Visitor Engagement or Site Conversion?


I would like to start this post with a startling fact – there are on average 8000 searches done on Google each month for keyword “site conversion” and only 91 searches for “visitor engagement“!

You can frequently find tons of quality discussion on conversion optimization in forums and groups but rarely on visitor engagement optimization. Conversion experts can tell you why your site is not working, and what you need to do to fix it i.e. call to action, credibility indicators, resistance to purchase, conversion funnel leaks.

However, I rarely come across a post that explains how website visitor engagement directly impacts the website conversion. Some of you will argue, but I am yet to see a website with low visitor engagement and high conversion.

You must have realized by now that this post is about visitor engagement and if you are conversion $$ centric then you might think of bailing out but just hang in there. Let me explain on how visitor engagement can make or break your site conversion rate. Once you understand the concept, the first thing you will want to look at on a low converting site is the visitor engagement.

There are different processes used to analyze visitor engagement. Some of the key methods used are analyzing total visits to top pages, time on site & internal search count. I suggest using avg. page views metric to understand the overall site conversion. The beauty of this metric is that it not only tells the story of the depth & length of a site visit but also provides a great deal of actionable insights.

The pageviews and avg. pageviews reports are located in the visitor sub section of the Visitor sidebar section. screenhunter_02-dec-23-1545

Page views report shows the total count of pages on your site with breakdown of pages views by date. Average pageviews report shows the overall page views/site visits and also provides the calculation by date.

In the screen shot below, I am looking at the Google Analytics page view report of a site with average pageviews of 1.46. It means that on average a site visitor views only 1 page on this site :(. Can you make a guess on the site conversion rate of this website? I am not going to reveal it for privacy reasons, but it’s not something to talk about.


Excited! Well, with this report we are just touching the tip of the iceberg. The real fun begins when you start segmenting this report with different metrics and segments.

I mentioned the word segmentation in this post quite a few times because I am a big fan of segmentation. The data that you can get after segmenting the avg. pageviews is pure gold! Don’t worry if you are new to segmentation because Google Analytics has made it easier than you can imagine.

All you have to do is to click the “Advanced segment” drop down located on the top right hand corner. This will bring up a segmentation option box.


Notice that “All Visits” segment is checked by default. Uncheck “All visits” and check the “Visits with Conversion” (last segment in the Default segment box). Click Apply and viola! The avg. pageviews number will automatically change to a secret number that is access code to your conversion success.

The new page/visit number is telling you that on average it takes X many pageviews for your site visitor to become your customer/lead/member (whatever your site goal is). Can you beat that? From this point your goal is to increase pageviews and use this number as a benchmark.

I am not saying that you can simply throw lots of crappy content pages and expect the conversion to skyrocket. I am also not saying that you should not optimize your conversion path and form fields. Each step is equally important in the conversion optimization process.

Remember, always be testing principle is always true. The moment you stop testing your competitors will gain advantage.

Please provide your comments, feedback, or tweets here.

Here is a list of other helpful blog posts –

Bounce rate Calculation in Site Catalyst Omniture

What is Web Analytics?

Is Web Analytics Right for My Small Business?

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12 years ago – now in my rss reader)))

12 years ago – now in my rss reader)))


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