Four tips for measuring engagement
In addition to creating custom KPIs that leverage user data into an understanding of user engagement, here are four additional things to consider:
Goals and objectives
Rather than focusing on overall sales or conversions, focus on the goals and objectives of the website. In order to translate analytics into engagement, it's important to interpret them in light of the purpose of the site: Who are you serving and what do they need or want? At the end of the day, your engagement analytics should help you make informed decisions on what and how to improve your site.
Always think about your users. Remember that people come to your website for different reasons. Consider what actions your users are likely to take while researching, purchasing, and even post-purchase. Understanding your users' goals will help you deliver a better user experience in addition to understanding which actions are most valuable to measuring engagement.
Creating KPIs and custom measurements is a good first step to understanding engagement, but in order to get to the core of what your users are doing, make sure you group those users accordingly. Which users are you targeting? Who do you want to know more about? Some metrics have built in segments, but sub-segments and geo-segments may provide more insight into your overall business goals.
Integrating social sharing, print, and email tracking into your site isn't just important for user experience, but it is important for understanding engagement. Social sharing by your users broadcast to their massive social networks is incredibly important for word-of-mouth marketing. But even more important than that, integrating social sharing provides key engagement insights. Which content motivated your users to share and how did they reach that content? Understanding this about your users could be potentially more significant than the social networks they reach.
Developing meaningful engagement metrics for your site, while easier than it used to be, is still quite a task. And although it's easy to overlook engagement metrics when your analytics team can rely on harder numbers like sales or lead conversions, engagement is still relevant to every brand. What your non-purchasers are doing may provide more valuable insights for your brand than what your most loyal customers are doing on your site. Challenge yourself to look beyond traditional metrics to understand how your visitors are -- or aren't -- engaging.
Nicole Rawski is analytics manager for Digitaria
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