Looking Into The Engagement Metrics

Looking Into The Engagement Metrics

Publishing is not just about the number of eyeballs but also how those eyeballs read your content. Engagement metrics reveal both.

Written By : Rashmi Singh

From the early days of the internet until recently, digital publishers relied only on page views to measure their performance. Be it a news website that gets millions of visitors every day or a small magazine barely getting any visitors, every publisher used pageviews as their go-to metric. But this has changed recently. Page views are now replaced with more in-depth engagement metrics.

Publishers across the globe are realizing that they are missing out on a number of insights offered by analytics tools by focusing only on page views. In this article, we are going to cover the benefits of looking into engagement metrics and some common types of metrics you can use to build a loyal readership.

Benefits of Engagement Metrics

Publishers can look into their engagement metrics and know what type of content is working and what is not. A number of publishers decided to experiment and stopped producing content that is not getting engagement from readers. The result was positive as the traffic and conversion rate actually went up.

Thus, using engagement metrics gives two major benefits to publishers. First, the readers are more satisfied with your content and hence growth indicators like traffic and conversion rate go up. Second, publishers save resources by not producing content that does not get engagement.

Types of Engagement Metrics

Below is a list of a few engagement metrics that are most useful to publishers:

  • Average Time Spent: This is a strong indicator of how much your user is liking your content. Instead of comparing with the industry average, publishers should compare their average time spent with their past data. If it is decreasing over time, it means you need to make some editorial changes and make the content more engaging and interesting.

  • Scroll Depth: This indicates how far a reader has got into a piece of content. If the article does not match the reader’s search intent, there is a high chance that the reader will not scroll down. Scroll depth also helps in telling where the publisher should put the call to action to get the most clicks.

  • Bounce Rate: The bounce is a good indicator of whether the visitors find your content relevant or not. It is the percentage of visitors who landed on your website but did not perform any action before exiting. If any piece of content has a high bounce rate, it means you need to change the headline and make it more relevant to the content of the page.

  • Stickiness: This is considered one of the most important engagement metrics as it tells how often are your readers returning to your website. It can be easily calculated by dividing Daily Active Users (DAU) by the total Monthly Active Users (MAU).

  • First Week Engagement: Similar to MAU and DAU, first week engagement helps in measuring the engagement of a user with your content within one week of their first visit. If a user is not engaging with your content in the first week, there are high chances that the user will not return to your website in the future. It also helps publishers in checking if there is any issue in the consumer onboarding or not.

There are many other engagement metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Conversion Rate, Click Through Rate (CTR), Pages Per Session, Likes and Dislikes, Comments and Feedback, and many more. Which engagement metrics should a publisher choose really depends on the end goal of a piece of content.


The main reason why publishers focused historically only on page views is because of incentives set by the advertisement model. The more page views, the higher the revenue. But this is now changing as other models are coming in where publishers are paid directly by their users.

If you want to augment audience engagement with first-party data, you should try our Bold CMS. It helps you make smart editorial decisions by providing you with in-depth analytics. Click here to book a free demo of the Bold CMS.