5 Ways to Measure Website Engagement & How to Improve It
When most people think about key performance indicators, they focus on conversions and leads. But it’s actually your engagement that can tell you what your site is doing well — and what it’s not. And when you have that knowledge, you can make smarter decisions that impact those other important KPIs.
But how exactly do you measure site engagement? In too many cases, businesses are just going with their gut. But for the marketers out there who are tracking their metrics, it’s making sure you’re looking at the right ones. Don’t worry, we’re here to help with 5 ways to measure your site engagement and some tips on how to improve it.
How to Measure Your Site Engagement
- Know How Far People Scroll
It’s one thing to know what pages your visitors are going to, but it’s another to know how much of its content they actually see. To know that, you have to track scroll depth. Through Google Analytics 4 or a number of other applications, you can set alerts to measure how far people scroll on any specific page, and then monitor these percentages against a certain time period to find an average scroll depth.
These metrics offer valuable insight into how far into the page your users are either getting the answers they are looking for, or getting bored and leaving. Either way, it can help you adjust your content and call-to-actions to increase the likelihood of people scrolling further or contacting you directly.
- Monitor CTAs Viewed
Businesses sprinkle CTAs all over their websites, but they often forget to actually track their effectiveness. These buttons are your primary traffic drivers; they either encourage people to reach out to you or send them to the pages you really want them to see. Page views are helpful, but they don’t exactly tell you if your user saw anything useful or if that view was even intentional.
Google Tag Manager allows you to set up triggers that show you which particular CTAs incited a reaction and which CTAs were viewed the most. Based on this data, you can update your CTA messaging or the landing page content that will be more effective in driving the right actions.
- See How People Engage with Forms
If your website uses forms to capture visitor data, this is also a great way to measure user behavior. And if it doesn’t, consider adding them. While any information you can obtain is helpful, it’s the optional fields that you really want to pay attention to. Google tools can help you track which of these fields tend to be filled out or ignored, which can help you condense forms to only the most important fields.
People don’t like extra work. By simplifying the process for users, you can likely inspire more people to interact with your forms.
- View Attention Minutes
Attention minutes, or engaged time, is similar to session duration, but it’s a little more fine-tuned as it only counts the time a user is actually active on the page. For anyone already tracking session duration, you notice those random super long visits that skew all your data. It’s likely because someone visited your site and forgot they had it open when they got distracted by something else.
Attention minutes eliminates those idle metrics and reports only on visitors who are engaging with your page — scrolling, clicking, or watching a video, etc. This metric is great, but it’s still not perfect. Some of these users may actually be frantically searching for something they can’t find, not happily browsing. Keep in mind that a typical user will give up on those efforts after about 10-20 seconds, so focus on capturing the users who surpass that.
- Check Frequency of Visits
Last but not least is understanding how frequently users are returning to your site. If people tend to come back, they most likely find your content helpful. But there are a couple of things to consider. First, you can look at how many times a user visits your site. In this case, the higher the better — the more visits a person makes, the more interested they clearly are.
You can also check the average number of days between those visits. This is helpful in a different way. Let’s say you update your site content every week, but your visitors only return monthly on average. That’s wasted effort. The type of site you have will definitely play a big role in how you can use this data, but there’s a lot to gain from tracking it.
Ways to Improve Engagement
Tracking metrics like the five mentioned above will give you a much better idea of what triggers evoke customer actions and which ones don’t. The more relevant your content is to your users and the better their experience moving through your site, the more likely they’ll stick around.
- Reduce Page Load Time.
No one likes to wait, but when it comes to page load times, we’re talking even a mere one second delay will increase bounce rates by 16%. Page speed is a BIG deal — so big, that 40% of customers won’t wait more than three seconds before abandoning a site (WebsiteBuildExpert). And since Google associates slow load times with dissatisfied customers, it can also greatly affect your SEO. So speed it up.
- Create URL Parameters.
If a user is already subscribed to your content or is a current customer, your CTAs can be counter-productive. The good news is you can separate the ways in which your customers interact with your site by using parameters. For people who have already subscribed, add a parameter that prevents them from seeing “subscribe now” CTAs. Instead, they can see content that thanks them for subscribing versus making them regret it.
- Tie Metrics to Goals.
Understanding your metrics has little value if you don’t apply them. It’s important to figure out the impact of each measurement and how it can translate into ways to improve. If certain pages or CTAs are performing better than others, focus on what makes each different from less successful content and how you can make changes across your site.
- Record Incoming Traffic.
Knowing where your users are coming from is obviously helpful in who and where to target in your outbound marketing, but also in increasing engagement on your site. With a better grasp on who or what your most valuable referrers are, you can better tailor your content to maintain those audiences.
If you’re ready to start taking advantage of your site’s most important metrics and give your content a major boost, contact shyft to help get you started.