There is still much debate about what is the best way to measure the success of a website. Amidst the different ideas, it is proven that engagement and retention are two of the most effective ways to measure the performance of your site. Before we tackle the deeper metrics that can help increase your site’s performance, it’s best to understand first what engagement and retention are and why they are essential tools for measurement.
Web Engagement and Retention Explained
Most people interchange the two, but they are different by nature. First of all, engagement refers to the amount of time that people spend on the website and how many features they click. A high engagement site is a website where people spend an ample amount of time doing whatever activities the site can offer just like on Facebook or Twitter.
Retention, on the other hand, refers to the number of people who visit the site again and again. An example of this site is the Google Search because people use Google to search for everything every day. It has high visitor retention but is not really considered a high engagement site because people don’t stay there for long; they just go there to search. Gmail is a different story, though; people stay long in Gmail and make use of its different features.
The Importance of Engagement and Retention
If you look at some of the most successful websites, they are either high in one aspect or even both. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are high in both engagement and retention. On the other hand, Google Search is very high in retention but falls short in engagement.
Websites that have high retention will keep on getting good traffic. Even if they don’t have high engagement, they still have high traffic since people visit them over and over again. Websites that have high engagement, on the other hand, don’t have as much recurring traffic as high retention sites, but they have followers who visit them from time to time to use their web features. A website that covers both aspects is pretty much the most coveted one, especially by the brand owners.
With this in mind, we can tell that these two aspects definitely can measure whether your site is efficient or not. Successful websites cover either one aspect or both.
Measuring Engagement and Retention
Now that you know the importance of the two, let’s have some practical tips on measuring performance using the two aspects.
Time Spent on Content
Instead of counting the number of viewers, it’s better to count how long the average viewer stays on the website and how long he spend on each content. This will immediately cue you in on the site’s engagement.
Engagement Per Timeline
Once you’re able to measure the engagement of your content, you can now measure the engagement per timeline. That way, you can compare the campaign that you did last month and this month to check for effectiveness. Take note that Google only measures session duration when a user/visitor moves from page 1 to page 2, thus, the session duration of 0-10 seconds are generally high specially for blogs.
Content With the Longest Views
Next, you have to check which content has the longest views. This will help indicate as to which content gets the most engagement so that you can copy its features. It also gives you a tip on what content you should plan in the future to increase your web engagement and retention.
Number of New Visitors and Returning Visitors Per Timeline
To check for the retention, look at the number of new and returning visitors per timeline. If you have a lot of old visitors coming back from last month, then you have a high retention rate. Google Analytics has a tool that allows you to track the number of returning visitors of your site.
Knowing what your target audience’s needs will help you craft better marketing strategies and SEO tactics. The more targeted your strategies, SEO tactics, and content are, the more customer engagement and retention your site gets.