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Engagement and Persuasiveness Dominate Online Metrics

 

I was reading through some old articles the other day, and came across 'Death of the Web Page' by Bryan Eisenberg, The ClickZ Network,October 2006

It was rather interesting to read something written about the expected eclipse of the web page by a morphorous, community driven online presence. And that opinion was even shared by a 12 year old!!

Looking back - have Web 2.0 technologies and persuasive scenarios killed the web page as predicted?

Online businesses and marketers vary in opinion it seems, and this is probably why there is also such diversity in how to measure online activity going into 2008.

The metrics of 'page views' and 'unique visitors' are being replaced by 'engagement' and 'absolute unique visitors'.

So what better ways are there to model and measure visitor engagement? And is the webpage really dead?

I don't think so - but there are definite factions of online users, each faction defining an online experience or presence in different terms:

  1. Information seekers - find what they need on webpages
  2. Social seeking individuals - find their experience in social networking sites
  3. Egotists - are the heavy users and content providers in media sharing sites
  4. Purchasers - use them all! - Information sites to find information and reviews on products, social networking sites to find more opinions and ecommerce sites to transact their purchase

Many internet marketers today are attempting to integrate all four elements into a single site, sometimes a single view. Is this making it a confusing experience for the page visitor, and even more difficult to measure an online experience.

One thing is for sure, the value of online traffic is being relegated to a lower spot in the metrics hierarchy than online experience. Online technologies and strategies to 'persuade' rather than inform the visitor are becoming more pervasive as internet marketers are becoming more savvy - just in time to serve their very savvy audience.

Slick Web 2.0 sites are only one part of the visitor experience. And smart website owners are learning how to best organize that experience in a way that makes it more compelling for the visitor and easier to measure.

Those that fail to understand this subtle shift in online presence will reminisce their missed opportunities from the sidelines by 2010 - if not sooner.

We now have the technology to create superior customer experiences and get more efficient and accountable about customer acquisition and retention. So don't lose ground strategizing only on how to get more traffic - instead, focus on relevancy, persuasiveness, ROI.....and survival.

January 11 2008