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Measuring Content Engagement: The Most Important Engagement Metrics

By NativeAI / July 25, 2018

Publishers know that not all web analytics reflect audience engagement. Page views are one success metric, but they don’t reveal whether first-time visitors will return to the site, or whether a content’s topic or format resonated among audience members.

Publishers need a way to measure the depth of engagement, to understand the difference between true audience engagement and content which results in a temporary spike in one or more vanity metrics such as clicks or Twitter shares.

Content Engagement Metrics

Over time, the most sophisticated search engine algorithms have shifted to consider consumer behavior when determining content quality for search rankings. Google’s algorithm includes hundreds of ranking factors, all of which are closely-protected trade secrets.


This infographic is too lengthy to display here. See the full version here.

However, directives from the search giant reveal they track user behaviors to measure the depth of engagement as a key factor for determining the quality of web content.

Publishers know that engagement quality matters, but web analytics tools lack the capacity for holistic measurement of engagement. Viewing page views, time on page, and crawl-rate in conjunction offers more insight into total engagement than any one of these metrics alone, but they’re not the entire picture.

Content that drives social shares may not resonate among loyal audience members. Articles with long page-view times may be a one-off success, not part of an audience trend towards longer-form content consumption.

Adopting Engagement Quality

NativeAI is the only Publisher Analytics platform to offer a holistic, comprehensive measurement of Engagement Quality, or EQ, as a single metric for each piece of content published. Calculated with a multi-factor algorithm, EQ measures and weighs various aspects of audience behavior to determine how effectively content engaged an audience -- including dwell time, scroll depth, and other aspects of performance.

With a single, easy-to-understand engagement quality metric, publishers gain the ability to understand comprehensive content performance with a single glance. This provides immediate value, as well as the ability to track EQ over time, by topic, segment, or other characteristics.

Engagement quality can be measured on a single piece of content, among an entire topic category, or on a site-wide basis to demonstrate the value of a data-driven publishing strategy.

Turning Engagement Quality into Audience Engagement

Engagement Quality is a baseline for content performance, but it’s also the all-in-one performance metric that publishers need to communicate effectively with their leadership team or authors. Understanding engagement quality by content, over time, or other types of analysis can allow publishers to answer questions such as:

  • Which content properties are the most engaging? Does our audience prefer text, video, interactive content, or other properties?
  • Which topics and subtopics are the most engaging to our audience, and how does this change by segment?
  • How effectively have we targeted new audience segments by demographic, channel, or geography?

Engagement Quality can and should be measured across more than topics and segments.

Publishers need the ability to track EQ across authors, content characteristics, and other attributes of a data-driven publishing strategy. With the ability to understand EQ at a glance and in-depth, publishers can create a data-driven publishing strategy which drives return on engagement. New Call-to-action

Written by NativeAI / July 25, 2018