Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The growing need for engagement

Over the past few years or so there has been a little gorilla growing in the corner and it wants out but is it 800 lbs yet. The problem with weighing wild animals is getting them on the scale. Measuring engagement has the same issues. Generally everyone is in agreement that as an industry we need to move away from the metrics we have been using standardized on and move into something more relevant to measure how visitors are using our sites.

One of the problems with finding that measurement is what tools do we use and what do the results mean. I found a good starting point here but found it to be a little overwhelming. Even the author of the article says his formula may not be the right one for all sites and that there may not even be a formula that fits every site. That didn't really stop me from trying. 

I looked at the stats that are most currently most relevant to people now: number of visits, how deep into the site did people venture, how much time did they spend on the site and overall page views for a given time period. My time period was a month. I came up with the following formula

Using that formula if Engagement is anything above zero you have some sort of engagement and obviously the higher the better. But does this formula make sense? If it does what is a good engagement score?

Once a base formula is established it can help everyone get on the same footing, so to speak. As an example take two sites with similar content. Site A has a lot of visits and page views but the has low depth and time on site ratings. Site B has a lower number of visits and page views but a jacked-up depth and time on site.

Some quick hypothetical math

Site A = 10,000 visits * 2 pages deep * 4 minutes / 20,000 page views = 4 Engagement Rating

Site B = 3,000 visits * 4 pages deep * 7 minutes / 12,000 page views = 7 Engagement Rating

Now that the math is out of the way we can see Site B has a higher engagement rating then Site A with more page views. What does that mean for the guys running the site and for the companies that advertise on your site. To me it means that if I can create content that keeps people on my site and I can grab a higher engagement rating people will be exposed to ads, internal and third party, for longer periods of time. It also means I might be able to charge a higher CPM. And if you know a site has a higher engagement rating than your own you might be able to learn from them and improve your own site and push your engagement rating up.

There are always going to be mitigating factors that will throw your stats off but if we can get it down to a formula of a few factors we may be able to eliminate some of those mitigating factors.

I hope my first post proves to be a legit one. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Pick a handful of "rich-media" ads from the web and what do you find in common?

Pretty images. Clever copy.
Clever copy. Pretty images.
Still more pretty images and clever copy.


What could be a powerful tool to create change in the prospect mindset is used to trumpet "Buy Me". Naturally, not too many people care to buy.

Rich-media needs to change before it can drive change.
The question is, how?

Jay, from Bangalore