Session time is a bad indicator for targeted VDP ad traffic
Why is session time a bad way to measure results for VDP ad traffic?
Google considers session time only when a user goes to a second page. This is because the Google Analytics pixel only receives data during a page load.
If you are creating an ad that drives a user to a specific page like a vehicle detail page (VDP) of a specific car of interest, Google counts that session time as 0 seconds even if the user spends several minutes there. If a second page is visited GA pixel receives data again. But if only one page is visted? The visit counts as 0 seconds no matter how long was spent or how much content was viewed. This issue can be corrected through Google Tag Manager which we will address in another article.
A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.
Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.
These single-page sessions have a session duration of 0 seconds since there are no subsequent hits after the first one that would let Analytics calculate the length of the session. Learn more about how session duration is calculated.
Is a high bounce rate a bad thing?
If the success of your site depends on users viewing more than one page, then, yes, a high bounce rate is bad. For example, if your home page is the gateway to the rest of your site (e.g., news articles, product pages, your checkout process) and a high percentage of users are viewing only your home page, then you don’t want a high bounce rate.
On the other hand, if you have a single-page site like a blog, or offer other types of content for which single-page sessions are expected, then a high bounce rate is perfectly normal.
For SocialBot customers: We have custom reports we can provide that not only measure our traffic but also compare it against other paid traffic sources.