Was going through a post written long back but still somehow makes sense in today’s hyper dynamic web. The topic is quite interesting consider social media is the order of the day and we are still grappling with the metrics/rules of engagement.

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It’s about visitor engagement. As defined:

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Engagement is an estimate of the degree and depth of visitor interaction on the site against a clearly defined set of goals.

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Continuing, it also clarifies visitor engagement with a help of a mathematical equation (love this part):

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Now moving over to the parameters, here is a small snippet:

  • Click-Depth Index (Ci) is the percent of sessions having more than “n” page views divided by all sessions.
  • Recency Index (Ri) is the percent of sessions having more than “n” page views that occurred in the past “n” weeks divided by all sessions. The Recency Index captures recent sessions that were also deep enough to be measured in the Click-Depth Index.
  • Duration Index (Di) is the percent of sessions longer than “n” minutes divided by all sessions.
  • Loyalty Index (Li) is scored as “1″ if the visitor has come to the site more than “n” times during the time-frame under examination (and otherwise scored “0″)
  • Brand Index (Bi) is the percent of sessions that either begin directly (i.e., have no referring URL) or are initiated by an external search for a “branded” term divided by all sessions (see additional explanation below)
  • Feedback Index (Fi) is the percent of sessions where the visitor gave direct feedback via a Voice of Customer technology like ForeSee Results or OpinionLab divided by all sessions.
  • Interaction Index (Ii) is the percent of sessions where the visitor completed one of any specific, tracked events divided by all sessions.
  • Subscription Index (Si) is scored as “1″ if the visitor is a known content subscriber (i.e., subscribed to my blog) during the time-frame under examination (and otherwise scored “0″)
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If you’re in a mood to calculate your site’s engagement, then feel free to do so. While I move over to something more important as of now.

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So seeing all the mumbo-jumbo, I was wondering what exactly is visitor engagement? Considering my blog, my engagement metrics would definitely be different from any other big media houses’ site which will be different for any other horizontal and vertical site.

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So the question is can we actually metricize engagement in this small framework?

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Answer I believe would be both yes as well as no. Yes, since it can give a basic framework to work upon and no, since engagement for me primarily depends on certain site specific criteria:

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After the quick run down of the formula, 3 most important metrics for engagement can be (as pointed)

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1. Desired action: How many people performed a desired action (aka “conversion rate”). It can be sales lead etc depending on the desired results.

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2. Brand Recall: How many people remember what I want them to remember for a certain period of time (aka “branding”). Recall can be influenced by frequency or length of exposure or any innate intangible impact.

3. Social SpreadHow many people actually went forward to spread the content. It can be in terms of retweets in twitter or liking in friendfeed or starting a conversation in a forum or anything related to spreading the word around. Sometimes social proof can take over but this can be a good measure of understanding different levels of engagement of audience with the content.

Any other thoughts?