Truth – not very long. Independent research give numbers of 10 to 20 seconds. Google analytics will give you the average time for your website and most popular page. The operative word is "average". Obviously some visitors spend more time than others. The common attribute is everyone scans to grab the information quickly. Those that find the web content more fulfilling to their need commit more time and read deeper.
How Little Do Users Read?
Tracking website visitors has shown that as your website visitor rushes through the content they only take time to read a quarter of the information. Is this powerful enough to illustrate how important your content is? You need to have clear plans for what you want from your visitor in order to develop content and call-to-action. This is a very rapidly declining curve. On an average visit, users read half the information only on those pages with 111 words or less. New studies are being conducted using eye-tracking evidence. NN/g provides a report with 83 recommendations for writing web.
Summary: On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.
Why does it matter?
Knowing how visitors are behaving on your website is key to knowing which pages are performing and which need improving. Visitor traffic shows which pages are most helpful to them, which resonate and lead them to take action... that is if you have a way for your customer to interact with you through your site. Ecommerce is not the only way to engage consumers.
Improving traffic, converting traffic to leads and knowing where they are in the buying process is all possible when you use visitor traffic data to improve your website design.
Do you understand the Google analytics for your site?
Managing your SEO and PPC campaigns require analytics as does improving web design. Treating your online presence as an online brochure is a major error in marketing when you realize that 60% of the buying process is competed before a customer makes physical or phone contact. If you do not understand your sites analytics or how to read analytics, learn. You may use a professional to manage and grow your online reputation and increase web traffic, but you know your business and must be the captain of the ship. You would best interpret the need to revise pages, which keywords to focus on and direct the professionals. It's like buying a car. You educate yourself to determine which vehicle meets your needs for the immediate and short term. Invest time to understand the data so you can guide the companies managing your website and online marketing.