VIDEO: 3 Website Metrics You Must Start Tracking To Improve Visitor Engagement

by | Feb 13, 2019 | The Internet

Creative Commons Music By: https://www.bensound.com

What are your customers, leads, and prospects doing when they come to your website? How long are they sticking around on each page? Where are they clicking? Are they scrolling down the page to the important piece of content you want them to see?

Essentially, how engaged are your website visitors?

Today, we’re going to dive into three metrics you must start tracking on your website to answers these questions. 

There are many different tools out there you can use to track the metrics I’m going to talk about, so don’t get too hung up on the tool. With this said, I’ll still share what tools we use to track each metric below.

You’ll need to find out what tool works best for you and your website. For instance, you’ll need to take into account your technical skills, budget, and so on.

Ok, let’s get into the list of metrics you need to start tracking on your website. 

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How Long Are Visitors Sticking Around (Avg. Time On Page) 

The first metric that we’re going to look at is a metric that will tell us how long website visitors are sticking around your site. This is something that can be easily tracked within Google Analytics.

(If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, it is a free tool for tracking many different metrics on your website.) 

In the screenshot below, you can see the “Avg. Time on Page” where the arrow is pointing. This view tells us the overall average time our visitors are spending on each page.

Something to keep in mind is that the data you’re looking at is for the date range selected in the top right-hand corner. In this case, I selected a week’s worth of data from Jan 20, 2019, through Jan 26, 2019.

You can also dig in and get more granular data at a page level by clicking on one of the pages in the bottom right hand corner. 

For example, in the screenshot below, this is the Avg. Time on Page for my most popular blog post during this date range. As you can see, the average time on page is higher for this post than the overall site average that you saw (00:01:31) in the prior screenshot. This tells us that visitors were much more engaged with this piece of content than with content on other pages on the site. 

So, make sure you have Google Analytics configured on your site and this “Avg. Time on Page” metric will be tracked by default.

One other note…

There is also a metric you will come across within Google Analytics called Session Duration. This is not something you should pay much attention to, so ignore it for now. The average time on page is a much better metric to analyze and make decisions based upon.

Ok, let’s get into the next metric.

 

Where Are Users Clicking (Heatmap) 

This next metric really isn’t a metric, but more a report or chart that can give you tremendous insight into how your website visitors are interacting with each page.

Would you agree that if you knew where your website visitors are clicking, this would be powerful information? Well, it is super powerful information if you use the data correctly.

In order to understand where your visitors are clicking, you will use something called a Heatmap. We use a tool from Crazy Egg (not worries, this is NOT an affiliate link) to help generate heatmaps for our own site and the sites of our clients. Again, there are a number of other heatmap products out there to choose from, so don’t get too caught up in the tool.   

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So, what kind of insights can you gain from a heatmap?

  • Determine if users confused by something you have on your page. For example, are they clicking on a word you underlined that isn’t truly a link?
  • Determine if visitors are using a certain section of your site. For example, is anybody clicking on your FAQ section at the bottom of your page?
  • Determine what specific buttons or links are people clicking on for a given page. For example, if you have two links on a page that take your website visitor to your About Us page, the Heatmap will tell you which button is getting clicked more frequently.

For you Google Analytics gurus out there, you’ll probably say… “but, you can get all of this data through Google Analytics.” And, you’re right in most cases. However, the visual representation of a heatmap makes it super easy for each non-technical people to see patterns.

Let’s look at the next topic, scrollmaps.

 How Far Are Users Scrolling (Scrollmap) 

Just like heatmaps, scrollmaps aren’t really metrics. Instead, these are reports you can use to visualize where people are scrolling on your website. For example, you can find out just how popular each section of a given page is.

As you can see in the screenshot below, a scrollmap is very colorful. To the right, there is a key that represents the popularity of each portion of the page. For example, bright yellow means that a higher percentage of people visited that part of the page compared to a section that is red, green, or blue. 

Ultimately, a scrollmap can tell you a few different things:

  • If visitors aren’t scrolling to the bottom of your page to see a piece of content or a specific call to action, then you need to move that call to action up higher on the page. Or, you need to give your visitors a reason to scrolldown further on a page.
  • If a part of your page is being viewed a lot, but your visitors aren’t taking the action you want them to, then you need to rethink that section. For example, if only the top portion of your page (known as the hero section or above the fold) is being viewed—with no further action—then this may mean you need to improve your headline or your call to action.

As you can see, this is super powerful information.

Well, that wraps things up.

Remember, it’s not good enough to have these tools in place. You need to analyze the data and the reports to make informed changes to improve your visitor engagement.

So, get Google Analytics setup, look for a tool that can provide you with heatmaps and scrollmaps, and then make changes based upon the data you’re seeing. If you do this, I can guarantee you will improve the user experience and overall engagement on your website.

Have fun!

If you have any questions, connect with us on Twitter (@TeamPixelayn) or you connect with me directly on Twitter (@rdglick). You can also email me at (ryan at pixelayn dot com).

Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

Ryan Glick

Co-Founder, Pixelayn Innovations

Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

Ryan Glick

Co-Founder, Pixelayn Innovations