Previously we looked at how bounce rates impacted the candidate journey and ways in which you can use the data from Google Analytics to give you insight into the changes you can make.

Today we're going to focus on the time your candidates are spending on your site.

The time candidates spend on your careers site can be broken down into a few different areas

  • Time of session (how long they spend on your site in one sitting)
  • AVG time per page (the session length divided by the number of pages visited)
  • Avg time spent on a specific page

How long do candidates spend on my site?

The first area you can look at is the average amount of time a candidate spends on your site. Go to Audience > Overview and look at the Average Session Duration.

Look at the image below. This shows

  • Average session duration is 2 minutes 16 seconds (how long the average candidate stays on your site when they visit)
  • Average pages per session is 3.58 (the average number of pages they visit each time they visit the site)
  • This equates to an avg of 38 seconds per page

These figures give you a starting platform to review the rest of your sites pages. Any page that sits above the 38 seconds will be considered good, anything that sits below that you could consider needing work.

We say "could" because not every page needs to hold a candidates attention for a long time. Sometimes it's a landing page with an obvious call to action to go to another section, so the low time on the page would be considered a positive. 

You should also take into consideration that some candidates will arrive on your site and immediately leave because they didn't get what they were expecting, or conversely they found the apply link immediately and left to apply on the ATS (find out more about Bounces and Events on Careers sites)

A great overview of these stats can be found in Audience > Behavious > Engagement

Below is an example which shows the number of sessions divided into 

  • 0-10 seconds
  • 11-30 seconds
  • 31-60 seconds
  • 61-180 seconds (1 - 3 minutes)
  • 181-600 seconds (3 - 10 minutes)
  • 601-1800 seconds (10 - 30 minutes)
  • 1801+ seconds (30 minutes and more)

You should also take into consideration candidates that are on their second/third/forth visit. They're unlikely to spend the same length of time on your home page as last time because they are likely to already know where they want to go, but they may spend more time on other pages because they've allocated additional time to spend reading about other candidate experiences, or reviewing your roles in more detail.

What are my best performing pages?

You can take a look at all of the pages that have been visited on your site through Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages . Remember as we went through in our Bounce Rate review article, you can change the date range for this report to get a better understanding of candidate behaviour over time.

You can also limit the pages in this list by only showing pages that have been viewed more than 10 times in your date period (again, this is shown in our bounce rate article).

If you want to just see pages that are performing better than your average you can use the advanced search as well, as shown in the image below. Remember when setting the search filter the values is defined in seconds, so use 60 for 1 minute, 300 for 5 minutes etc etc.

Order you list of pages by the ones that people spend the most time on and take note of the top 10 pages. Now, reverse the sort order and look at the pages that have the lowest time spent on the pages.

What are you doing on your best performing pages which you're not doing on your poor performing pages?

Is there a trend around the types of pages that have longer average time on the page per view, i.e. is it job descriptions, pages with long videos, pages with social feeds, are they pages with interactive tools, are they longer form blog posts?

How about the pages that have short page view times? Is there enough content for the candidate to consume, is it just a list page for people to move to key content, are they text only pages with nothing visual to keep a candidate interested, does the page take an age to load so candidates leave?

The longer you can get candidates to engage with your content the better, but you want to make sure they aren't there for a long time because it takes an age to understand the offering.

Our next edition in this series is going to be looking at page load times and how that impacts your candidates journey.