Engagement metrics for publishers: How to improve your content performance

Sep 7, 2021 | Articles

Roberta Cilento

Roberta Cilento


Engagement metrics are becoming increasingly important for publishers. As the industry evolves, KPIs and performance metrics change. Engagement metrics are key to understanding whether your audience is happy with your content and to guide publishers towards the path of success.

However, it is important to differentiate between KPIs and metrics. So, let’s refresh both concepts before we start talking about engagement metrics, shall we?

According to webpublisherpro.com:

Engagement metrics are what publishers use to understand how much value readers are finding in their content.

While a KPI is:

A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.


Most important metrics for publishers

Among the many metrics publishers can track and monitor, there are a few that will provide essential information to understand how your audience responds to your content.

  1. Page views: Total number of pages viewed by users.
  2. Time on page: Time difference between the point when a person lands on the page and when they leave.
  3. Bounce rate: Percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave.
  4. Pages per session:  Average number of pages a person views in a session.
  5. Scroll depth: Percentage of the page a visitor has seen.
  6. Conversion rate: Number of visitors that complete a desired goal out of the total number of visitors.
  7. Unique visitors: Person who has visited the website at least once and is counted only once in the reporting period.
  8. New vs. returning visitors: Users landing on your website for the first time vs. Users who come back for more content.
  9. Top exit pages: Most frequent last pages users view in each session.
  10.  Abandonment rate: Percentage of tasks that are abandoned by the customer before completing a specific task.

What to focus on

Analyzing performance is not about monitoring a huge amount of data, but about identifying the type of information that is really useful to reach your KPIs. This means that publishers could either focus on one single metric or the combination of several ones. It depends on their goal and the strategy they build to reach that goal.

The right way to understand how to make the right choice is by identifying the information that is really essential. Once you’ve done so, focusing on the essential metrics will be just a natural step for you.

Remember that every publisher has different objectives, so as much as there are some common metrics, you should be able to identify, track and monitor the ones that are really relevant to you.

Some tips for publishers 

  • Track the engagement

Paying attention to time on page, bounce rate, unique visitors and page views will give you a pretty good idea of how people like your content.

  • Leverage newsletters

Using personalized newsletters will help you develop a stronger relationship with your audience, as well as understand much better what they are looking for.

  • Listen to your readers

Analyze behaviour and content consumption patterns and you will find out that some of the answers to your questions have already been answered.

  • Plan your content

Research what type of stories, channels, or topics are popular and post when readers are most active. Publishing original content is important, but there is nothing wrong with content curation as long as you manage to improve the content. 

In case you want to learn more about content curation, here is an article that might be of help.

Key tools for publishers to track engagement metrics

Apart from Google Analytics and custom tracking platforms, tools like WordPress provide publishers with very comprehensive data sets. However, if you need something else, the market is full of tools that will help you track specific metrics. 

The most famous ones are: MonsterInsight, ExactMetrics and WPStatistics.

What are the key metrics for publishers?

There are some metrics that are especially important for publishers to understand their audience. It includes page views, time on page, bounce rate, scroll depth, conversion rate, unique and returning visitors or abandonment rate.

How can publishers increase engagement?

Publishers can understand their audience and boost engagement by using the right metrics, listening to their own readers, leveraging their newsletters and planning their content in advance.

Follow us!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This