Session time is a bad indicator for targeted VDP ad traffic

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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.


Per Google:

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?

It depends.

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.


Joe Alegre
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