If you’ve mastered the art of tracking your online visibility and learned how to measure traffic on your website, the next step is to evaluate how visitors to your site interact with your content. Learn how to measure engagement, and you’re well on your way to meeting your SEO goals.
Building a loyal customer base and increasing your online revenue is easiest when you get inside the mind of your prospective customer. Not to worry — you don’t need to get a Ph.D. in psychology or develop superhuman mind-reading skills. Engagement metrics offer all the insights you need into website visitor behavior.
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Why does engagement matter? Because people who engage with your brand are 23% more likely to make a purchase.
Improving visitor engagement requires more than delivering the products and services people want neatly packaged in a positive user experience. It takes strategy, planning, and diligence to make sure visitors feel inspired to return to your site to learn more about your offering and, most importantly, convert to customers.
Measuring website engagement provides valuable insights that will help you craft an effective engagement strategy to boost lead generation and sales growth. So, let’s take a few minutes to dive into how to measure engagement on your website and use what you learn to meet your business goals.
What is User Engagement?
User engagement is a broad term that refers to how visitors interact with your website. The specific engagement metrics you’ll want to track will vary depending on your business objectives and the tools you use.
How long do you stay on a web page before you decide if it has what you need? Not long, right? Site owners have a matter of seconds to grab a searcher’s attention and convince them to stay.
If you’ve already crafted SEO content that brings people to your site, the next challenge is to make sure it’s compelling enough to get them to stay. Today’s consumers want instant gratification. Ten years ago, you might have had as much as 10 seconds to hook a visitor, but now, the amount of time someone spends deciding if they’ll stay on a page or move on is closer to 50 milliseconds. If they visit a page and aren’t immediately interested in what they see, 40% of visitors will move on.
Keeping visitors interested in what you have to offer is a crucial part of your success. That’s why you’ll want to develop an effective engagement strategy.
Benefits of a Website Engagement Strategy
Engaging visitors on your site creates opportunities to win them over and convert them into customers. Improved user engagement can benefit your business in these significant ways…
Build Customer Loyalty
When people come to your website and consistently find valuable information that meets their needs and holds their interest, they’re more likely to choose your products or solutions. The more often they visit, the more familiar they become with your brand. When they’re ready to make a purchase, you’ve already established your business as a trusted source of reliable information.
Develop Deeper Relationships
As you create opportunities for visitor engagement, you learn more about your target audience. These insights help you create custom content that resonates with your ideal consumers. Tools like chat features and comment boxes open a dialog between you and your prospective customers. Better relationships can foster increased profits since people prefer to buy from companies they trust.
Increase Brand Awareness
By engaging prospective customers with unique and helpful content, you’re making a name for yourself as a trusted expert within your industry and increasing brand awareness. Chances are, prospective customers who’ve spent time on your site will remember your business when they’re ready to buy. When you’re top-of-mind, more people will think of your brand when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Search engines like Google are constantly tracking which websites hold user attention and provide a valuable visitor experience. When you post engaging content that readers find meaningful, search engines will reward you with a higher position in SERPs. People will also be more inclined to share content they find valuable with their contacts. Both of these benefits can help boost your visibility and increase brand awareness.
8 Website Engagement Metrics to Track
Exactly which engagement metrics you choose to track will depend on your business objectives and goals. Regardless of your particular area of focus, here are some standard metrics that can help you measure how people interact with your website content:
Engagement Metrics, Defined
1. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate reveals how many people land on your web page and leave without taking any further action. A high bounce rate could result from slow load times, too many interstitial pop-ups, poor design, or thin content that’s heavy on keywords and light on value.
Bounce rates indicate how well your website is serving your audience. If people find relevant information that answers their questions, they’ll explore more of your content. The deeper visitors go into your site, the more likely they are to convert (whether during their first session or on a return visit).
Pageviews represent each time a page on your website is loaded by users. This metric can help you see patterns in traffic and which pages are attracting the most visitors. Not to be confused with landing page visits, pageviews count visits from both internal and external pages. Pages that garner the most views are where you’ll want to place calls-to-action.
3. Session Duration
A session comprises all the interactions one user has with your website from the time they land on your site to the moment they leave or become inactive (and the session ends). In short, session duration is the amount of time someone spends on your site in one visit. Longer session durations indicate better user engagement.
Average session duration tracks the average length of sessions on your website. Likely, someone who spends a long time on your site found the information they need and is looking to learn more. This metric enables you to see if your website content as a whole is resonating with your audience.
4. Pages Per Session
The pages per session metric is the average number of pages someone views in a single session. A higher number can indicate that users find your website compelling and easy to navigate. However, if your pages per session is high, but your session duration is low, visitors might be clicking through your pages because they’re having trouble finding what they need. Learning how many pages people view in a single session can help you understand whether your internal linking strategy guides people through your sales funnel effectively.
5. Time on Page
Measuring the amount of time someone spends on each web page is an effective indicator of how engaging your content is. Set expectations for each page based on the content it contains. If your average time on page is exceedingly short, your content may be thin or irrelevant, failing to engage the visitors that land there. Make sure your target keywords and metadata align with your page content and provide a good user experience (UX), so you can meet your visitors’ expectations.
6. Page/Scroll Depth
This metric shows you how far down the page users are scrolling and reading (or skimming). The further users scroll down a page, the more content they’re consuming. Identifying where users stop scrolling and engaging with your content can help you make necessary changes to optimize your pages further and boost interactions. Combining this metric with time on page can give you a good idea of how engaging your web pages are.
7. Site Abandonment
When people land on your website and leave before converting, it’s essential to understand where you’re losing them and dig into why it’s happening. Assess your site to determine which pages people exit on. Knowing this can help you address the issues that are causing people to leave. Pages with high exit rates could indicate a user experience problem. You might be losing people’s interest because of slow load times, broken links, or outdated content.
8. Repeat Visitors
One indicator of user engagement is the number of visitors that come back to your website. When people benefit from engaging with your brand, they’ll continue returning for more content, resources, and repeat purchases. Since approximately 70% of consumers comparison shop before choosing a product to purchase, you can expect that the more often someone returns to your site, the more likely they are to become a customer eventually.
Using Google Analytics to Measure Engagement on Your Website
Google Analytics (GA) provides data that helps you understand your visitors, how they arrive at your website, and how they engage with your content. GA tracks engagement metrics like bounce rates, page views, and session times.
Google Analytics also tracks how many people visit your site (traffic), which sources drive traffic to your pages (traffic channels and referrals). And maybe most important of all, GA measures how many people take the next step on their customer journey (conversions), so you can measure the ROI of your digital marketing efforts.
In short, Google Analytics reveals onsite user activity, so you can confirm what tactics are working and what needs improvement.
All of this information can help you develop more compelling content, boost conversion rates, and deliver the best user experience possible.
- To see the bounce rate of individual pages, go to the All Pages report under Behavior > Site Content.
- To see the average bounce rate of all of your pages, go to the Audience Overview dashboard
Average Session Duration
- You can also find the average session duration on the Audience Overview dashboard.
Average Pages Per Session
- The average pages per session are on the Audience Overview dashboard too.
Average Time on Page
- Go to Behavior > Overview.
- For individual page times, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and click on the page links listed below the average metrics.
- Also under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, you’ll find exit rates for individual pages. Note the Average Exit Rate at the top of the column.
- Find the Audience tab and navigate to Behavior and then New vs. Returning. In this dashboard, you can directly compare the engagement metrics for new visitors vs. returning visitors.
Strategic Ways to Boost Engagement on Your Website
Whether your analytics reveal that your website engagement is healthy or needs some work, there’s always room for improvement. Focus on these four quick fixes to increase visitor engagement and drive conversion rates.
1. Optimize Your Website Design
When it comes to website user experience, first impressions are important. 38% of users say they’ll leave a website if it isn’t aesthetically pleasing. That’s why you want your site layout to be clean, organized, and user-friendly.
Design with two things in mind:
- Simplicity: Make your site easier to read by using high-quality images, legible fonts, and plenty of white space to separate page elements.
- Mobile-friendly: Since 51.2% of internet access takes place on mobile devices, make sure you optimize your website for mobile. Consumers expect to have the same positive experience on their mobile device that they would have on their desktop computer.
2. Minimize Load Times
One of the biggest reasons people leave a site is slow load times. Embed or compress large photos and videos, so they don’t bog down page loading. Eliminate plug-ins you don’t need. Combine or minify files on your web pages to help reduce the number of HTTP requests made on your site. Consider hosting your site on a larger server. Whatever you do to increase response time and quickly get people to the information they seek, the better your engagement metrics will be.
3. Deliver Meaningful, Easy-to-Consume Content
People come to your website because they’re looking for a solution to a problem. If they’ve clicked on a link to your site from SERPs, they’re inclined to believe that you have the answer they’re looking for. Exceed their expectations by delivering meaningful information that resonates with them and makes it easy to find what they’re looking for.
That means you’ll want to break up large blocks of text with headers and bulleted lists. Incorporate quality photos and videos to catch the eye and help people remember your information.
When you share valuable insights and information with people who visit your website, you’re building trust and authority with prospective customers who are likely to engage with your brand, share your information, and return later to learn more about your offering.
4. Nurture User Interaction
Connect with your audience and develop a more meaningful relationship by encouraging them to interact with your brand. Invite them to leave comments on your articles. Engage them on social media. Encourage people to ask questions or give candid feedback. Chat features and FAQ pages promote open communication and show that you value what your readers think.
Include social media sharing buttons on your content to make it easy to pass along your information. For registration pages, allow people to sign in through their social media accounts. Do whatever you can to make the interaction process easy and effective. The more people interact with your brand, the better their level of engagement, and the more likely they’ll become loyal customers.
Build & Measure Engagement on Your Website
It isn’t enough to just get people to visit your website. Engagement is critical to your digital marketing success. Victorious is an SEO agency that is ready to lend you a competitive advantage with a custom SEO campaign to help you attract and engage qualified visitors to your site, and deliver an outstanding ROI for your marketing budget.