In radio, one of the key indicators of a station’s success is TSL: Time Spent Listening. In essence, how long does the average listener spend with you before pushing a button and moving along to someone else’s commercials. This same indicator is useful, if not critical, for musicians.
When you build a website, you chock it full of fantastical content. There’re videos to watch, songs to stream, and brilliant blog posts. Then there’s your store page — where you hope your fans will spend lots of time (and money).
Assuming you’ve got GoogleAnalytics running in the background, TSL is calculated for the site overall and for every individual page. Log into GoogleAnalytics, and you’ll see “Avg. Visit Duration” prominently displayed. Generally speaking, your homepage will likely have the longest visit duration — it’s the first page people find and you’ve (ideally) got lots of valuable content placed right up front.
What about your goals? Remember when you started this whole “be a musician” endeavor? You wanted to sell millions of mp3s. How much time are fans spending on your store page?
What about those blog posts that you spent hour upon hour creating? Is anyone reading them, and if they are — for how long? If you’ve written a 40 paragraph blog post (?!), but the average time spent on the page is only 20 seconds, is anyone reading it? Is that time you spent worth the effort?
In all fairness, and to deflect a decent amount of ensuing criticism, TSL isn’t the only way to determine your website’s success. What it does provide is a snapshot indicator of where fans are willing to invest time. And remember, time is money. If they’re spending a lot of time on your site, they’re interested. They’ll likely buy something, show up at a gig, or at the very least come back to your site again.