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Data Accuracy


Analytics is a tool we rely on to make smarter business decisions, with an assumption that it's always spot-on. Yet, often, that's not the case. The accuracy of analytics can be misleading because it heavily depends on how data is collected and whether there's enough of the right kind of data. It's like trying to hit a target blindfolded. You're aware the target exists—that's one piece of data. But without other crucial details like the distance, the size of the target, or wind conditions, your chances of hitting the bullseye are slim. You might get close, but it's not quite the success you hoped for.

This scenario is similar to web analytics telling us that 80% of visitors leave a website without engaging much. It might lead us to think our content isn't capturing interest. However, what if the reality is that visitors found exactly what they needed on the first page? In this case, the analytics missed the mark, not because the content wasn't engaging, but because the data didn't capture the full picture. It's like celebrating a hit when, in fact, we might be misunderstanding why users are behaving the way they are.

Let's unpack the concept of engagement rate and see where some analytics tools miss the mark, why this happens, and how Squid takes a different approach to nail the accuracy.

Understanding Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a key metric that measures the percentage of visits to your website or app where users have interacted in a meaningful way with your content. It's about gauging the quality of interaction beyond mere visits.

GA4's Approach to Measuring Engagement

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has a specific way of defining engagement

What Counts as Engagement?

A user's engagement is recognized if:

Their session spans more than 10 seconds,

They trigger a conversion event (based on your specific definition),

Or if they browse through at least 2 pages or screens.

Potential Misinterpretations

While straightforward, this definition might not always paint an accurate picture. Consider two scenarios:

A user arrives at your site, becomes distracted, and departs without any meaningful action. Despite this, they're considered 'engaged' simply because they were on the site for over 10 seconds.

Another visitor quickly scrolls through a page and leaves within 20 seconds. This too qualifies as engagement according to GA4.

The Issue

These examples highlight how GA4's criteria could lead to misleading conclusions about how users truly interact with your website. What is labeled as 'engagement' might not reflect genuine interest or interaction, potentially distorting your analysis and strategy.

Squid's Approach to Engagement

Squid adopts a more refined strategy for calculating engagement by tracking a variety of events right out of the box, offering a clearer picture of user behavior. This method goes beyond just session duration or page views, considering actions that truly reflect user interest and interaction with your site.

What Counts as Engagement?

Landing Page Events: The initial interaction marking the start of a user's engagement journey.

Click and Submit Events: Indicative of direct user engagement, such as navigating the site or completing forms.

Scroll Events: Show that users are actively exploring content, not just the visible part of the page.

Conversion/Key Events: Doing one of these identifies a high engagement level, signaling a successful user journey outcome.

Mouse Movement: Indicates active content scanning, suggesting the user is not just passively present.

When is a User Considered Engaged by Squid?

To clarify how engagement is identified, let's break down the components that Squid considers indicative of meaningful user interaction:

Handshake Event: The initial interaction that marks the start of a user's visit to the site.

Mouse Movement: Active cursor movements indicating the user is engaging with the content.

Scrolling: Demonstrates that the user is exploring the content beyond what's immediately visible.

For a session to qualify as engaged, it must feature the above interactions plus one of the following:

A Click: Any interaction where the user clicks on a site element, suggesting active engagement.

A Form Submission: When a user completes and submits a form, indicating a higher level of engagement.

This multi-faceted approach ensures that engagement metrics reflect genuine interest and interaction with the website's content.

Squid's Advantages Over GA4

Customization and Precision: Squid allows for a tailored definition of engagement that aligns with specific goals or desired user behaviors.

Comprehensive Data Utilization: Squid's method leverages a broader spectrum of user interactions for a more accurate assessment of engagement.

Greater Insight into User Behavior: Squid's detailed tracking provides deeper insights into engagement drivers, aiding in targeted improvements.

Why Engagement Rate Matters

It reflects the effectiveness of your content and site in captivating users. A high engagement rate suggests that your site is valuable and engaging to visitors, which is critical for improving traffic quality, marketing campaign performance, and conversion rates.

What Constitutes a Good Engagement Rate?

While benchmarks vary across industries, a good engagement rate on websites typically ranges between 60% and 70%. This figure, however, depends on numerous factors including the industry, product, business goals, and audience.

Understanding and analyzing engagement rates is crucial for developing strategies to enhance user interaction on your website, tailoring your approach to meet your audience's needs and expectations effectively.

Updated on: 08/02/2024

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