In Scope

Sustainability Websites: We Set Analytics Benchmarks

A phone displays the google results for Analytics

What is a “good” bounce rate? How do most sustainability websites perform? How long will I have an average user’s attention? Good questions. We dug into the Google Analytics from CSR microsites across four different industries, and here is what we noticed.

You get 100 seconds to grab your audience

Average Home page Visit Duration: 98 seconds

Average Home Page Bounce Rate: 45%

  • The average time spent on a sustainability home page? About 100 seconds. After that, nearly half of users leave the site. Good practices include selecting high-quality images and a compelling, overarching theme or introduction statement. We noticed two other trends among websites with strong engagement: simple navigation, and links to secondary content that include short content previews.
  • However: a higher-than-average bounce rate doesn’t tell the whole story. One site we reviewed had a home page bounce rate of over 60%. But this page was very robust. It included many key highlights, several case studies (under accordion folds) and a PDF download of the full report. If you are placing key content (like PDF reports or videos) on your home page, it’s a good idea to track interactions with this content as Analytics Events or Goals so you can be confident users found what they came for.

User attention span is around three minutes

Average Total Session Duration: 3.44 minutes

Average Pages Viewed per Session: 3.5

  • Most sites had a visit duration of around three minutes spread across three to four pageviews. We noted engagement metrics (time on site, pageviews per visit) were up across the board in the mining and metals sector. This was expected, as the sector tends to receive more intense scrutiny from a broader range of stakeholders. We did not see a correlation between the size of the site and the visit duration – the average mark was consistent.
  • We looked at the behaviour flow map for each site. After exploring the home page, almost all users work their way through the navigation as presented. We’re apparently a book-reading culture: top to bottom, left to right. If you have key stories you really need to highlight, place them high in your Information Architecture – it may even be worth considering how you order menu items.

Mobile matters, but desktop reigns supreme

Average Desktop Users: 81%

  • Desktop usage was consistently higher than mobile, accounting for 81% of users. We consolidated phone and tablet usage, but in general, phone stats exceeded tablet by a percentage point or two. We did have a few outliers: some sites had 5% mobile usage, while one major site had 60%. The median percentage of mobile users was 15.69%.
  • The takeaway? Before updating your CSR microsite, do a comprehensive analytics audit. Ideally, they are for the same report of the previous year, and include the popular and engaged content segmented by device. If it’s your first CSR microsite, look at the analytics of your corporate website, and cross-reference against other industry benchmarks. Then you can go forward with a strategy that makes sense.
  • Strategy is the key word, because while everyone needs a mobile version of their sustainability site, the content and approach should make sense. Your analytics may show that mobile users only engage with very specific sustainability content. A great mobile experience isn’t about providing everything the desktop or PDF experience offers. It’s about anticipating what mobile users need and want while using that device.

Want to unlock what your analytics are telling you? Get in touch with Kate at


Kate Heron

Kate is our Marketing Manager and has a knack for research, writing and Google Analytics. She is an ardent surfer, a New England Patriots fan and fosters Future Guide Dogs for the Lions Foundation of Canada. Find her on Twitter at @KateHeronWorks.

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