Google Analytics is promoting its new Events Goals, another example that highlights the trend of measuring traffic value instead of just traffic. A smart move indeed when an impression no longer carries the same value in traffic of different quality today. Just think about how much value you can attribute to a visitor who watches a video on your homepage for 5 minutes. What about 10? If you break down a visitor’s engagement level in this way, the impact on your business is huge. Before introducing the new engagement goals, Google Analytics measures ROI by sales-oriented numbers – the revenue number from your e-commerce performance, or the goal values calculated from the conversion rates for your set goals. Now they’re saying you should also put a price on the interaction events, such as “download a file” or “view a video”, because now you can use the event value as a goal value.
Event tracking also completes the visual funnel with a microanalysis on conversion goals. Google Analytics used to provide conversion rates only based on page views. It records every place the visitors stop before reaching the goal page you have set in place (typically a “receipt page” or a “thank you page”) and calculates the drop-off rate along the journey. Now they’re telling you how engaged visitors are on each of these pages. For instance, it can tell you whether users go to your product category page twice before they make the purchase within one visit session (the first time they download a catalog and the second time they view a demo video) or if they just rush to the purchase page right after visiting the product page. While Google Analytics used to consider these two kinds of behavior as contributing the same to conversion, it now enables you to compare your event conversion rate with the page view conversion rate and how specific elements on the page are performing. Within the per visit session, you will not only see how many events are triggered, but also how many times they are triggered, so you will be able to answer questions like “how many visitors are viewing my videos?” and “how many times are they viewing my videos?” This can provide good feedback on whether the content being presented is viable or not. Microanalysis on conversion still has a long way to go, and it for sure goes a long way. The next big trend in this industry appears to be moving towards offering companies more customer insights with a more creative break-down of performance indicators.
Jiaqiao Li is an analytics intern in the Digital Analytics Department at Engauge. She is currently obtaining her master’s in journalism and mass communication with a concentration in advertising from the University of Georgia. She is expected to graduate in June 2012 and plans to use her degree to pursue a career in marketing or advertising. Connect with Jiaqiao on LinkedIn.