Google Analytics Engagement Report

GA Engagement Report

Google Analytics Engagement Report

How are potential customers engaging with your website? Google Analytics’ engagement statistics offer insights into what’s working and what isn’t as far as your ecommerce site or blog is concerned. There are multiple metrics you can track, and to streamline the task, Google Analytics comprises of three reports: new vs. returning, frequency and recency, and engagement. This post discusses the engagement report, which is critical in understanding how your audience interacts with your website.

Why measure engagement?

A majority of businesses agree that their websites are the most popular avenue for online research. Your potential customers will visit your website before they contact your sales representative. Unless your site is engaging, you will struggle to realize full value from it.

Whether you’re selling a product, providing customer support, or serving as an informational resource, engagement metrics reveal why visitors are leaving without taking the desired call to action and what you can do to increase conversions or order value.

Part I of engagement report: Visit Duration

This part of the engagement report provides the following metrics:

  • Total visits
  • Total pageviews
  • The visits and pageviews for various visit durations/lengths

A ‘visit’ is recorded every time a person lands on your site. Google assigns a date/time stamp with an ID when the person arrives at your website, which is stored as a cookie on his computer. If he stops actively browsing your site and clicking on pages to, say, answer his phone or move away from the machine for a while, he is ‘timed out’ after 30 minutes of inactivity. Subsequently, the visit stops being tracked and is ended.

If the visitor returns once again to your site, Google identifies the cookie and starts tracking a new visit. In this way, a single individual can contribute towards a number of visits on the same day.

A page view is basically a view of a page on your website. It is recorded when a user simply lands on your site without necessarily clicking on anything. Say the visitor clicks on your ‘Services’ page, then your ‘Testimonials’ page and revisits the ‘Services’ page, Google then considers it as three pageviews (plus, one initial pageview, when he just landed on the site). Again, one individual can create multiple page views within a single visit.Engagement Report

In the table above, the number of visits in the 0-10 second time frame is the highest compared to the rest. But the pageviews aren't too high compared to the number of visits. Naturally, what you can conclude is that those who were on the site for a few seconds wouldn't have had the time to visit many pages. Moving down to the longer time frames, you can see that page views increased when users spent a longer time on the site.

To make the report more useful, you can use advanced options to track conversions. For instance, you can understand the number of visits with conversions, visits with conversions worth over – say $100, visits with conversions of less than $100 but more than $20, and so on. Also consider tracking visits where an important page was viewed.

Part II of engagement report: Page Depth

Page depth is the measurement of the number of pages of your website viewed by visitors. The metric tells you if your audience is looking at one or two main pages on your website versus browsing most pages during a visit.

It is not possible to define what an ideal average page depth could be. If visitors are spending an average of 11 minutes on your site and looking at 5-6 pages, it is reasonable to conclude that they’re genuinely interested in and reading your content. But if they’re looking at ten pages and leaving your site after one minute, it’s highly possible that your content didn’t deliver the value they desired.Engagement Report

In the table above, most visitors are looking at just one page of the website. It makes sense to assume that they are not serious buyers. Investigate which page is responsible for this behavior, and fix any issues – navigation, content, or more – with it. In many cases, you may find that the problematic page is not providing a correct or an easy navigation path for customers to go to the contact form or complete a transaction.

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