Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The engagement of your visitor

Engagement is a formula to measure how much a website can involve their visitors. It's a quantitative method to monitor the quality and experience of your visitors. This is how the formula looks like:

Visitor engagement = Σ(Ci + Di + Ri + Li + Bi + Fi + Ii)
Visitor engagement is a function of:
  • Click Depth index (Ci): The contribution of page and event views
  • Duration index (Di): The time of the visit
  • Recency index (Ri): The rate at which visitors return to the website over time
  • Loyalty index (Li): The general loyalty towards the website
  • Brand index (Bi): The apparent awareness of your visitor of the website
  • Feedback index (Fi): How willing is your visitor to give direct feedback
  • Interaction index (Ii): the probability that your visitor will be involved in certain activities on your website which are specially developed to increase brand awareness and give a long-term impression

Off course, it is hard to convert a feeling into measurable figures. And the concept 'visitor' might be even harder; or why it might be useless to measure unique visitors.
First of all, because cookies can get blocked, deleted or lost. With the result that the visitor will wrongly count as a unique visitor. How longer the period, how bigger the change this will happen. This is why the year-by-year comparison is invalid.
The unique visitor depends on the used time variable. Without clarifying whether it's about daily, weekly or monthly unique visitors, the concept is quite useless. And when counting the daily unique visitors together, you will become a number which differs from the weekly unique visitors because of double counting. But Google Analytics has solution for this: absolute unique visitors.

The probably biggest problem is the use of multiple devices to surf on the web:
  • Using different browsers equals different cookies, thus also count as different unique visitors.
  • Browsers have the function to browse in incognito modus
  • Another example: people can use their desktop during the day, their own laptop and tablet in the evening and their Iphone when they are on their way. This will count as 4 different unique visitors.
This last point is a frequently returning scenario and can be a problem when buying more expensive product for which a reflection period is needed. Their is no web analytics software having a solution for this problem. Because the error rate is quite high, using the "unique visitors" metric can be useless and better be replaced by using the "visits" metric.

Is engagement the right KPI to measure your website? Do you know the objectives of your business? And do you know how to translate these in web metrics and KPIs? We can always help you!

This is a repost and was originally posted on

1 comment:

  1. All these points explained are sounding really helpful. Each of them is easy and simple to implement and requires no specialized tool. Thanks a lot for this great read.