3 Steps to measure visitor engagement
A number of metrics are relevant when assessing visitor engagement success of websites, blogs and microsites. Engagement indicators should align with the stages of the conversion funnel with each stage being more valuable to the business than the prior stage. When splitting the conversion funnel into three sections; awareness, consideration, conversion; metrics can be assigned to each stage to measure success.
Awareness addresses the ability to generate an audience. The number of visitors is the perfect proxy for a websites ability to attract an audience. Trend data on the number of visitors over time yields insights into who is attracted to a site or blog based on demographic date, where they are coming from based on channel reports and what content they are interested in based on webpage specific reporting.
Once a visitor is on site visitors should engage with the content on the page. This step is termed consideration and includes actions such as reading an article and comparing products. Average session duration is used to monitor the level of consideration and engagement that a site is garnering.
The last step in the funnel is conversion. For e-commerce sites conversion is straight forward, each sale counts as a conversion. Many sites, however, are not in the ecommerce business but would still like to track marketing return on investment (ROI) using conversion metrics. Companies who sell expensive machinery may want to use websites to generate leads, while local local flower shops may want to increase in-store foot traffic. Site owners need to define conversions metrics specific to their site and then determine proxies that can be used to track conversion. Examples include submitted lead generation forms, or printable online coupons that are redeemed in store.
By mapping observable metrics to the conversion funnel site owners can measure engagement, monitor it over time and improve site experience. This data driven approach in combination with regular content updates is proven to grow engagement and improve business results across the funnel metrics.