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15 Most Important Engagement Metrics for Publishers MUST Track!

Engagement metrics allow publishers to track their target audiences activity with their content. These data points are crucial for determining how best to improve a product to increase profits.
Engagement metrics allow publishers to track their target audiences activity with their content. These data points are crucial for determining how best to improve a product to increase profits.
Engagement metrics are important to a lot of creators, but for news publishers, big and small, they are absolutely essential. Engagement metrics truly give insight on whether the content publishers and their journalists are producing resonates with audiences.
More specifically, engagement metrics give publishers an understanding of how much value readers are finding in their content. In a digital world, time is one of the most valuable consumer commodities. Engagement is how publishers measure the time and the quality of engagement within their readership.
There are clear benefits to having an engaged readership. Readers who are engaged with the publication and their content are more likely to subscribe, share content and more. For these reasons, it is important to actively track engagement metrics. In doing so, publications can better tailor their strategies and content to what their target audience wants to see.



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Top Engagement Metrics to Track

1. Stickiness
One way of determining the success of a page or product is determining its “stickiness”. This information can give insight to how often users are returning to view a publication. To find this number, Daily Active Users (DAU) are divided by the total Monthly Active Users (MAU).
Stickiness = DAU / MAU
2. First Week Engagement
This metric is similar to DAU and MAU. First week engagement measures the total engagement during a given user’s first week of interacting with a publication. If a user isn’t directly engaging with the product within the first week that they gain access to it, there is a high probability that that user will not return and overall retention will be lower. Tracking the first week’s engagement is also helpful in revealing any issues with consumer onboarding.
3. Pageviews
Pageviews are one of the most common metrics used to examine traffic on a website. As the most basic of all user engagement metrics, pageviews measure instants of users viewing a page. It does not provide information on how far they scrolled or if they further engaged by liking and commenting.
Measuring pageviews is a crucial step in understanding how often people visit a site. When pageviews are high, it is a good indicator that SEO strategies are working and that there is a basic level of interest in a product.
4. New Vs. Returning Visits
This metric is the ratio of returning visitors to total visitors to a given page. It is a key metric in determining if content is truly evergreen. It tells a publisher whether or not the content being produced and published is worth a user coming back for more.
Having new visitors is always a good thing. But this metric is especially important in measuring the percent of returning visitors over time. Having this data helps to increase retention down the line.
5. Average Time Spent
The average time a user spends on a page is an indicator of how much a user likes a given content asset or product. Time is one of the most valuable commodities a user has and if they are choosing to spend a decent amount of time on a site they most likely find the content to be engaging and interesting.
6. Scroll depth
Scroll depth is data that tells publishers how far a reader got into a specific article or content piece.
Analyzing scroll depth can help publishers determine if their content matches a reader’s search intent. Additionally, it tells a publisher the point in which a reader feels like they’ve scrolled enough for the information they need. Scroll depth is telling of CTA effectiveness and if CTA placement is correct. It also shows if the preferred content length is long or short.
7. Bounce rate
The bounce rate tracks the percentage of website visitors who land on a website, perform no action, and then exit. Bounce rates are calculated as the single-page session divided by all sessions in a given period.
If a publisher has a page with high traffic and a high bounce rate, it can be telling that headline was most likely more catchy and likely misleading based on what the article was in actuality.
8. Pages per Session
Pages per session is a way of measuring interest in content. It tracks the number of pages a user visits in one session on a site.
The higher pages per session can be, the better it is for publishers. This indicates that the user found a site interesting enough to look around, meaning there was authentic engagement.
9. Exit Pages
Exit pages are the last pages a viewer visited before leaving a website. Often, an exit rate is used to measure the percentage of people that left a site from a given exit page.
The exit pages and exit rates are often related to bounce rates. All of these metrics show the last page a visitor was on before they left the site. In that they both consider the last pages a visitor goes to on a website. Depending on what pages are excited and how high the exit rate is, it could indicate that a CTA is poor, information was misleading or even overwhelming or it could even indicate that there are organizational issues on a publisher’s site.
10. CTR
A site’s click-through-rate (CTR) is an important metric for advertising. Publishers can use this metric to see which ads are receiving the most engagement from users. This information can then be used to change the amount, density, placement, and type of advertisements on a site.
11. Conversion rate
The actions a publisher wants a user to take on a site can be tracked as conversion. Whether this converts to subscriptions, or even opening a certain page on a site. Conversion rate is calculated by the total number of users who completed the specific action divided by the total number of users. A low conversion can be telling of a weak CTA, or even product deficiencies.
Conversion rate = # of users who completed action / total # of users
12. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
A Net Promoter Score usually asks a site’s users to rate how likely they are to recommend a publication or product to someone else. Normally the scale is a 1-10 system. Typically, those who rated 1-6 are considered “Detractors”, those who rated 7-8 are considered “Neutrals”, and those who rated 9-10 are considered “Promoters”. An NPS score can be calculated by subtracting the percentage of “Detractors” from the percentage of “Promoters”.
NPS= % Promoters – % Detractors
13. Likes and Dislikes
True for every platform, likes and dislikes are one of the easiest ways to see engagement for a given product. This information can show how active a publisher’s target audience is but it also provides information on what topics and content types resonate most with a given readership.
14. Comments and Feedback
Feedback response rates and comments are telling of content popularity. They also can highlight any deficiencies with a platform. The best thing to do for any publishers is to validate community feedback publicly and interact with an audience directly.
15. Shares
The amount of shares on a given post or within a time period tells how interesting an audience finds a content asset or site. If a user thinks it is worthy of a share on social media or to a friend, it is a good indicator that the content itself was interesting.

Engagement Metrics Track Success

Engagement metrics are important pieces of data that allow for publishers to actively track success and success for their content. For more information on publisher monetization, premium content, and publishing trends. visit Invisibly’s blog page.
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