The purpose of ecommerce marketing is to generate sales. Period. While content creation is a proven method to achieve this goal it is too often difficult to see why you are investing time and money into these efforts due to indirect benefits and a flurry of metrics that are hard to understand and interpret. We have compiled and put together the 5 most powerful metrics to optimize ecommerce content for sales. Rest easy and use these metrics so that you can see the fruits of your labor, understand how to improve, and ignore the rest.
Unfortunately, even great content doesn’t always get the results that you are looking for. This does not mean stopping making and publishing high-quality content. While Google is getting better than ever at finding great content regardless of the technical optimizations, seeing results on your content, especially quick results, is not always easy.
If you’ve created content that you believe has merit but you’re not seeing the results you expected and you’re beginning to question the benefits of content creation, don’t give up. A few simple tweaks to your existing content may be all that’s needed to get the results you want and part of it is just knowing where to look.
Understanding Content Success and Engagement Measurements
On-Site Engagement Numbers
On-site engagement is one of the most important areas to monitor when tracking the success of your content. There are a number of aspects that go into your on-site engagement numbers, but a few stand out as being extremely important:
Understanding Click-Through Rate
Click-through rate is the ratio between the number of users who click on a link to the number of users who view the content containing the link. It is a superb measure of how well your advertisements, pages, and email campaigns are working.
Don’t expect extremely high numbers in a click-through rate. Keep in mind that users who are considering your ad or content may be too busy to click on a link or that the link may not be relevant to everyone who views the content.
Click rates can vary considerably depending on where the links are located. For instance, on Google AdWords, you can expect an average click-through rate of about 2%, so anything over 2% is a very good click rate for Google AdWords campaigns.
On the other hand, email campaigns typically average at about 2.5%, so you’ll want to see higher numbers than that to indicate that your email campaign is doing well. When you are looking at internal links within your website, you can expect to see highly relevant internal links with as high as an 11.4% click-through rate. The higher your click-through rate, the more likely you are to convert viewers of your content into visitors or buyers consistently.
Asian Cuisine Company Improves Click-Through-Rate With Focused CTA’s
Wok to Walk, an Asian Cuisine company focused on fast, healthy take out was able to boost their click-through rate by 7.7% in their email campaign. The email campaign is focused on a call to action to encourage people to order a meal or ask a question.
Initially, their click-through rate was around 18.1%. They figured out which email subscribers didn’t open the email and sent another email with a different subject line that included a phone number. Just this tiny change was able to boost results by 7.7%.
Understanding Session Duration
Session duration measures the amount of time a user spends having active interactions on your website. Session duration times out if the user does not perform any activity for a particular amount of time, typically about 30 minutes.
Session duration measures the length of time someone spends on the entire website. If all of the time that a person spent on each page was added up, you would end up with the session duration for the site for that user.
Session duration is an important meter for your website’s success because it can only be won by the merit of your content. No amount of keyword stuffing in content or headlines or advertising campaigns can keep people engaged on your website. Only high-quality content can do that.
For most websites, a session duration of around two or three minutes is considered quite good. Keep in mind that many people who click into your website may realize it’s not what they’re looking for and click right out. Many more will get the answer that they need or even better, click on the link to buy a product or service, without spending a lot of time browsing.
Session duration is affected by several factors, including the purpose of your website. Needless to say, in-depth informational websites may tend to have a longer session duration than quick answer or listicle style sights.
Sites with easy-to-read formatting broken up with headers, pictures, and white space tend to keep users longer. A solid block of text is intimidating and often causes readers to give up before they begin.
Videos can dramatically improve session duration as well. It is very important to provide plenty of links to other areas of your website to keep readers engaged even if they begin to grow bored of the content on a current page or finish reading.
Dress Company Improves Session Duration with Decreased Load Time
Some technical aspects are important to your session duration, as seen in the case of Revelry, a bridesmaid dress company. Perhaps because of the heavy load of pictures on their site, pages used to take about seven seconds to load and sometimes took as much as 30 or even 50 seconds to load.
When the retailer revamped its site using tactics to reduce the load time, pages took an average of only 3.4 seconds to load. Revelry saw a significant increase in their session duration and a reduction in their bounce rate as a result.
The pages-per-session measures the average number of pages that a user looks at in any given session duration. It can be a great measure of how engaging your website is overall.
A high pages-per-session may indicate good internal linking and navigation within your site. You may be surprised by how few pages per session it requires to put you in the top capita of average pages per session.
The vast majority of users who stumble onto a website by doing a search or clicking on a link are most likely to only be interested in the direct answers given by the page they land on first, so getting users to click on even one additional page is a great sign for your website. More than two pages-per-session is pretty good, and more than four puts you in the highest percentage.
Frequently, the same SEO that can increase your session duration can also have a powerful impact on your page per session rate. Good site navigation and highly relevant internal linking both are key factors in a high pages-per-session rate.
The higher your pages-per-session rate, the more likely users are to engage with your pages in a meaningful way. Users who are clicking through multiple pages are more likely to be led from strictly informational pages to the call-to-action pages you want them to find.
Japanese Tech Company Boosts Pages-Per-Session with Customer Research
Panasonic’s Japanese site does not sell products from their site, so their goal was to improve customer engagement, including pages-per-session. They looked more closely at their target audience and divided metrics such as pages-per-session by gender, age, and interests.
They then targeted their marketing campaign specifically to those users for the goal of increasing pages-per-session. Pages-per-session increased considerably as a result and bounce rates were reduced by 50%.
Understanding New Users
New users are people who have never visited your website before. Google can identify them using browser cookies. Of course, if users are searching incognito or have cleared cookies, they will be counted as new users even if they’re not. Typically, visitors who have not visited your site for at least two years are considered new users.
Ideally, you’ll want a balance of new users and returning visitors. If your site is primarily getting only new users, it may show that you are not building client loyalty. However, if you don’t attract hardly any new users, it may be an indication that your advertising is falling short of your goals.
In general, you want to see a 50/50 balance of new versus returning users. At this rate, you know that you are doing a good job of attracting people to your site but are also holding onto enough previous viewers to show that your site has value.
Having your pages rank in organic searches is a superb way to attract new users. If your pages can answer questions that new users are asking, you will keep attracting new users and make it very likely that they will return to your site to have other questions answered or to engage in other ways.
Advertising is another important parameter in attracting new users. The right targeted ads are more likely to result in clicks to your site.
Dieting Company Increases New Visitors by Reposting Content
Weight No More, a dieting company, was able to increase traffic by 37% and develop a ratio of new to returning two new visitors of 1.5 to 1, which is close to Ideal. To do this, all they had to do was repost content that had been published on other sites like LinkedIn and Twitter and commit to creating new content regularly.
Visible engagement is the engagement on your site that is clear to everybody, not just available on the analytics side of things. Websites with lots of visible engagement may be more likely to be trusted by new users. Posts that are liked, shares to social media and other outlets, and comments on your post all contribute to visible engagement.
What is considered a good visible engagement rate depends on the platform. If your blog allows likes, shares, and comments, you may hope that many of your visitors engage, but the fact is that many more people will visit these types of pages than will engage with them.
That’s because blog pages are just not as intuitive for engagement as other areas like social media. An engagement rate of around 5% is a good expectation for a smaller business making posts on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Expect considerably less than that on your blog site.
Several factors go into how likely a viewer is to engage. Content that has viral value, which is to say content that users want to share for their own reasons, is the most likely to get great engagement. Engagement can also be increased by requests from the company to engage with a given post or the opportunity to win something if you engage with a post.
Car Company Sees Engagement Boost After Investing in Content Creators
Great visible engagement doesn’t just prove to others that your company is reputable and increases additional organic views. It can also generate content that can be valuable to your company, as in the case of Mercedes-Benz.
In 2013 the company hired Instagram photographer influencers to drive a new Mercedes. Not only did they receive millions of visible engagements on their campaign, but they also got wonderful photos to use for their marketing campaigns.
How does Engagement Impact your Authority?
To get good site engagement, you need to focus on SEO, but you’ll also likely find that better site engagement leads to superior SEO. Search engines carefully observe engagement to determine whether the pages that they have suggested to users are the right ones for that search query.
How long a user spends on a page and how much they explore the website indicate to Google how useful that site was to the user. The more useful your pages appear to be to users, the more likely Google is to suggest them.
It all goes back to creating the highest quality content out there. The best content is put before users and users respond by engaging with it, a cycle that continuously increases your rankings.
Fire&Spark Authority Building
Fire&Spark knows how to create content that builds authority and increases engagement. High-quality content has better information and is easier to read and navigate than the competition.
Such content makes it more likely that search engines will put it in front of readers and also increases the chances that those readers will engage, which in turn makes it more likely that search engines will put the content in front of other readers.
Fire&Spark can help you create content that generates this sort of snowballing relationship between engagement and SEO which can rapidly bring your page to the top of Google searches and enable you to accomplish your SEO goals.