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Measure Engagement, Gain Insights, and Optimize


We always hear about marketers stressing to drive better user experience, and measure engagement on the website.

Have you ever wondered what that means?

I think in digital marketing it means several things. Note that, ultimately, you and your team will need to decide what engagement really means for your business.

Following are a list of basic measures that could classify as ‘engagement’ metrics. Instead of just listing it out, I thought it’d be interesting to ask possible questions where these measures could fall under.

Are people staying on the site or with your app, Yes or No?

  • Bounce Rate

How long are people staying on your site or app?

  • Time spent on site

By how much do people love your site?

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Customer Satisfaction Index (C-Sat)

Are your users going to come back, and how many people are coming back?

  • Visits per Unique Visiters
  • Returning Visitors

How soon or frequently users are coming back to your site?

  • Days since the last visit
  • Count of sessions within a given reporting period

By how much content are being consumed by your users?

  • Pageviews / Visit
  • Page depth
  • Where are users dropping off in the marketing funnel?
  • Funnel measures

These metrics that could describe ‘engagements’ are pretty basic stuff, a lot of them are standard measures straight out of Google Analytics.

These metrics alone probably doesn’t mean much without additional context. What do I mean? Let’s take one of the questions as an example by adding additional questions to “By how much content are being consumed by your users?”.

Let’s add these two additional considerations to this question: “for those who converted on your website”, and “for those who don’t convert on your website”.

As you can see from this basic measure Pageviews per Visit, and the segmented views comparing people who converted Vs. people who have not converted.  This immediately tells you the amount of content or pages accessed consumed by the users are very different. Basically, the engagement level is different from these two different segments.

Now you can do further analysis to determine the actual differences and try to understand what that means.

What’s next? You have to know what is good or bad, by setting up a target or goal. By setting a target, you’ll know if your marketing or optimization efforts are moving in the right direction or not.

To set a goal is no easy task as you have to gain alignment from the team, business partners, and managers. Even if you and your team can’t commit to a target you want to hit, at least you can find a line to aim for as something to improve too. The assumption here is that you’d like to improve marketing performance. Example, improve conversion rate from last year, or 3-month average, etc.

So what are the good segmentation points to track that ties well with engagement measurement? [Example only]

  • by Page accessed
  • by certain outcome events like form submits, shared on social networks, sign ups, purchased, not purchased, etc.
  • by Geo locations, like your region Vs. other regions
  • by traffic sources: Organic Vs. Paid
  • campaign programs (acquisition, loyalty, referral program)
In the marketing funnel it is common to view in three steps: acquire, engage, and convert.

So from that perspective engagement metrics are key to understand what’s working or not working in the middle. Very common for marketers to report traffic and conversions figure, and engagement metrics tends to be the fluffy one. It has to be the measures that tell you where are the leaks are happening and understand the things that are driving the experience leading to a conversion.

That said, when you couple the engagement segments and tie it to people who converted and didn’t convert, then you’ll likely going to get some pretty good insights into the differences. Differences between what people engage, in that, leads to conversions Vs. that don’t.

This image is a cut out of landing page segmented by people who spent over 60 sec and viewed pricing page Vs. didn’t view pricing page.  You can see that the difference in new users count and % of traffic hitting the key page is quite different on certain pages.  What does this difference mean? And what does this user behavior indicate?  What would you do more to gain better insights and dig deeper?

Hopefully, you’re getting some ideas around how to look at engagement measures and see how you can use that to gain insights on user behaviors the allows you to generate better hypothesis against the problem you’re trying to solve for business.  Engagement measures could be very powerful if you combine it and use it right.

The difference in the engagement and behavior outcomes will be a great start to help you generate more thoughts and ideas for your digital analytics analysis exercise.

By getting the data and insights, you just have to analyze your way so you’re tackling the problems that allow you to hit your business goals.  Remember to set that goal!

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Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.