I love the word ‘engagement’ … it’s thrown around recklessly by everyone when they want to illustrate how awesome and important what they do is to others.
Problem is – generally the term isn’t backed up with any real rationale. “Our users are engaged” is a phrase that has lost all meaning. Often – volume of users is confused as engagement. Often a site that says they’re users are engaged has users that spend 2-3 mins max on the site and don’t return.
I had a dig through July’s Market Intelligence numbers and wanted to see the top 20 sites in the 2 areas I think really show engagement
1/ Frequency – ie, how often a user returns on average
2/ Session Duration – ie, how long a user spends on the site per session on average
The caveat was the sites included needed to have more than 30k AU users per month and need to be sites not applications. The figures are site specific, no network figures have been included
So what are the sites?
Frequency (visits on average per month per user)
I believe this is important as it suggests these sites are trusted by users and used as a starting point or a place they can call on for information in areas they need directly.
1/ ninemsn homepage – 8.42
2/ SMH homepage – 7.71
3/ The Age homepage – 7.68
4/ Bigpond homepage – 6.23
5/ OptusZoo homepage – 5.98
6/ News.com.au homepage – 5.87
7/ Yahoo!7- 5.87
8/ Brisbane Times homepage – 5.86
9/ RSVP – 5.66
10/ Elders Weather – 5.5
11/ Herald Sun homepage 5.5
12/ ESPN Soccernet – 5.48
13/ Trading Room – 5.41
14/ The West homepage – 5.39
15/ WA Today Homepage – 5.38
16/ The Courier Mail homepage – 5.26
17/ ASX – 5.2
18/ The Daily Telegraph homepage – 5.18
19/ Four Four Two – 5.12
20/ Habbo – 5.09
These figures are based on the month of July, sourced from Nielsen Market Intelligence
This seems to be dominated by default choices (Bigpond, Optus, Ninemsn) which users have kept … sports sites (particularly soccer), stock trading and local news (the strong showing of Age, SMH, Courier Mail, WA Today etc shows that these brands are still getting a stack of direct, loyal traffic).
This is important as it demonstrates that when a user arrives at these sites the information is compelling and interesting enough to stay and take it all in. They aren’t in/out …
1/ IT Wire – 21m, 49s
2/ Lifehacker – 17m, 51s
3/ Weatherzone – 17m, 18s
4/ Gizmodo – 15m, 13s
5/ Trading Post Automotive – 12m, 55s
6/ Carsales – 12m, 54s
7/ Cricinfo – 12m, 49s
8/ Zoo weekly – 12m, 47s
9/ RSVP – 12m, 44s
10/ Essential Baby – 12m, 29s
11/ Business Spectator – 11m, 59s
12/ Real Estate.com.au – 11m, 42s
13/ Kotaku – 11m, 37s
14/ Take40.com – 11m, 27s
15/ SMH homepage – 11m, 10s
16/ Hot Hits – 10m, 51s
17/ REIWA – 10m, 30s
18/ Sportal – 10m, 27s
19/ Carpoint – 10m, 26s
20/ RAA (SA) – 10m, 19s
These figures are based on August data to date, sourced from Nielsen Market Intelligence
Key trend here is technology users will spend large amounts of time on a site they trust/respect. Auto sites and real estate do well (as to be expected with such an involved purchase). It is interesting to see Essential Baby users spend almost 12m per session whilst Kidspot users on average spend around 3m, 45s (or about 28% of the time). Also interesting to see that Business Spectator is the only Finance news site in the top 20 and the next stickiest is The Australian‘s Business section … users spending on average around 7m, 30s per session.
So next time someone blurts out “engaged audience” ask them how long users are spending on their sites and how often they’re coming back.