Google has released its first Analytics Benchmarking Newsletter, which highlights data collected anonymously from hundreds of thousands of Google Analytics accounts that opted-in to sharing data.
Comparing data from 1st November 2010 to 1st February 2011 against the same period 12 month prior, some very interesting changes are taking place in the way people use websites. A couple of highlights…
People are spending less time on websites. They are also visiting slightly less pages. From an average visitor looking at 4.9 pages in late 2009, we are now seeing 4.5 page views per visit. Average time on site is down from 5 minutes 49 seconds to 5:23.
Bounce rates have fallen. Even though people are spending slightly less time on sites, they must be finding what they want as bounce rates have dropped by 1.2%, from an average of 48.2% to 47%.
UK websites enjoy high quality traffic. Sites in the UK see a higher than average number of pages per visit and lower bounce rate than those in France, Brazil, China, Japan and the US. They also see an above average time on site, second only to US websites.
Search engine traffic is up. Traffic from search engines grew over the period by 1% whilst traffic from referrals fell by 1.6%. This will probably surprise a lot of people as there is a growing belief that social media sites are sending more traffic than search engines.