Websites needs to be engaging (website engagement) in order to achieve their purpose and the purpose varies. It may be sharing ideas, selling products, selling advertising or providing customer support. Whatever the purpose is, if the website is not engaging, it is probably not going to meet its purpose.
You want to measure your overall website engagement and break it by different customers and/or acquisition channels.
This will not just help you to understand if you exist or not, it will give you the ultimate information about who shows more interest to your website and able to interact with it.
Sometimes, business owners think that engagement is distractive and an excuse to not execute regarding the main macro conversions.
In 2007, Avinash Kaushik says it this way ( full story link ):
“Even as creating engaging experiences on the web is mandatory, the metric called Engagement is simply an excuse for an unwillingness to sit down and identify why a site exists. An excuse for a unwillingness to identify real metrics that measure if your web presence is productive. An excuse for taking a short cut with clickstream data rather than apply a true Web Analytics 2.0 approach to measure success.”
Certainly, measuring engagement could be an excuse and a distraction from your main conversions metrics; also, everything could be a distraction as well. If you do not make it simple: http://blog.weelytics.com/2015/11/05/digital-analytics-lets-make-it-simple/, and you define your engagement metrics as micro conversions. Every single metric could be an excuse to sit on it and forget the main purpose and goal of your website and business.
However, I think today, engagement is not distractive or an excuse, today, engagement is very important!
Website Engagement, Why?
- Engagement is your business soul
I understand that in a previous world, engagement was an excuse, not important and a source of distraction. But today, in a customer centrist world there is no doubt that businesses needs to have a soul that customers can interact, discover and stick with it. A soul that shares values, knowledge and love. Even a kind of spiritual connection with its customers and visitors.
If your business is not just another hungry profit/conversions addicted one. This soul will exist and your website will be engaging. Then, in a long term strategy, you can expect a better conversion and exposure.
- Content is king
Content marketing from blog posts, slide shares, videos and more is one of the most important facets of digital marketing. Engagement here is not the soul or marketers, it’s their success metrics from number of lines read, time spent on page, number of re-tweets…
- Search Engine Optimization
Also, Search engines, in order to attribute Scores for websites and pages, now they focus more and more on many engagement metrics, from the quality of the content, the number of viewed pages to the number of social media shares.
Maybe, after reading the previous paragraph you will say, well, engagement is all about Marketing. I agree that most of the engagement metrics are used by our marketing departments, but here is what Shantanu Narayen – Adobe CEO said in the past Adobe Summit 2015, and I believe this guy 🙂 :
“When you turn your product to marketing, you turn it to business” Shantanu Narayen – Adobe CEO
This is new, I know. Bill Gates 1980s era is gone, where you just build a product and meet some keys persons to sell it. Today, we are living to the SaaS, Uber and airBNB era, its the Growth hacking one.
SO, Do you still think that engagement is distracting?
Website Engagement, How?
Ideally, you want to have a stable and growing audience of engaged visitors. So, how do you measure the size of your engaged audience? Out of the box, Google Analytics, KISSmetrics and Segmet.io provide three metrics that are commonly used as gauges of engagement: Bounce Rate, Pages/Visit, and Avg. Visit Duration.
In addition, you can define your proper custom metrics by using custom events and metrics. For clicks, shares and open rates as example.
Generally, engagement metrics turns around interactions, reach, social buzz and brand positioning.
For example, Google Think Insights and Advertising Age polled U.S. agency and marketing executives about their favored methodologies for measuring engagement levels and found that 85.7 percent of respondents cited interaction rate as their top metric. Reaching influencers (82.9 percent), driving traffic to retail locations or the brand website (80 percent), sales/ROI (80 percent) and cost per engagement (77.1 percent) also featured strongly in the survey.
Also, most of the web analytics tools provide a variety of metrics for measuring engagement. We have found, however, that often the most useful way to look at engagement to measure it by segments and channels.
To make this easy for our customers, Weelytics.com provides a tool that allows you to easily track and measure any engagement metric from your website.
Please, Feel free to connect if you have questions or comments, we will be glad to share and help.