How do Chartbeat's engaged time metrics compare to Google Analytics' Time on Page and Session Duration metrics?
You will find our average page engaged time metrics prominently featured in our Real-time and Historical Dashboards and Reports, called Engaged Time in our Real-time view and Avg. Engaged Time in our historical analysis tools. We calculate these metrics differently, so let's start with understanding those differences, then we'll look at Google Analytics' Time on Page and Session Duration...
Engaged Time (Chartbeat Real-time):
Real-time Engaged Time is calculated by finding the average amount of time your active visitors are spending directly engaging with a given page or site (average time spent on any single page of your website). For example, if there are three concurrent visitors on article XYZ where active visitors ONE and TWO have both already accrued 30 seconds of engaged time and active visitor THREE has accrued 90 seconds of engaged time, the Real-time Engaged Time for article XYZ is 50 seconds (150 total engaged seconds divided by 3 active visitors).
Avg. Engaged Time (Chartbeat Historical):
To calculate average engaged time historically, the calculation is simple: total engaged time for the page or site divided by total pageviews for the same page or site over the same time range equals Avg. Engaged Time for that page or site.
With our own metrics defined, let's look at Google Analytics' two most prominent engagement metrics below...
Avg. Time on Page (Google Analytics):
Google Analytics tracks time on page and time on site by measuring the difference between the timestamps of hits (pageviews). If the visit is a bounce (that is, the visitor leaves after viewing just one page), no time will be recorded. Google Analytics keeps counting visitors' time on a page regardless of whether the browser window is in a hidden or visible tab.
Avg. Session Duration (Google Analytics):
Google Analytics calculates average session duration by dividing the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) during a specified time frame by the total number of sessions during that same time frame. A session is defined as a group of interactions one user takes within a given time frame on your website. Google Analytics defaults that time frame to 30 minutes.
Chartbeat's Engaged Time metrics are unique because we're measuring any and all engagement actions visitors take with your website in order to give you the full picture on how much time people actually spend reading your stories. Measure different, know more.