[Post #2 of 4] Over the next couple of weeks, we’re posting a series of 4 short tutorials covering how to get more useful insights from your blog analytics, and improve your content stats workflow. Many of these tips are pertinent to things that Filament Pro monitors for you out-of-the-box, but the beauty of metrics are that the math is the same, no matter which tool you use to track them – so hopefully you’ll find this series useful in your day-to-day!

« First post – How to save time with your blog analytics

Lesson #2: All about Engagement​

In this lesson, we’re going to explain how Filament measures the overall level of visitor activity on your website, using a single number – your Engagement Score. We’ll explore how you can analyze this score to quickly gain insights about what’s happening on your site, identify what content is resonating most with your visitors, and also why. This is useful to know, if you want to increase your visitor activity. These kinds of insights help you understand what to write about, where to promote your content and how your visitors are responding to it!

So…what’s an Engagement Score?

Your Engagement Score is a single number from 0 to 100, that measures the overall level of visitor activity that Filament is tracking on your site.

It’s calculated by factoring in a variety of Touchpoints – or indicators that your visitors are interested in your content, including:

  • Traffic volume
  • Bounce rate
  • Social shares
  • Scroll depth (how far your visitors scroll down the page)
  • Form submissions (comments and subscriptions)

Normally, if you’re watching all these numbers separately, it’s easy to miss what they’re trying to tell you overall – you miss the forest for all the trees. But by rolling these metrics together into a single number, it becomes easy to understand what’s happening on your site and, most importantly, know how to take action on it! The score is unique to your site, so don’t worry so much about whether it’s higher than anyone else’s: Your Engagement Score is just your benchmark to focus on growing.

Things your Engagement Score can tell you

Thumbs up or thumbs down?

One of the most obvious things your Engagement Score tells you is whether you’re experiencing higher or lower visitor activity on individual posts and on your overall site. If you’re a Filament user, hover over the chart on the Overview screen to see an instant comparison:

Already a ​Filament user? Visit your Overview screen

At a glance, this popover shows you how your score compares to yesterday, and which metrics had the biggest influence over the day’s score (i.e. the Causes).

Which posts are your most engaging ones?

Let’s say you’re trying to understand why an old post is performing better than a similar, updated post from today. You would do this to help create a better promotion strategy but how do you actually compare a new post you published three days ago against an evergreen post that went live six months ago? Or, how do you uncover which posts are above average? Solution: Applying the Engagement Score to each of your posts solves these tricky questions quickly and lets you objectively compare them to each other—regardless of age!

Filament user? View your Most Engaging Content tile.​

Take a look at the Most Engaging Content tile to see your posts, ranked by their individual Engagement Scores and compared to the sitewide average score of all your posts–a great thing to factor into your decision as to which post(s) to promote and drive more traffic to. Imagine if we could do the same thing for your post categories and authors too – wouldn’t that be awesome? 😉

“This means that sites with lower bounce rates, longer time-on-site metrics, and more page views—some of the data points that SimilarWeb measures—tend to rank higher in Google search results.” ~ Moz

It’s not all just vanity metrics, either–SEO gurus Moz found a positive correlation between engagement metrics and search rankings in their 2015 Ranking Correlation Study. That means the more engaging your content, the higher it’s likely to rank in the all-important search results.

Who are my best referrers?

It doesn’t matter where’s the single biggest source of your visitors if they don’t actually engage with your content once they arrive. This is why Filament shows you your Highest Quality Referrers, ranked by their Engagement Scores.

​Login to your Filament account to see your highest quality referrers.

Applying the Engagement Score to your referrers gives you an excellent idea of which relationships you should cultivate to grow the number of truly engaged visitors being sent to you.

What happened & why

The question everyone has whenever they see a spike in website metrics is “Why’d that happen?” And Filament helps you answer it. On the Overview screen, you’ll see your site’s Engagement Score, plotted versus time, on the white line. You can hover over the chart to see what the Score was for that day. The dark band across the middle is your Normal Range, which is where Filament expects your site to perform based on the data it’s tracked so far.

If your Engagement Score pokes outside that range on one or more days, it’s marked as a Breakout Day with either a green or red circle on top of the chart area. This is a day with significantly higher or lower engagement than normal, and is usually a great place to start if you want to understand what happened on your site. We’ll automatically alert you on these days as well.

Clicking on the chart will activate Single Day Mode, which focuses in on just the stats for that particular day.​

​From here, you can check out which Touchpoints had the biggest impact on your Engagement Score for that day, and drill down to learn why visitor activity was so high (or low). Maybe it was a spike in shares on a particular post? Or perhaps a recent update that kept people scrolling all the way to the end? Whatever the cause, you can use this simple workflow to find it quickly.

Tune-in next time…

How’s that for a crash course in engagement analytics? In the next post in this series, we’re going to get social, and teach you how to unearth insights into your visitors’ sharing activity–what they’re sharing; where they’re sharing it and what it’s actually doing for you, traffic-wise.

In the meantime, if you’re itching to dig up some fresh insights using the tips I shared here, and you’re already using Filament Pro, they’re all just a log-in away. Don’t have an account yet? Start using Filament Pro for free.