5 Easy Ways to Measure Website Engagement using your Web Analytics Data

This is a question most of us have, even if many never ask it out loud - How do I actually measure website engagement?

This question is something we struggle with because we are often not sure if the website is actually meeting the goals of your business, what are the factors that contribute to performance of the website going up or down, and what can you do to improve that performance. To make things worse, your typical web analytics platforms do not help in getting you an answer to these questions. Sure you see the traffic going up and down, you see new users coming on to the latest content on your blog, but what does it actually mean for the business, and how can you use this information to facilitate a better growth?

As a result, when we try out things in the name of improving website performance, we are actually shooting in the dark, while at the same time convincing ourselves that this is what needs to be done. Sometimes they work, but often they don’t, and we are left as clueless as before. Whats more is that even when they do work, we are left with more questions than answers because we can rarely say with 100% certainty which were the factors that contributed to the positive results. The result? We are rarely able to replicate those already rare successes.

And when all else fails, we turn to yet another expensive tool that promises to help us decipher the key to growth. But, you don’t need expensive tools and products to help you understand your website engagement better. With some careful set up, you can get a lot of valuable insights right from your web analytics (traffic) data. Benne Analytics is already primed to make this process as effortless as possible for you, but irrespective of which analytics platform you use to stay on top of your traffic measurement, the principles remain the same.

Why is it important to understand website engagement?

Quite simply. The more engaged your audience is with your website, the better a position it is in driving conversions.

So, how do you measure it?

#1. Scroll Depth

You are getting a lot of traffic on your /features page. That’s great! But how many of those visitors are actually taking the time out to get to know your product better? Did they leave after one quick look or were they actually interested in knowing more about your product?

These are crucial questions for any page on your website. If your visitors aren’t engaging with your website, then what’s the point of having a website in the first place?

Getting a better understanding of how your visitors react to different pages on your website helps you get a better sense of whether you have the right content on those pages, or if you need to put in the effort to spruce up that content, put up better images, include product screenshots etc. How much of any page a visitor goes through is a quick indicator of whether he is finding the information valuable or not. Scroll depth analysis of your pages helps you do that. To put it simply, scroll depth is a percentage indicator of how much of your page did a visitor scroll through before they navigated out of that page.

When you are setting up goals, you can set a few up to measure the scroll depth on any page. Most often, you would be inclined at setting scroll depth to a higher number, say 90% or even 100%. After all, you want to know what percentage of visitors to a page went through it completely. But that helps you only skim the surface. I would recommend setting at least 3-4 different scroll depths - 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%.

When you look at this analysis, you get a better sense of whether people are looking at that page and are interested, or if you lost their interest somewhere along the way. For example, if a bulk of the traffic to that page completes only 25% scroll, it is a clear indicator of the need to have a clearer, stronger message right at the top. You need to make an impact in helping your visitors understand the value of your product. Similarly, if a good percentage of visitors are completing 75% or 100% scroll, you would want to leverage that engagement by showing them a CTA that’s strongly aligned with your key goals.

#2. Are your CTAs the right CTAs or not?

Sure, you have Call to Actions on your website, but are they the ones your website needs?

We don’t often think of CTAs as something to optimise, thinking of them as silver bullets that can offer a solution to our conversion problems. As a result, you would often find CTAs sprinkled all over some websites indiscriminately. But, there is a lot of attention your CTAs require.

Look at it this way. Say, a CTA is somewhere down on your page, and a bulk of traffic to this page is only achieving 25% scroll depth, and a very very small percentage is actually making it to the CTA. That means most of your traffic isn’t even aware of the CTA even existing in the first place, and yet if you are measuring the conversion rates of that CTA, you are probably using 100% of the traffic that gets to it. Sounds a tad bit unfair, doesn’t it? The conversion rate of the CTA would always be lower whether it was actually resonating with its audience or not.

You can work your way around this challenge by using what we call display triggers. If there are specific sections on your website that you want to track independently, you can set up display triggers on them. This way, even though a page view would be recorded for the page that section is on, a view for the section would not be recorded unless your visitor actually scrolls up to it - thereby triggering the display trigger.

This helps you get a much better understanding of how well your CTAs are resonating with your audience, and the conversion numbers now would be accurate. This helps you know exactly what you need to improve - the content on the page so that it receives deeper scrolls or the messaging on the CTA so that it receives better conversion.

#3. Do your visitors use Google Translate often?

I wrote about this a while back. The built in translation tool the browser offers has a lot of insight to share with you.There are more than 4,000 written languages in the world, and thanks to the power of the internet, you website is accessed by visitors from all around the globe.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you should have your website content available in 4,000 or even a 100 different languages, but there would be a few that would take priority. And staying on top of the Google translate feature would help you understand when you need to make a language your priority, and which language should be at the top of the list.

Many of your visitors speak english, and probably an even higher number can read it just fine. But there would be times when your visitors, in an effort to understand the content better, use the translate functionality to render content in a language they are better familiarised with and prefer.

If this happens often, specially for a particular language, you should consider having native content instead of just relying on Google to offer your visitors an approximate translation. After all, there is nothing worse than the impact getting lost in translation, is it?

If you are a Benne Analytics customer, you do not need to set up Translation monitoring. It is activated, by default, on all plans. If our system detects more and more of your visitors preferring a particular language, and the trend holds true, our insights module will alert you of the need to have native content for that particular language. With Benne, there is a lot of growth focus analysis always happening under the hood, and this is just one of them. :-)

#4. Do you need to re-evaluate a form on your website?

Forms suck! Longer forms, even more so. There are a few things I hate more than coming across a form on a website that asks me my name, email, phone number, company, company url, company size, annual turnover, the name of my firstborn, and if my coffee tastes good.

Long-ass forms were crafted in the deepest trenches of hell.

Oh, and just because you made only 3 things ‘required’ on a 20 field form, it is still a sucky experience. Size does matter!

Okay. Now that I have got that out of my system, let me face the reality. Sometimes, no matter how much we hate them, forms are both necessary and unavoidable. So, you should keep an eye on the engagement your forms receive, and constantly using that analysis to improve your forms in a way that both increases engagement, and delivers a good experience to your visitors.

The simplest way to analyze form engagement is to track this progression:

How many people saw the form (display trigger) → How many times the form received focus (focus on one of the form fields) → How many times the form got filled and submitted

This helps you understand if your form presents the perception of being valuable enough, as well as if it was the complexity of the forms that drove people away who could have otherwise submitted a simpler form.

#5. Do people engage with a page differently on different devices?

In my last business, after a website redesign, our pricing page now had a horrible bounce rate. People were just leaving the pricing page midway. We were all scratching our heads trying to figure out what was going wrong. After all, the product was the same and so was the pricing, so why is it that the engagement had plummeted so badly?

Turns out, it hadn’t. The engagement numbers were pretty consistent with what they had been before - on desktop. On mobile, however, the numbers were horrendous. And it wasn’t because the page wasn’t mobile friendly, because it was. The view was rendering perfectly on mobile, but the way the information was being relayed was not very user friendly and conducive as far as conveying the key messages was concerned. So we redesigned the pricing page for mobile, and once again all was well in the fair kingdom.

It matters! The experience your site delivers on different devices could change because of simple placements of the elements. So a side by side comparison of the performance of different pages on different devices becomes extremely crucial in isolating, identifying and fixing the problem areas.

If you are looking at just the absolute average data for your pages, then much like us, you would be left head-scratching trying to figure it out, or worse, not even realise something needs getting fixed.

Simple optimisations and set ups can go a long way into delighting your customers

None of these changes and setups are complex, and hardly take any time to implement. Yet, they provide invaluable insights into how to achieve better engagement and growth for your business.

Now, if you use Benne Analytics, most of these optimisations are by default included with the platform. But even if you are using one of our competitors’ products, most good analytics frameworks will give you the capability to set these up yourself.

If you do, however, get stuck with setting these up with your analytics tool, you know where to find me. Hit me up, and I’ll try to help you out.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow.



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