Chartbeat Is Engaged! Introducing Engaged Time

April 24th, 2012 by Doug

Engagement: That elusive beast.

Everyone wants it, no one knows just how to pin it down. So we’ve all been stuck with our second choice, the back up, plan B -- the page view. Ick. Who cares that people are loading your page? We need to know how they’re interacting - with what and for how long. As we’ve already ranted and raged about back in January, that’s the only real measure of great content. Well, it’s your lucky day/week/forever, friend. We’ve wooed engagement out of her secret hiding place and pinned her down for all to use. So let’s show off your newest metric Engaged Time:

Engaged Time is dissected in a few ways:

  1. Total amount of time your visitors are have spent actively browsing your site – in human terms: days, weeks, months or years. Not billions of absolutes because, well, what the hell would you do with those massive numbers?

Think about it this way: Total Engaged Time is how long you’ve had your users’ undivided attention today. If 2,000 people have been interacting with your site for an hour each today, that means you’ve had about three months of attention on your site in one day. Three months is how long it takes Mercury to orbit the Sun. Your site engagement being that long is pretty nuts.

Oh, also, since today is Monday, we also let you compare today’s total to Monday last week, the week before, and so on for the past month. You can gauge how your site is doing and see if your sparkly new content is making the difference you’re hoping it does. It shows if you’ve had a good day compared to your usual days.

  1. Average amount of time your visitors are spending on each page.  There’s more to understanding a page than just seeing how many people are there – let average engaged minutes help you understand how much they really like it – like, this very second.
Oh, and there’s more! Check out the Content View in your dashboard. See that list of pages? Below each one, you’ll see how many visitors are on that page (like you always could), but now zero in on that nifty little click icon on the right.

That’s the average engaged time for that page – and you can compare and contrast to see which of your pages are doing well at keeping people’s attention. See a page that’s getting a ton of engagement? Click on that.

This is your Page View that has detailed information on its traffic and engagement. Right under your usual traffic timeline, you get a timeline of average engagement over the course of the day. And that number on the right? That's the total amount of engaged time it's gotten today.

Now do something about it

You know what everything is, so let’s talk about how you should put it into action. Picture a page on your site with particularly low traffic. It happens to all of us. But then you notice that this page has ridiculously high engagement compared to your other pages. People are into this page, way into this page. The people who come to it aren’t just bouncing off, but actually sticking around to check out the content you’ve crafted.

A page with high engagement but low traffic

You made this, so give yourself a pat on the back. But then get back to work. You need to make sure other people see this page too, so send it to everyone you know: put it on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure people notice it on your homepage. Figure out what it is about this page that’s keeping people engaged and apply that genius to the rest of the content. Oh, but you work isn’t done with that one page. Not when you notice something about another one of your pages - that one that you’ve known to have a ton of traffic, so you generally left it alone.

The flip side: high traffic with low engagement

But, now that you have Engaged Time, you see it has really low engagement. So, there’s something about it that’s drawing people in – maybe a good title, an interesting topic, or you got lucky with a link from Reddit. But the low engagement stats are showing you that it just isn’t keeping people’s attention. Is it the writing? Do you need to spice it up? If your traffic is coming from a link, do you need something that’s more interesting to visitors from that other site? The possibilities to awesome-up your pages are endless. In fact, our Chartcorps team is hosting a weekly virtual workshop for you to get the full rundown of all the new dashboard can do. Sign up! How are you hoping to/already using Engaged Time as the ultimate kick-ass metric?