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More Engagement Metrics and How to Interpret Them

By Colin Ryan

Industry News, Guides & Tips

Your social sharing numbers can tell you how engaged your site visitors are with your contentDigging Deeper Into Engagement

In my last post about engagement, I introduced three fundamental metrics you can examine with Google Analytics (or your favorite analytics software) to measure the impact of your site and its content on your visitors. Today, I give you three more: social sharing, posts to comments, and visits to actions.

Social Sharing

Simply put, social sharing measures the extent to which your visitors promote your content on social media outlets–Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. The more they share, the more your blog post or guide has resonated with them.

Low social sharing levels can mean different things depending on the other numbers you’re putting up. If your traffic, time on page, and bounce rate are all suffering, low social sharing tells you what you already know: you need to make your content more interesting, informative, consumable.

If, on the other hand, these metrics are relatively healthy, there may be another issue. One possibility: people aren’t sharing your stuff because they don’t think it will appeal to most of their network. The solution? Broaden your focus. Just because you work in the condo rental space doesn’t mean all of your posts must be explicitly addressed to condo renters and landlords. Use industry-specific terms and keywords where necessary, but don’t overdo it.

Another possibility? You’re not making it easy enough. Be sure to embed social media like and share buttons in every post–or, if you’ve already done so, consider moving them to a better spot.

Posts to Comments

Posts to comments is the ratio of the number of blog posts you publish to the number of visitor responses in the comments sections of those posts. (If you haven’t enabled comments on your blog posts yet, you’re missing out on a terrific opportunity to receive direct feedback on your content, which can help you write better posts and build a stronger community of readers.)

Have lots of comments relative to posts? Great! This shows your ideas are having enough of an impact that people want to provide feedback. Have hardly any comments? You may need to encourage your readers by providing a strong call to action at the end of your posts, inviting responses to a specific topic or question.

When analyzing your posts-to-comments ratio, it’s crucial to examine the content of the comments themselves. If most of your comments are spam or empty praise (“Great post!”), they aren’t adding much value in terms of engagement. Negative or critical comments, while they attract attention, might end up hurting you in the long run, depending on how you’re responding. The best comments either add value themselves by offering new insight on your topic, or provide the opportunity for you to add value by responding with your expertise.

Visits to Actions

This broad term refers to the rate at which your site visitors perform a certain action on your website. An “action” can be any of several options: registering for an account, logging in, completing/updating a user profile, downloading a guide, subscribing to a mailing list, etc. While each of these actions should be isolated and measured individually, the question your asking is the same in each case: how often and to what degree is my content inspiring people to do what I want?

If your visitors aren’t signing in and signing up as much as you’d hope, you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. Am I making it clear what actions I want them to perform? Your readers won’t know to download your ten-page homebuyers’ guide unless you plug it on your homepage, in your blog posts, and via social media.
  2. Am I making it easy for them to actually perform the action? If users can’t subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed with one click, or create an account in less than thirty seconds, they probably won’t do it at all.
  3. Are these actions valuable for users in the first place? Creating a login system for your visitors will help you track their habits, but if it doesn’t give them any new tools or abilities, what’s the point?

If you’re struggling to gain traffic for your real estate website, rank higher on search engines, and attract more business, try examining these engagement metrics. What you find may surprise you.

Have you made a change as a result of these or other metrics? Tell us about it in the comments!

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