My website loaded in 10 seconds, then I improved the site's performance. I introduced a cache, minified files, and compressed images. This reduced the load speed to under 2 seconds.

Is this why the average session duration of my users dropped? Could it be because for every page the user loads they save themselves 8 seconds?

2 Answers 2


Yes - all else being equal - decreasing your load time will decrease your average session duration.

Session duration is the time between the first and last interaction hit on your site (an interaction hit being either a pageview or an event that isn't marked as non-interaction).

So GA doesn't care how someone spends that time - whether it's waiting for the page to load or actually browsing.

You should be able to see this using the Page Timings report (Behaviour > Site Speed > Page Timing) and clicking on Technical at the top (under the Explorer tab).

A few caveats:

  • this assumes that you've put the tracking tag in the right place, which is immediately after the opening <head> tag
  • exit pages have no time on page, as there is only one timestamp available to calculate with (and therefore bounced visits have no session duration)
  • Thanks for the insight, it's new to me that a bounce will have no session duration. This may also explain a lot. Apr 29, 2019 at 12:14

It is possible that the time on site is now dropping. But did you also check the bounce rate? But better page performance is never a decline.

Tip: The absolute value of "time on site" is useless. You have to check your values against your competitors in your specific niche.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.