Time Spent

Adobe Analytics offers various Time Spent metrics and dimensions. Find out what they are and how they are calculated.

Time Spent Metrics

This table lists the various Time Spent metrics, their definition, and where in Adobe Analytics you can use them.

Metric Definition Available in

Total seconds spent

Represents the total amount of time visitors interact with a specific dimension item.

Includes the instance of a value and persistence across all subsequent hits. In the case of props, time spent is counted across subsequent link events as well.

Analysis Workspace

Reports & Analytics

Report Builder (called ‘total time spent’)

Data Warehouse

Time spent per visit (Seconds)

Total seconds spent / (visit-bounces)

Represents the average amount of time visitors interact with a specific dimension item during each visit.

Analysis Workspace

Reports & Analytics

Time spent per visitor (Seconds)

Total seconds spent / (unique visitor - bounce unique visitors)

Represents the average amount of time visitors interact with a specific dimension item across the visitor’s lifetime (length of their cookie).

Analysis Workspace

Reports & Analytics

Average time spent on site (Seconds)

Represents the total amount of time visitors interact with a specific dimension item, per sequence with a dimension item. It is not just limited to “site” averages as the name suggests. See How Time Spent is Calculated section for more information on sequences.

Note: This metric will very likely differ from Time Spent per Visit at a dimension item level due to the differences in the denominator in the calculation.

Analysis Workspace

Reports & Analytics (shown in minutes)

Report Builder (shown in minutes)

Average time spent on page

Deprecated metric.

We recommend that you use ‘Average time spent on site’ if average time for a dimension item is needed.

Report Builder (when a dimension is in the request)

Total session length

(Also known as: Previous session length)

Mobile App SDK only. Determined the next time the app is launched, for the previous session. Calculated in seconds, this metric does not count when the app is in the background, only when in use. This is a session-level metric.

For example: You install app ABC and launch and use it for 2 minutes and then close the app. No data is sent about it this session time. The next time you launch it, Total Session Length will be sent with a value of 120.

Analysis Workspace

Reports & Analytics

Report Builder

Mobile Services UI

Average session length (mobile)

Total Session Length / (Launches – First Launches)

Mobile App SDK only. This is a session-level metric.

Report Builder

Mobile Services UI

Time Spent Dimensions

This table lists the various Time Spent dimensions, their definition, and where in Adobe Analytics you can use them.

Dimension Definition Available in

Time spent per visit - granular

The total time spent during the visit truncated to the nearest second, and applied to every hit that was part of the visit. This a visit-level dimension.

Analysis Workspace

Time spent per visit - bucketed

The granular dimension bucketed into 9 different ranges. This is a visit-level dimension. Ranges include:

  • Less than 1 minute
  • 1-5 minutes
  • 5-10 minutes
  • 10-30 minutes
  • 30-60 minutes
  • 1-2 hours
  • 2-5 hours
  • 5-10 hours
  • 10-15 hours
Note: No buckets higher than this exist, because a visit expires after 12 hours of activity.

Analysis Workspace

Reports & Analytics

Report Builder

Time spent on page - granular

The total time spent on each hit, truncated to the nearest second. It is a hit-level dimension and includes both page views and link events. It is not just limited to the “page” dimension, as the name suggests.

Analysis Workspace

Time spent on page - bucketed

The granular dimension bucketed into 10 different ranges; however, the bucketed dimension only counts page views (and excludes link events). This is a hit-level dimension. Ranges include:

  • less than 15 seconds
  • 15 to 29 seconds
  • 30 to 59 seconds
  • 1 to 3 minutes
  • 3 to 5 minutes
  • 5 to 10 minutes
  • 10 to 15 minutes
  • 15 to 20 minutes
  • 20 to 30 minutes
  • more than 30 minutes

Analysis Workspace

Reports & Analytics

How Time Spent is Calculated

Adobe Analytics uses explicit values (including link events and video views) to calculate Time Spent.

Note: Without link events like Video Views or Exit Links, time spent on the last hit of a visit cannot be known. Additionally, for similar reasons, Bounce Visits (i.e. Visits with a single hit) will not have a Time Spent associated.

The numerator in all time spent calculations is "Total seconds spent".

The denominator is not available as a separate metric in Analytics. For hit-level time spent metrics, the denominator is sequences. A sequence is a consecutive set of hits where a given variable contains the same value (whether by being set, spread forward, or persisted). "Spread forward" refers to the persistence of props between page views (i.e. across subsequent link events), for the purpose of calculating time spent.

  • For example, in the case of Page Name or other dimensions at the hit level, the denominator is essentially Instances or Page Views, but with reloads and unset values (e.g. link events) counted as a single interaction (a sequence).
  • Bounce and Exit hits are also removed from the denominator because time spent cannot be known.

FAQs about Time Spent

Question Answer

Can all Time Spent metrics be applied to any dimension?

These Time Spent metrics can be applied to any dimension:

  • Total seconds spent
  • Time spent per visit (Seconds)
  • Time spent per visitor (Seconds)
  • Average time spent on site (Seconds)

Which time spent dimension is best used in breakdowns with other dimensions?

The “Time Spent on Page – granular” dimension is a hit-level dimension. Breaking this down by another dimension will tell you the seconds that a hit lasted where the breakdown dimension was also present.

In the example below, the search term “classifieds” is associated with hit times of 54 seconds, 59 seconds, etc, perhaps indicating that visitors are spending time reading content returned for that search term.



What metric is appropriate against the dimension of “Time Spent on Page – granular”?

Any metric. The dimension shows the time spent on the exact hit where the event occurred. Higher time spent means a visitor stayed longer on a page (hit) where the event occurred.



How does Average Time Spent on Site differ from Time Spent per Visit?

The difference is the denominator in the metric:

  • Average Time Spent on Site uses the sequences that include a dimension item.
  • Time Spent per Visit uses the visit count

As a result, these metrics may yield similar results at a visit level, but will be different at a hit level.

Calculation Examples

Assume the following set of server calls are for a single visitor within a single visit:

Visit hit # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Visit elapsed time (sec) 0 30 80 180 190 230 290
Seconds spent 30 50 100 10 40 60 -
Hit type Page Link Page Page Page Page Page
Page Name Home - Product Home Home

(reload)

Cart Order Confirmation
Table 1. Prop Example:
Visit hit # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
prop1 A

(set)

A

(spread forward)

(not set) B

set)

B

(set)

A

(set)

C

(set)

prop1 seconds spent 30 50 - 10 40 60 -
Table 2. eVar Example:
Visit hit # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
eVar1 Red

(set)

Red

(persisted)

(expired) Blue

(set)

Blue

(set)

Blue

(persisted)

Red

(set)

eVar seconds spent 30 50 - 10 40 60 -

Based on the table above, Time Spent metrics are calculated as follows:

prop1 Total Seconds Spent Time Spent Per Visit Time Spent Per Visitor Count of Sequences Average Time Spent on Site
A 30+50+60=140 140/1=140 140/1=140 2 140/2=70
B 10+40=50 50/1=50 50/1=50 1 50/1=50
C 0 0 0 0 0
Unattributed time 100 - - - -
eVar1 Total Seconds Spent Time Spent Per Visit Time Spent Per Visitor Count of Sequences Average Time Spent on Site
Red 30+50=80 80/1=80 80/1=80 1 80/1=80
Blue 10+40+60=110 110/1=110 110/1=110 1 110/1=110
Unattributed time 100 - - - -

For Time Spent dimensions, the following rows will appear in the associated reports:

  • Time spent per visit (granular): 290
  • Time spent on page (granular): 10, 30, 40, 50, 60, 100

Some additional notes in support of the example:

  • All Time Spent calculations are based on the visit elapsed time which starts at zero on the first hit of the visit.
  • “Seconds Spent” is the difference between the timestamp of the current hit and the timestamp of the next hit. As a result, the last hit of the visit (and bounces) have no time spent.
  • A “sequence” is a consecutive set of hits where a given variable contains the same value (whether by being set, spread forward, or persisted). For example, prop1 “A” has two sequences: hits 1 & 2 and hit 6. Values on the last hit of the visit do not start a new sequence because the last hit has no time spent. Average time spent on site uses sequences in the denominator.
    • For the purposes of Time Spent only, props are “spread forward” from page hits to subsequent link hits as shown above for prop1 on hit 2. This allows the value that was set for prop1 on hit 1 (“A”) to accumulate time spent on hit 2.
    • eVars accumulate Time Spent on any hit where the eVar is set or persisted. eVar persistence is defined by the eVar settings in Analytics Admin.