If you want to know how effective the promotion of your website is, you’ll want to track acquisition metrics like website traffic. But if you want to learn all you can about the efficacy of your website, you should be tracking engagement metrics.
Tracking website engagement metrics can help you get a better understanding of how people interact with your website once they visit. You’ll also learn how they respond to the content on your web pages.
What you’re looking for from metrics tracking is a well-rounded view of website activity so that you can identify where your site isn’t working as planned. What you do with that information is optimize your site for more engagement from the visitors who are helping your business to grow.
Top 3 Website Engagement Metrics
In one recent study, nearly half of the participants say engagement metrics account for up to 50% of the metrics they track on a regular basis. When asked to share their most important measure of website engagement, these three metrics come in first.
1. Average Time On Page
By tracking how long a visitor stays on a webpage, you can quickly see which pages aren’t giving them the information they’re looking for in search.
A higher number gives you an indication of how engaging your content is. You want your content to match a visitor’s exact search intent.
Average time on page can help you to determine the quality of your website traffic. If you’re getting enough visitors but they’re only spending a short time on a page, you will want to adjust your targeting strategies, your page content, or both.
2. Bounce Rate
A formal definition of bounce rate is "the percentage of visits that go to only one page before exiting a site." This metric tells you how useful visitors find your website and how well your content is answering their questions.
If you get a lot of traffic to your site and your bounce rate is also high, your content may be to blame. If visitors are put off by spammy-feeling call-to-actions or a poorly designed website, expect to see a high bounce rate, too. If your bounce rate is increasing over time, it will have a negative impact on your SEO and organic traffic rank. Fix pages with the highest bounce rate first.
If you’re using Google Analytics, try changing your bounce rate calculation to an adjusted bounce rate, where a bounce wouldn’t be counted until a visitor leaves after the adjusted time, say after 15 seconds. This can make the information more meaningful to your marketing efforts.
3. Average Session Time
If you want to understand how effectively your website is meeting your visitors’ reasons for visiting, this metric is valuable. A higher average session time usually indicates visitors are engaging with your content.
If the average session duration is higher than 60 seconds and people aren’t converting, your call-to-action may not be doing its job. If people are using your site for less than 30 seconds and bouncing off, look at the function of your user interface.
Page depth, another metric related to average session time, tells the number of pages visitors are viewing in a session. This metric is valuable for identifying your most dedicated visitors, finding out which pages are guiding them deeper into your site and determining the value of your content, and the optimization of your site layout.
More Metrics to Track for Your Website
Here are four more engagement metrics marketers use to round out their website analytics.
4. Returning Visitors
You want people to be satisfied after their first visit to your site. The more visitors returning to your site, the bigger the group of engaged people and quality visitors you have to build a relationship with and help convert.
When they’re searching for information, people tend to browse a few sources online before deciding to contact one of them. Increasing your returning visitors through important keywords will help you win their business.
5. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Calls-to-actions (CTAs) direct your visitors to the next thing you want them to do, like download gated content, complete a form, add to cart, or something else. If visitors aren’t clicking on your CTAs, it’s time to test new ones.
If you’re seeing low click-through-rates but your website is getting a lot of impressions in search, you may need to revise the title tag and meta description so more people will make the click.
6. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate metrics track a variety of website conversions from homepages and landing pages to email conversion rates, visitor-to-lead conversion rates, lead-to-customer conversion rates, and more. You need to make conversions on your site to gain customers and make revenue.
A conversion path metric tracks the steps people take to convert on your site. A conversion path consists of a content offer, call-to-action, landing page, and thank you page. A visitor converts into a lead by seeing the offer they’re interested in, clicking on the CTA button to a landing page, providing their information on a form in exchange for access to the offer, and then taken to a thank you page where they receive the offer.
The new leads and leads per visitor metric track the percentage of leads generated by the number of visitors to your site. You can learn whether your marketing strategy is driving potential visitors with the intent to buy.
7. Exit Rate and Top Exit Pages
Longer user visits to your website can improve your SEO and help you build better relationships with your audience. Knowing the number of exits and the pages people are exiting most could help you determine why visitors are not staying longer.
A page can be slow to load, a call-to-action could be missing, or the content could include too much or too little information for a visitor to take the next step. Once you determine where visitors leave your website the most, you can optimize for better website engagement.
11outof11 for Website Metrics
Are you running on EOS®? Download our tip sheet, “Which Marketing Metrics Should be on Your EOS® Scorecard?”. Learn six suggested metrics to consider for helping your company grow.