In its early days, the internet felt a bit like a library: a large repository where you could go to find a specific piece of information. Once you found the information you needed, you’d leave. There wasn’t much socializing going on.
While the internet still provides people with instant access to information, it is now a place of constant, sometimes chaotic, interaction and commerce.
Engagement data tells us how users are interacting (or engaging) with websites. Engagement differs from data categories like sessions, users, and impressions in that it measures action rather than exposure. It’s not how many people visit a website, but what they do once they get there. Are users navigating to multiple pages? Which content are they interacting with? How does this behavior contribute or detract from the success of the site?
Engagement data is crucial because it is a powerful indicator of the overall effectiveness of your website.
Key Engagement Metrics
At Union Street Media, we rely on several engagement metrics to provide us with actionable information about our clients’ websites and their users.
Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors leaving the site without clicking past the initial landing page. Bounce rate can often indicate how well the landing page meets the user’s needs and expectations. An effective landing page should draw the user deeper into the site, or prompt a specific action.
Pages/Session: The average number of pages visited during each session. How many pages are users visiting each time they come to the site? When pages/session is low, bounce rate is often high.
Average Session Duration: The average length of each session measured in time. If your goal is to encourage users to pursue the content on your website, then your ideal average session duration should reflect the amount of time it takes for a user to fully experience your site.
Conversion Rate: The conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. If the purpose of your website is to generate leads or sell a product, conversion rate is an important indicator of the effectiveness of your site.
In order to improve engagement performance, take a look at your top landing pages and imagine yourself in the place of the users. Think about what is or isn’t motivating you to visit other pages. For instance, an enticing call-to-action with a link to a related page or article could help pull users deeper into the site. Also, it can be helpful to diversify your content with a mix of copy, images, widgets and video (Not sure where to start? Check out these beginner tips). Finally, make sure the inbound links to your landing pages accurately reflect the content on the page; the first step to great engagement is to satisfy the user’s expectation.
While each of these key engagement metrics provides valuable insight, it is wise to view engagement data – as well as other available website data – as a whole in order to get the most complete understanding of site performance.