Sitecore Analytics: The journey from “how many” to “how engaged”

the journey from how many to how engaged-sitecore cms

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”, said the famous John Wanamaker, an American politician, nearly a century ago. Today, as more and more monies are being spent on advertising and marketing campaigns, his statement has become very relevant. While basic analytics will give you an idea about how many page views your website/page has had and the traffic sources, it fails to give you accurate knowledge and in-depth insights. This is where Sitecore Analytics steps in. It’s not enough to only increase the number of pageviews and get more people to visit your site, of course that’s important, but Sitecore focuses more on the quality or engagement rather than on quantity or number.

What is Engagement Analytics?

It is primarily the measure of quantity and quality, and their relationship. Both parameters are important. Quantity is what today’s web analytics provides to us. Quality is harder to measure, and that’s where engagement analytics comes in.

Our online marketing tools slice and dice quality as a measure of conversion percentages, number of people who clicked on a link versus number of people who saw the link. However, this percentage gets increasingly difficult to calculate as the complexity of the campaign increases. The simplified version of this measure which marketers can use is called Engagement Value.

Another key measure is relevance, which finds the relation between quality and quantity. A classic example, where you display the same ad on both Google and Yahoo, and the ad on Google gets more quality per visit, you can conclude that the ad on Google has more relevance to the customer.

This way a marketer can use these parameters, measured by Engagement Analytics, to understand which marketing mix is giving maximum impact.

Measuring Quality – Using Engagement Value points

Just like communication and exchange of words and commitments between two people,  every website also has certain types of communication and commitments that get exchanged when a visitor visits it. These points increase the engagement of the visitor with the website. The Engagement Value measures the effectiveness of these points.

Most websites have many engagement points, and each has its own level of commitment that it shows the visitor. Let’s understand this a little further. When two people meet on a date for the first time, they may exchange smiles, and this implies a level of commitment. However, if they decide to meet again, this time for a holiday together, we can conclude that the commitment level has increased. Similarly, there needs to be sufficient trust when a visitor lands on your website and for a commitment from his/her side.

The commitment required for an exchange of communication to take place differs site to site. (For an e-commerce site, the Engagement Value is simply the sales that took place)

There are two types of Engagement Values based on the type of commitment taking place:

  • Transactional Commitment – Example – visiting a website and signing up for the newsletter
  • Referential Commitment – Example – visiting a website and downloading an asset – here, the engagement value points are placed on a page where simply a download maybe taking place because there are no deeper commitments taking place.

While these provide good insights, there’s a lot more that can be done using Engagement Value Points (EVPs). EVPs are critical to understand the impact and effectiveness of your website, email campaigns, mobile SMS campaigns, etc.

For a website where there are frequent transactional commitments, let’s give the following EVPs to individual transactions:

  • Newsletter Registration – 5 EVPs
  • View video – 10 EVPs
  • Compare quotes using price calculator on website – 25 EVPs

With the above value, Engagement Analytics works extremely well. Sitecore Analytics makes it simple for your business to create these engagement points for important areas on your website and develop EVPs. When used properly, these EVPs can churn out revenue for you.

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Engagement Analytics – Examples

Sitecore’s Engagement Analytics allows even a marketer, not just tech analysts, to understand what and how to improve marketing.

Marketing effectiveness: Common beginners web analytics show the change in visitors over time, whether in absolute or as a percentage. However, Sitecore allows you to consider the total EVP accumulated by visitors, which is a guide to whether the online marketing efforts are increasing the overall value to these visitors or not.

Traffic Sources and Multiple Marketing Channels: In Engagement Analytics the visits are segmented into different channels and sources. Normal web analytics shows these sources, but not the relevance or the engagement value. Also, these sources do not convert to actual initiatives by the marketing team.

Campaign Performance: It is easy to identify the campaign that was successful only in terms of visits or link clicks. However, with deeper insights that Sitecore Analytics provides, we can also understand which campaign got maximum quality visits.

Entry Pages: Engagement Analytics provide details on which landing pages gave maximum impact and lead to high value. Again, the focus is on quality of visitors landing on the entry page rather than just on the number.

Sitecore’s Engagement Analytics provide deep and useful insights, which every marketing department needs. It is pointless to spend big bucks behind advertising campaigns, and not knowing how and where exactly the money is being spent. Sitecore will help you improve your marketing effectiveness by guiding you to invest in the right manner. Does your company focus on engagement analytics? Feel free to comment below.

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Author : Shruti Shah Date : 21 Sep 2015