Which of Your Content Pieces Creates a Customer?
People are spending a lot of time on Google and Facebook looking for information, products, and experiences. And some business owners in Oshawa and Whitby are spending a good deal of time creating interesting blogs, videos, graphics, tweets, FB posts, news reports, photos, and more for their visitors/customers.
However, in the midst of all this creative fervour is a little confusion about whether visitors like your stuff. And does this content you’re making get them to do things, like call or hire you, or buy your product or service packages? Well that’s the thing, the content has to generate business or it’s not worth the time or cost.
What Actually Does Make Visitors Interested?
There is a way you can see the online behaviour that leads to a sale. It’s in your web stats. While it’s true some people go right to our contact page and call, that’s rare. They’re familiar with already so these quick conversions don’t tell us whether your content is working to interest them.
We want to find out what new and old visitors want and like and then present more of it to them. This “liking” of your content is known as content engagement – the level of immersion and time spent on your website. The more time they spend, the more they truly do enjoy your content.
They could like many, many different things they see and read on your site. You need to know what they are.
Your Web Content Represents you and Your Company
The whole point of our content is to create a customer. Online, visitors only see and want your content. It does all the work. They might be a new customer finding you via Google, or via a promotion you ran. When they land on your site, your content needs to pull them deeper into all the reasons they should become your customer.
Engagement metrics may help us see how our content is engaging people emotionally as well as helping to grow sales. This is easily viewable in your website statistics (e.g., Google Analytics).
When we say visitor engagement, we’re talking about how visitors immerse themselves in our service and product pages, blog posts, videos, etc. The stats will tell us whether they’re reading much, clicking, or staying very long. If they leave quickly, then we know the content isn’t engaging them.
Our real goal is to get and sustain engaging behaviour from our visitors to create a sale
While we’re trying to discover individual pieces of content and topics to utilize, the real engagement metric is about a combination of content the visitor consumes. One page or content piece won’t do it. Our engagement metrics should let us know which content paths and combinations did the best job of informing and keeping the visitor interested until they achieve an important end goal – such as a download, subscription, purchase or a phone call.
Visitor engagement can plummet if your website is poorly designed with technical errors and slow loading pages
What are Engagement Metrics?
Engagement metrics are the stats in your analytics reports that show your web audience is enjoying your content and intend to do business with you.
Tracking engagement isn’t something most web and social analytics tracking tools do well. Google Analytics isn’t the ultimate tracking machine, however it is free, and Google is offering a new service that is more powerful for small businesses.
But first, let’s take a look at the visitor activities that mean your visitors are truly engaged with your website content or your Facebook posts. You can make some general observations about the activity on your company website. The truth isn’t in specific stats though, it’s more how user behaviour happens and what happens over a time period, of let’s say a month.
That’s because return visits are an important metric of engagement. People only return if they liked something, and want more. It may take weeks for them to decide to return and purchase or phone you. What if they return soon and more frequently? Does that tell you anything?
It’s All About the Visitor’s Intent
The key thing to know about engagement is that it measures visitor’s degree of intent. Frequent visits, downloads, long visits, mean your site matches their intent to buy. Even if you don’t build their intent much with your content, you could capture the intent they actually do feel to encourage them to buy a product or service.
When you capture the “low hanging fruit” for instance, you’re converting those visitors with the most intent, the easy ones. But if you learn what is the best engaging content, you may begin to convert those online visitors with less intent to do business with you.
The Top 7 Engagement Metrics to View:
- Click Through Rate on Google – this is where it most often starts. People see your page listed in the search results and some of them click through on the link. In the Google webmaster console, we can see the clickthrough rate. If it’s higher than normal for that ranking, it means your page description and title intrigued them. They saw something they wanted to know more about. If you get them all excited before they arrive on your site, you’re more likely to get a sale.
- Time on Page and Bounce Rate – the longer visitors stay on your page and read the better. That means they’re into it and maybe even like it. If they leave quickly, it means your content is missing the mark. It could be your design is ugly, hard to scan or read, or perhaps your page is loading way too slowly as well.
- Pageviews per Visit – If they’re enjoying their visit, they may decide to experience more of your content. If they do read 3 or 4 pages, that’s very good, because most visitors are rushed for time and get bored easily. If your content is “sticky” then your visitors must be finding value in it.
- Return Visits – if visitors are returning frequently, it shows a strong, more immediate interest. Knowing which pages they viewed, which links they clicked on, and whether they’re sharing your material is important. If visitors are coming back many times per day, downloading materials, subscribing, buying and inquiring, it shows strong interest and intent.
- Conversion Funnel Progress – this is where the visitor shows a progression toward learning more about you and your products/services. You’ve peaked their interest and are poking around to see what you offer, what it might cost, and when you can deliver. These are good behaviours, yet it’s not always possible to know whether they called you on the phone or sent you an email unless you have sophisticated tracking. You need to know the key touchpoints with your content and whether they took the next step you set out for them.
- Social Sharing – if visitors share your picture, news, data, quotations, or other material with their social media connections, that’s a good sign. If only 10% of your connections ever share your stuff, then maybe you need to discover why they’re not all sharing it?
- Purchases Made – We’ve saved the last one as the best. If they phone you, buy a top line product, top service package, then your content hit a home run. Yes, if they spend big, your content gave them all the reassurance they needed to fully express their confidence in your company and product.
What Exactly Did they Do on Your Site?
Website engagement is a measure of many things including viewing, scrolling, clicking, and following calls to action that lead to a sales conversion type outcome.
Engagement isn’t just about time on site or repeat visits. It’s more about what these people intend to do after being on our site. On a former client’s building supply website, one of the behaviours I tried to generate was a physical visit to one of the companies many showrooms across several US states.
These visits are offline and can’t be tracked well. It was up to the sales manager to track instore visits by people to determine if the website created the retail store visit.
Many times, it’s wise to ask customers where they’re from and how they came to visit your store (They may even remember what they were searching for on Google).
Customer sales conversion is a cool thing. It exposes the buyer’s real intent, wants and needs. Their wallet speaks.
Don’t forget to talk to your customers and learn more about their situation and how they’re trying to find a solution. That’s key information to help you improve your online content and grow engagement further.
Take a good look at your engagement rates. It tells you a lot about your brand, value proposition, and about the things that prospects are actually interested in. What they value may be more trivial than you realize. It’s important to discover all these customer pain points and then weave them into the best online customer experience ever.
A beautiful, easy to use and manage website plus great content is about as good as it gets.