Quantitative measurement is very important in many areas, especially in marketing for assessing the present situation and also to understand how well the strategies are working.
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For an online business, getting your website online is not enough, but the first thing in a long journey. Measuring customer engagement has fundamental importance as it helps to inform how well your customers are receiving your site and if they have any issues.
In this article, we discuss all the essential things you need to know about customer engagement and its metrics. We start with what it is and then go on to discuss various important metrics. Then, we would see different tools that can be used for simplifying the measurement.
What is customer engagement and why quantifying it is important?
To put it simply, customer engagement is an umbrella term for how a customer is interacting with your business. That includes both online and also offline presence. In this article, we specifically see online.
Online customer engagement happens through many mediums, including your website, social media, blogs, emails, and also through third-party websites. Some forms of engagement include liking your posts, sharing them, writing reviews, etc. The intent of your customers varies widely.
Sometimes, they might ask a question in your chatbot or engage with your website for seeking information, and some other times they just want to share your business with fellow people because they liked your business so much.
The main reason why engaged customers are important is because they are more loyal to your brand and can become strong advocates for you. They will spend more on you than your competitors.
By uncovering customer engagement metrics and quantifying them accurately, you would be able to know what’s keeping your current customers hooked on you and can use that information to focus on the right things. This also exposes those areas where you are facing problems so that you can improve and optimize.
Important Customer engagement metrics
Below are some of the most important customer engagement metrics that are absolutely necessary to keep tabs on. While we mention certain formulae for the calculation of metrics, we only give them for your understanding and you do not need to manually calculate them.
- Conversion Rate
- Net Promoter Score
- Pages per session
- Frequency of Returning Users
- Session Time
- Social media reactions
- Daily vs Monthly Active Users
- Other Metrics about user activity
- User Engagement in the first week
There is a lot of automation software that does the data collection and calculation for you. We have mentioned tools at the end.
1. Conversion rate
Conversion rate signifies what percentage of your visitors actually “convert”, that is, do what you want them to do. The criteria for conversion vary from business to business and context to context.
However diverse conversion might seem, the conversion rate is the same for all and is easy to calculate. Just divide the number of conversions you got by the total number of visits or sessions. Then, multiply the resulting fraction by 100 and you would get the conversion rate percentage.
For example, let us say that your goal of conversion is getting people to click on your ad on Facebook and come to your page. Let the ad be shown to 477 people and of them, 133 people clicked on that ad and visited your site. Then, the conversion rate would be (133/477) * 100 ~ 27%.
Understanding and tracking conversion rates are important because this is the direct indication of the success and failure of your strategies.
2. Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score measures the likelihood of your customers recommending your brand to others. Basically, it measures your customer’s loyalty to your brand and their advocacy.
So, how can you measure it? A direct way of measuring it is by asking your customers themselves! That is, you can survey your users with questions that are related to understanding the Net Promoter Score. This effect is a lot more effective and thus it is much more commonly used.
The questions used could be direct, such as “How likely are you going to refer us to your friend?”. You can also ask questions such as “Did you find anything disappointing with us?”, “What could we do to improve?” and others.
However, try to have a balancing mix of numeric scale questions and descriptive questions. In this way, you can have actionable steps for improving your site as well as having certain quantitative data.
3. Pages per session
Every time your user enters your site, a session would be started. This session lasts until the user completely goes out of your website. Pages per session metric measures the number of pages your user has visited on your site. This would be particularly important to you if you were a blogger and already have much content around similar topics.
A High page per session rate generally indicates that your audience feels your entire site content is helpful and authoritative as they have taken their time to explore further down your website. However, one has to keep in mind that good content cannot improve pages per session alone, apart from the high quality and helpful content, your site also must be easy to navigate!
So, when you get a low page for session metric, it might indicate that either your content wasn’t as helpful to people as you might think, or your site might be poorly structured which effectively hides your content.
4. Frequency of Returning Users
It is not only the sheer number of users coming and registering onto your site but who they are is important. Especially, it is important to consider how many of them are returning users to your site.
Certainly, it is important to have more people coming to your site and opening an account, but it is also equally, if not more important than the people actually coming back to use your site and also explore different things.
It won’t do much good if users initially land on your site and then disappear to never come again. In many areas, there would be a considerable maintaining these huge numbers of unused accounts.
This would also indicate to you how valuable your users consider your brand, including the company, content, offers, and services you provide. There could be certain exceptions, though, that your service model could be the one that does not require a lot of revisits. But generally, it is good to have customers return to you whenever they have a requirement that you can solve.
5. Session Time
Technically, sessions last across different pages. But generally, for marketing people, session time refers to the amount of time that your visitor spends on a particular page, be it a single blog article or a landing page on one visit.
An optimally long session time always means that users found something interesting on that page. When that is drastically known, we can understand that they found nothing interesting. Also, if the cart checkout or any other page is too long, the user might be confused about something.
So, after defining the optimum session times, you can use this metric in developing business in many ways. If you find that a certain landing page has a good session time, you can identify the product or features that your audience is spending most of their time reading and learning about so you can create marketing campaigns focusing on the problems those features are going to solve.
If certain kinds of blog posts are garnering most session times, then your audience might be interested more in that topic so you can bring new content similar to them!
6. Social media reactions
Social media is one of the easiest and most affordable tools for reaching out to a high number of people. If done right, you may get all the benefits of social media without spending anything!
Just as almost every business is expected to have a website, they are also expected to have a presence on one or more social media platforms. As you already know, social media does not only involve people seeing posts but offers a lot of interaction capabilities. Common ones include liking, sharing, and commenting. Of course, every platform has its own name and unique capabilities.
By measuring all the ways how your users are interacting with each of your content, you can determine which content is far-reaching for a particular demographic and thus provides a lot of room for improvement.
7. Daily vs Monthly Active Users
This metric is similar to that of frequently returned but it emphasizes different aspects. While the frequency of returning users measures only whether previous users are coming back to your site, here, we look at them in even more detail.
When you see the number of active users daily, there would be situations just as described earlier. A huge number of users might come up but they won’t actually convert and thus rendering the metric to be not so useful. Comparing the metrics of daily and monthly active users would give a depth understanding of how many of your users are being there for a while.
If you see a decline in this metric, then you know that something is wrong and you must change things.
8. Other Metrics about user activity
In addition to the metrics stated above, there would be a lot of other metrics that are geared for a particular usage. Based on your current situation, you may or may not consider them for your site. One particularly important one of them is a heatmap.
Heatmaps can generate a lot of useful data regarding how users physically go through your site. Heatmaps record where your user clicked on your site, and how they are scrolling through your site, and if supported, can also generate eye-tracking results.
By performing analysis on the data given by heatmap, you could uncover many problematic things regarding your website which you can take steps to solve. They also would reveal what parts of the page your visitors are actually focusing upon!
9. User Engagement in the first week
This is a specialized metric involving all other metrics but for one week for each user. That is, you would measure session times, return frequency, and others for their first week. The reason behind studying user engagement in the first week is that it is a crucial period for users to convert.
If your user didn’t convert and adopted your product/service within this time, it could be very hard getting them back. Of course, there would be many exceptions, like the user is just there to know certain information and would come back when needed. However, even in situations like these, keeping track of metrics like these would help you because you can interact with them at a later time.
Tools that help you track these metrics
- Google Analytics
- Analytics Platforms for Social Media
There are a lot of tools that provide you with different metrics regarding customer engagement. These tools vary by the price they charge and also by the number of services they give. Not only do they help in calculating the data, but also they help you to collect the data, which is very important too.
Two of the top tools that help in tracking customer engagement metrics are:
Google Analytics is a robust tool that helps you to track a lot of information. While it’s not completely free, it does have a free version that helps you track much of the essential information. It can track the number of users, their demographics, devices, session times, and a lot more. It’s one of the most popular tools out there that is used for websites.
Using Google Analytics is simple too. Once you create an account and configure the settings, just embedding the tracking code in every page you want to track does the trick.
Analytics platforms for Social media
Social media platforms like Facebook & its associated Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and lots more would have their analytics platform that helps you track audience engagement. They give state-of-the-art tools regarding the management of your online presence there and give all the data necessary with also effective presentation.
By creating a page or equivalent on the respective social media platforms, these analytics would be activated along with your page.
Quantitatively measuring customer engagement is very important if you want to improve the user experience of your site. Metrics like conversion rate, session times, pages per session, and others provide a good understanding of how your users are engaging with your content.
The tools mentioned here cover most of the metrics. However, there are also specialized tools that would track other important metrics. For instance, a tool called SumoMe would help you track the heatmap of your pages. Based on your need, you can select additional tools.
This data-driven approach certainly helps in improving your brand!