Are your current engagement metrics wrong?

Written on 14 March, 2016 by Verity Meagher
Categories: Web Design & Content | Tags: customer behaviour, engagement, web design

Time on site, bounce rate, page views – if you have a business or e-commerce website, chances are you’re familiar with these terms as ways to track engagement. However, if these are the only metrics you are using, you might be missing the big picture on how people engage with your content.

From scroll trackers to setting up events in Google Analytics, read on to discover what other metrics can help you better understand website engagement.

Utilise Google Analytics goals and events

Consider what you want users to do while they are on your website. Do you want them to contact you, sign up to your newsletter or add an item to their shopping cart? What are the key parts of the customer journey you want a client to go through while on your page?

If you want to track engagement correctly, you need to know what counts as ‘engagement’ for your business – and then track it. Google Analytics goals and events tools can help you measure when a user completes an engagement that you believe is important in the customer journey.

Event tracking works by adding a tracking ‘tag’ (code) to pages or buttons that you deem important, so you can measure how many people engage with your website in that way. On top of that, you can also set up custom user dimensions so Google Analytics can segment your users into different groups to identify patterns.

Measuring in-depth user behaviour

While time on site and page views are useful, they can only go so far in showing how people use your website. Tools such as heat maps and scroll trackers can help you dig deeper into what interests users the most on your pages.

Heat maps help measure where users are most likely to click on your page through a representative ‘map’, with red hotspots showing the most-clicked-on points. This tool is perfect to help your business visualise how people are interacting with your site.

Scroll trackers help measure how far down your page users are scrolling so you can understand where you are losing your users on your website, and also see how engaging the content is across various pages.

Shares and referrers

Another way to look at user engagement is to measure who is visiting your website and what content they are sharing.

Looking at your website’s key sources of traffic can tell you plenty about who is coming to your website – and can help you understand your other engagement metrics better. For example, if the majority of your website traffic is coming from email subscribers or news articles about your business, you can assume they have had previous exposure to your brand before. If, on the other hand, the majority come from Google searches, you’ll need to adapt your content to speak to that audience.

Social plug-ins are another great way to measure engagement – you can use this to track when someone tweets or shares your content across social media.

Want to improve your engagement metrics and better understand your website users? Contact WebCentral for help implementing new engagement metrics on your page.