5 Ways to Better Measure Site Engagement

Page views, and bounce rates tell only half the story. Here are some tips on the additional data you should be capturing to give you more insight into what your users actually do once they're on the page.

Even as Content Marketers begin to focus more on quality when producing content, we still need to quantify how well we're doing with the audiences we're targeting. How do we know that the content we've created is resonating with them? How do we measure their level of engagement? 

Visitors, clicks and bounce rates only tell part of the story. Short of eye tracking and mind reading, how can we infer our audience's level of interest? How can we know exactly what they are looking at? Did they actually interact with the page? Did they scroll beyond the fold? Did they watch that video, or enlarge a photo? 

Fortunately, there are ways to track all of these things so that we can create a clear picture of what works and what doesn't, especially when measured over time and with a large sample size. Below are 5 ways to get the complete picture.

1. Scrolling

You’ve probably landed on hundreds of pages, looked at the first paragraph and thought to yourself, “This isn’t what I was looking for. Go fish.” As a data analyst, I am much more interested in the leads who actually read the entire article (i.e., scrolling to the bottom of the page). By tracking page scrolling data, you can narrow down leads to who is actually reading what you have to say, rather than just landing on the page and clicking somewhere else. 

2. Active time on site

Ever load a page in your browser, then the phone rings, or you grab a cup of coffee? Time on a page can be very misleading without knowing how much time someone is active on that page. Scrolling, clicking, and typing are some of the signs that a human being is engaging with the page. When we measure these, we add context to the length of the page view.

Some of the metrics we use to measure engagement
Some of the metrics we use to measure engagement in Mura Experience Platform


Taking it a step further

While we directly integrate the above measures into Mura Experience Platform, the next few items are custom implementations that extend your view of user engagement.

3. Individual Sections

User activity on a site is not always linear. For example, I typically start by reading the intro of a product feature page, then scroll to the bottom, and finally return to the middle. In traditional analytics tracking, you may not know that out of 3 minutes on a given page, I spent 2:30 reading about one feature in particular. Tracking where someone spends their time on the page gives you unique insights into what they see and what draws their interest. 

4. Asynchronous Activity

When you reach the bottom of your Facebook feed and see the little spinner while it loads more posts, you see a sign that the page is sending an asynchronous request (AJAX for short) to the server and returning more data, without the page having to reload. This is a common practice on websites so that users can load additional data or complete tasks without having to wait for the page to reload. This can be a missed opportunity for lead data since most of the time the AJAX action isn’t recorded with the page load. Tracking asynchronous activity allows you to know just how deep someone goes into an asynchronous page.

5. On Page Activity

Many websites have user-toggled activity--such as tabs, accordions, or video plays--that is not captured on a page load. By binding these toggled events to a leads activity, you can learn which items users actually engaged.

Next Steps

Once you start capturing this additional engagement data, you can tie custom events to your leads, painting a much clearer picture of what they are doing on your site. You can use this data to make sure the story you're telling is reaching, attracting and engaging your audiences.

In my next post, I'll show you how to tie custom events to individuals and send them to a Marketing Automation system (in this example, Marketo), giving greater insight into their habits along with the opportunity to tie interactions to their lead score and more.