Back to the basics: search engines & user engagement

Article written by Claudiu Murariu

There’s been a lot of web ink :) spilled on the subject of measuring user engagement. It is true there is no magic formula for measuring it, but take my word for it: when a user buys something from your web store, fills up a lead form, subscribes to your RSS feed or comments on your latest blog post, that user engages with your website.

Try to answer the following question: how well is your website doing when it tries to engage visitors that have a clear focus? I am talking about those visitors that land on your website by searching for a specific keyword on search engines, unrelated to your brand.

1. Start by setting goals for each action you deem means engagement

The following video will offer you clear details on how to do exactly that:

Here are a bunch of examples of actions on your website that can define user engagement:

  • buying a product
  • filling up a form
  • subscribing to newsletter or RSS
  • sending you feedback
  • commenting on an article
  • recommending you to a friend
  • tweeting your content

2. Define a non-brand keywords visits segment: that is, visitors that land on your website when searching with keywords unrelated to your brand

If you have never created segments before, check out this video tutorial.If you are familiar with segments, dive right just in and define one just like in the following image:

Replace "your-brand-name" with a keyword specific only to your brand

3. Check out for winners and losers

It is time to check out how well your website is doing when it comes to engaging your visitors. Apply the above segment to your Google Analytics data and dive in the following report: Traffic Sources > Keywords. Filter for non-paid traffic and look at the Goal statistics, just like in the image below:

Check out the conversion rates for each keyword

Check out the conversion rate for each keyword

That’s about it. Now that you know, how do you plan to improve performance?

Back to the basics: search engines & user engagement by

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  • Emer Kirrane

    Great post Claudiu!
    If I had €12.57 for every person who thinks that “Sales” are the only action worth tracking, I’d have quite a lot of cash! :)
    Visitors to websites don’t always visit with an intention. It’s hugely important to look at visitor engagement and see how they interact with the various elements on a site. Content consumption will build a view of how the site is working and splitting out the analysis between visitors with an intention and those without will always produce interesting results.
    It’s like optimising the Thank You page served AFTER a sale – this is often forgotten, but you have an already-engaged customer looking at this page. Take advantage of it!
    These are quick wins that are all-to-often forgotten.

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  • Video Character

    Emer is right, Visitors to websites don’t always visit with an intention. Maybe it would be also great if visitors would click more on links that has the same idea or content. Interaction and engagement with visitors and site owners are very important to observe.