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Visitor Engagement Score

Modified on: Wed, 5 Jun, 2024 at 9:18 PM

This feature will be available for customers with Marketing or Content Analytics subscription for early access by the end of April 2024 and available for general access by the end of May.

What is the Visitor Engagement Score?

The Visitor Engagement Score (VES) sums up the engagement for each individual visit to your website so you can monitor and analyze how engaged your website visitors are. The score is calculated for all visits to your website based on the number of interactions the visitor performs during the visit. Interactions can include things like visits to specific pages or videos watched. 

VES = The sum of all interactions that have tracked during a visit. 

Since all visits are assigned an individual score, we are able to break down the average engagement score of visits to your website so that you can easily evaluate how engaged your audience is and whether they are becoming more or less engaged over time as a result of changes to your website. You can also compare the average engagement score for different user segments to understand, for example, which traffic channels deliver the most engaged audience or whether visitors are more engaged on desktop or mobile devices. 

Getting started with the Visitor Engagement Score 

Before you start leveraging the VES, you'll need to set up the interactions that should count towards the score. We call these interactions triggers because they cause engagement points to be added to the VES score for that visit. A trigger can be one of the following: 

Page view trigger: 

You can set up a visit to a page to trigger engagement points for visitors. To do this, set up the match criteria for the trigger to be contains/starts with/is exactly/etc. in the same way that you set up URL matches elsewhere in the Siteimprove platform.

Example of a page view trigger:

A page view trigger component with a configuration saying “URL Contains ‘/product/” and point attribution set to 1

Event trigger: 

These can be set up so that, whenever a tracked event occurs, it triggers a contribution to the engagement score. You can match criteria to be specific combinations under Categories, Actions, or Labels. Alternatively, these can be set so that only one option has to match a specific value.

Example of Event trigger:

Event trigger component with a configuration saying the “Category Contains" is set to “Video” and "Action Contains" set to "pricing" with a "Label" set to "Any" with a point attribution set to 3

Outbound link trigger:

You can also count engagement based on visitors clicking on links leading to external domains or aka Outbound links. This could be done when linking to partner websites or social media channels. It shows visitors are engaging with your organization in a meaningful way.

Example of Outbound link trigger:

Outbound link trigger component with a URL set to Contains LinkedIn and a point attribution set to 3

Feedback rating trigger: 

You can assign visitor engagement based on whether they respond to a feedback survey and how they choose to respond. If you aren't familiar with Feedback, then you can read how to get started here

When assigning points based on Feedback ratings you can chose to between Any or a specific survey, the latter being the desired option if you have some feedback surveys that indicates higher engagement than others.

Feedback rating trigger with the Survey option set to “any”, the action set to Left rating and Positive rating, and an assigned point value of 10

You can also choose how a visitor should have engaged with a survey to activate the trigger. You can decide whether the visitor should have ideally left a rating, a comment, or both or leave it as "Any" if it doesn’t matter. You can also define whether the feedback rating needs to be positive, neutral, or negative in order to activate the trigger.

A Feedback rating trigger with a Survey set to Any, and an expanded drop down menu for the Action with the user selecting the “Left rating” option from choices of Any, Left rating, Left comment, and Left rating and comment. The points are set to 10

A Feedback rating trigger with a Survey set to Any, and an expanded drop down menu for the Action with the user selecting the “Positive rating” option from choices of Any, Positive rating, Neutral rating, and Negative rating. The points are set to 10

Assigning points to each trigger: 

Assigning points to individual triggers is an important part of setting up the VES. This is where you capture the relative importance of each visitor interaction. You can assign a score from 1-10. A 1 point event is the lowest score and indicates that the specified trigger only shows minimal engagement from the visitor, whereas an event with 10 points would be considered the highest sign of engagement from the visitor. 

Some visitor interactions might capture multiple triggers. 

Let’s say, for example, that you have: 

  • A trigger for “page view: URL contains ‘/product/” worth 1 point
  • Another trigger for “page view" contains "/interactive-guide/” worth 3 points

If a visitor in this scenario goes to the URL “” then this URL matches both triggers. A total of 4 (1+3) engagement points would result from this interaction.

Advice on configuring the VES 

It’s not about conversions – remember that! Configuring your hard conversions to be VES triggers with high scores will only skew your score towards being a conversion analysis where visitors that convert are also having a high VES. We offer the Key Metric and KPI features for those types of analysis. 

Rather, the VES is about focusing on all engagement that visitors do on your website. Leaving out the hard conversions from the VES trigger, it allows you to analyze the engagement of visitors as a separate metric which you can then correlate with Key Metric conversions. 

In other words, the traffic channel analysis lets you analyze where traffic is coming from, whereas conversion analysis lets you analyze who converts. The VES analysis is a metric that should be configured to show everything in between. 

Suggested configuration

You don’t have to create you own configuration in order to take advantage of the Visitor Engagement Score as we offer a default suggestion for all sites. The “Suggested triggers” can be used both alone or in combination with custom triggers, meaning that you use the default configuration as a foundation and then add additional triggers for data that you find relevant, such as event tracking or feedback surveys.

The default configuration measures engagement based on three triggers: 

  • When someone loads a page (All page views) we assign 1 point to the visit 
  • When a visitor clicks an outbound link to an external domain we assign 2 points to that visit 
  • If someone clicks a document link we assign an additional 3 points. By "additional" we mean that all document clicks also qualify as a page view and thus already get 1 point from the “All page views” trigger.

You can toggle the suggested triggers on/off as well as adjust the point scoring as you see fit.

Edit score screen with suggested triggers that include All page views, All outbound links, and All document views

You can reset the configuration to the default anytime by clicking the “Reset to default” button in the lower left of the configuration table. This will return your configuration to the initial suggestions as described above. The reset will not  be applied until after you click the Save button.

Reset to default button

Example of how the VES is calculated 

To best explain how the VES works here is an example of how the score is calculated for an imaginary visit to a website: 

A website,, has set up three triggers for their VES configuration:

Page view contains “/”= 1 point
Page view contains “/product/”= 2 points
Category contains “video”
Action contains “play”
Label is “any”
= 3 points

Visitor A goes to and then navigates to a page on the blog, From there, the visitor clicks a link to a product page,, and then proceeds to enable a video on the product page (that has event tracking set up). After that the visitor leaves the website. 

The score for this visit (visit A) would be calculated as follows:

TriggerTriggered byVES attribution to the visit
Page view contains "/" point
Page view contains "/" point
Page view contains "/" point
Page view contains "/product/" points
Category contains “video”
Action contains “play”
Label is “any”
Visitor activating video4 points
Total VES for visit
9 points

The VES for the visit above is 9. 

Let’s say there were two other visits (visit B and C) to the website during a selected period. The 2 other visits had VES of 10 and 13. The VES for the website during that period would be calculated as follows:

VisitVES for visit
Visit A9 points
Visit B10 points
Visit C13 points
Sum of VES32 points
Average VES for Site10.7 (32/3 = 10.666667)

The average VES being shown is a calculation of total amount of VES points / total visits. This calculation will adhere to the time period selected, to the Group selected, and to the Filter selected. 


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