may prevent you from getting the chance to speak live with someone because they didn't see anything they were interested in, those folks who do come in as a result of finding a car on the site are probably a much easier sale - they've already sold themselves.

    I would also suggest conducting a simple survey. Ask each customer that comes in whether they visited your website, did they find what they were looking for, and do they have any suggestions. They'll probably be very happy to share their experiences.

    Hope this helps!
    JCrooks
  • Posted by NatashaChernavska on Member
    joshstites, you have my contacts in my profile, you are welcome with any questions, I like participating in improving.

    Natasha
  • Posted by matteo la rosa on Member
    I think that there is no mean for the average time spent on a website, it depends on the main targets of the website, the quantity of contents and the easiness of navigation. We have just made a webstite where people (5,205 Visits per months) stays an Avg. Time of 05:20 min. and visit 9.39 pages, but the site is full of information and the navigation is very well done...

    Anyway, I think you should look to both the Avg. number of pages and time spent, since less more than 1 page is very few to let people stay on the site more than 40 sec. Maybe you should rethink your homepage to let users access more easily the internal contents.

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