Parties are virtual, barriers separate us at the store and most people have found their new co-workers to be their pets or children. Since we can’t interact with others in public, why not learn how we can better interact with our audience and customers digitally?
The first step is to identify what metrics can track audience engagement. Once we analyze this data and any patterns that it presents, we can better focus on making the right changes to increase user interaction. Check out these 5 metrics that give us some hints about audience engagement and how to improve the results.
- Bounce Rate
What it is & Why It’s Important: Bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing one page. A high bounce rate may conclude that people are either not satisfied with what they were looking for, that there isn’t any other content presented that interests them or that they are unable to navigate to other content.
What is a Good Bounce Rate?
There really isn’t a perfect answer for a “good” bounce rate. It is best to determine that on your own. Take into consideration what type of content is on the page (long form or event information) and compare this to similar pages. If there are outliers then there is room for improvement.
How to Improve It: If people aren’t finding the correct information, make sure your metadata is as accurate as possible. If your audience is craving more information, do you have multiple ways to engage? Include links to related content or actions they can take to reach out to you. Make sure you have a combination of text and visual actions. Also, make sure your navigation is up-to-snuff and displays the most attention grabbing categories and content.
- New vs Returning Visitors
What it is & Why It’s Important: New and returning visitors are determined by a Google tracking snippet that searches for a tracking cookie on their device. It is important to have a good mix of new and returning visitors. Too many new visitors could mean that your content is not enticing enough to build brand loyalty and too many returning visitors could suggest that you are not harvesting enough new prospects through different mediums.
It is also important to think about this metric at the page level and/or based on the channel sending the traffic to that page. Often sites will have pages more geared towards new vs returning visitors so you have to determine if the right people are hitting the right page via the right channel and adjust your targeting case by case.
How to Improve It: This metric does not necessarily have to be improved, but there should be the right balance for the reasons mentioned above. Depending on your data, there are different ways to make changes to your results. Take a look at which visitors are making conversions, what is the bounce rate for each of these categories? If you are finding that one or the other set of visitors is struggling, there are site changes that can be made. Your offers, vertical or niche perspective or schedule of new content could all be modified to attract either new or returning visitors.
- Mobile Friendliness
What it is & Why It’s Important: More and more people are finding content on their phones and interacting with your site through their mobile devices. Google is depending more and more on mobile friendliness as a ranking factor and it is important to deliver a seamless mobile experience for your users to avoid frustration and confusion.
How To Measure Mobile Friendliness
In order to keep track of your improvement and see where you are having problems try using Google’s Mobile Friendly test. This can give a lot of insight into where your pages stand and suggestions on how to improve.
How to Improve It: Start with ensuring that your site is responsive. Does content, images, and sizing of your site conform to each device? If not, make sure that it is coded to be flexible. Site speed also can improve mobile friendliness. Make sure images are sized properly and there isn’t any unnecessary code slowing down your page load speed. Try to keep pop-ups at a minimum as they can take up a lot of space on a smaller screen and are hard to navigate around. Finally, there is a new initiative by Google, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), that allows pages to load faster by wrapping everything up in special HTML code. This is relatively new but there is an official WordPress plugin that can assist with implementation.
- Time on Page
What it is & Why It’s Important: The time on page measures the time someone enters your page until the time they exit. During this period they are interacting with the content on the page. This metric is important because if you have 3 minutes worth of content (video, text, visuals) and your average time on page is only 30 seconds, that means that people are not engaged. Getting users to your page is one thing, but making sure they are interacting with what is there is another.
What’s a Good Time on Page?
Just like with bounce rate, there is no real good answer to this. Time on page depends on the type of content that is on a page (long form blog content or quick event facts) and how long you want people to interact with that data. Experiment with pages and spend some time with the content yourself to determine a desirable time on page goal.
How to Improve It: Since the time on page goal for an individual page might vary depending on the type of content, it is better to strategically think about how you can encourage users to interact more with your content. If your blog content isn’t performing, try spacing out paragraphs or adding more headers. If pages with quick information have a high time on page, maybe your audience is confused. Time on page can open up a world of opportunities for improvement, just put yourself in your user’s shoes.
- Conversion Rate
What it is & Why It’s Important: Conversion rate is the number of visitors that complete a desired goal. Goals can vary based on the business. Sometimes the goal of a landing page is to read the entire page and scroll to the bottom or request to receive the newsletter. In the case of ecommerce, the goal may be for someone to buy a product. This is important because it determines if your traffic is actually converting on the site. The goal of SEO is always to get the right traffic to your site and this metric helps define traffic quality.
What is a Good Conversion Rate?
Conversion rates vary by industry so it is important to do some research to see where your industry goals stand. In general, it is said that if you are reaching 10% then you are doing just fine. However, if you are seeing improvement, we wouldn’t see that as a bad thing either.
How to Improve It: It’s back to the basics when it comes to improving conversion rate. What will make this desired action as easy as possible for your users? Are your colors readable? Is your call to action easy to find? How is your line spacing, is the content and goal of the page easy to read? This isn’t something that should be over complicated. Experiment with different wording, colors, images and more to see what works best for your users.
We hope these ideas spark some bigger strategy initiatives to improve engagement metrics for your site. Whether things go back to normal or this way of doing things is the new normal, you will be able to give your users a better online experience and hopefully entice engagement with your site.