We hear the term all the time. Viewer engagement. Business owners want to engage more viewers with their website content. They want to work on increasing their viewer engagement. Now that’s all fine and dandy, but if you don’t understand what viewer engagement actually is, why it’s important and how to measure it then carrying out a goal to improve viewer engagement is going to be rather challenging.

What is viewer engagement?

Viewer engagement is all about understanding how invested and interactive visitors are with your website. When visitors are engaged with your content they are likely sticking around on your site for longer periods of time, visiting multiple pages, clicking on links, filling out forms, downloading offerings and sharing what they find via email or social media, among other things.

Engage Viewers with Downloadable Offerings

One way we work to engage viewers on MayeCreate.com is by offering free downloadable e-books in exchange for the visitor’s contact information.

Why is viewer engagement important?

Viewer engagement isn’t a single piece of data explicitly found in a Google Analytics report, but rather a combination of individual statistics from the report. It’s important to look at this data together because then you can earn a pretty good understanding of how your website is performing in terms of engaging your audience.

Knowing how your website is performing allows you to find room for improvement that will ultimately allow you to satisfy your audience’s wants and needs. As a business your purpose is to offer some sort of product or service and your website should function in a way that allows your customers or prospects to access more information about those products or services. If viewer engagement is low, your website probably isn’t serving it’s purpose or isn’t maximizing its potential as an asset to your business.

How can I measure for viewer engagement?

Measuring for engagement is much easier to do when you have Google Analytics synced up with your website because it tracks the data needed to interpret whether or not visitors are actively engaging with your site.

Once you’ve located your Google Analytics report there are a five key stats you’ll want to pay attention to and compare on a month to month or quarterly basis. If you’re trying to improve viewer engagement with your website, aim for the following results:

  • Increased Pageviews
  • Longer Session Durations
  • Lower Bounce Rate
  • Increased Pages/Session
  • More Return Visitors
Measuring for Engagement

All the data you need to measure for engagement is on the audience overview page of your Google Analytics report.

When these five statistics change in the appropriate direction it means you have good visitor engagement on your site. While new visitors are good, return visitors are even better because they are more qualified prospects for your business based on their continuing interest in your company.

Overall, strive for more visitors visiting more often for longer durations of time.

How does viewer engagement affect SEO?

Viewer Engagement Affects SEOViewer engagement is also important is because it can impact your search engine optimization (SEO). According to an article on Search Engine Journal, “If a user is spending time on a site, interacting with it, not bouncing, and going deeper within the content, it’s evident there is something of value on the site for that particular user. As this happens, SEO improves.”

Google picks up on the involved behavior of your website users and takes it into consideration when creating the algorithm for your website’s ranking in their search engine. In other words, if visitors to your site are actively engaging with your content your website is more likely to pop up towards the top of the results page from Google searches.

How is your website performing?

Now that you have a better understanding of viewer engagement and what improving it can do for your business it’s time to evaluate your performance.

Log in to your Google Analytics account and take a look at the five data pieces used to determine viewer engagement and compare your results from the past few months. Set a reasonable goal for improving the dataset and then brainstorm ways you can improve your site to help attain that goal.

For instance, maybe you want to start blogging more and creating engaging content available to your audience, keeping them on the site longer and visiting more pages. You could create more valuable offerings for visitors to download. Maybe you need to rearrange your website content in a way that’s more user friendly so visitors can clearly find their way instead of wanting to bounce off your site after viewing only one page. There’s no set formula; every business will improve their viewer engagement differently, so keep experimenting and trying new things on your website until you start to see better results.

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