Harnessing the Engagement Value Scale to Measure Audience Engagement in Sitecore
A number of clients I’ve worked with have implemented the Sitecore platform, but I’m often surprised by how many underleverage or have yet to even set up EVS – otherwise known as the Engagement Value Scale. The marketers at these companies may not realize they’re missing out on a powerful tool that provides the measurement foundation for A/B testing and personalization – which can, in turn, provide an optimized and more relevant experience for their audience.
The Engagement Value Scale (EVS) is a Sitecore measurement methodology used to measure the engagement level of visitors. Desired user actions, called “goals,” are identified and given a point-based value.
The EVS point system is configurable but typically uses a 100-point scale. Low-value actions are given a low value (e.g., 5 points), while high-value actions are given a high value (e.g., 100 points). As visitors come to your site, they are given an EVS score based on their actions. This score is cumulative, meaning that the more a user engages with the site, the higher their EVS score will be.
Higher-priority goals, such as requesting a call or requesting pricing in the B2B example below, are given a higher value, but fewer of those goals exist. Lower-priority goals, such as watching a video or signing up for a newsletter, are given a lower value, but more actions on the site may be defined as low-priority.
Different types of goals require different actions from visitors, as well as different implementation approaches in Sitecore.
- Page view goals are simple goals that are completed simply by visiting a specific page of content (for example, visiting a product page or viewing schematics). These goals can easily be added by content authors.
- Interaction goals require a visitor to complete a more complex interaction (for example, searching for a where-to-buy application, completing a contact form or watching 95 percent of a video) and typically require development effort to implement.
High-, Medium- and Low-Value Goals
Source: The SBOS™ board game
Why EVS Matters
EVS provides a way to measure the engagement level of visitors to your website
The metrics collected through EVS are what will be used to measure results of advanced functionality in Sitecore, such as A/B and multivariate testing, and personalization.
Additionally EVS goals and scores can be used in conditional rules to trigger personalization.
EVS and Personalization
A visitor’s EVS score can be used as a condition for a personalization rule. For example, if a visitor has an EVS score of 150 or higher, the site can then be configured to display an offer for high-value content. Goals can also be used as the conditional trigger for personalization in conjunction with or exclusive from the EVS score.
Let’s take a look at some of the metrics EVS can help you track.
Value per Visit
Simply put, “value per visit” is the total EVS points earned by all visitors, divided by the number of visits. Say my site receives 100 visits in a given timeframe, and cumulatively those visits earn 3,000 points. The average value per visit in this hypothetical situation is 30.
This metric reflects the overall engagement of your audience and can be indicative of the quality of the traffic to a website. If the value per visit declines as the overall traffic to a site increases, it may suggest a need to further optimize the experience in order to drive deeper engagement with new visitors. Explore the tactics you’re using to drive traffic and identify the interests of those visitors, and then make sure your experience delivers. This may also reveal additional EVS goals you should consider.
Sitecore also tracks the completion of specific goals and can provide visibility regarding what users are doing on the website. This can reveal if users are actually completing your most valuable goals. In addition to reviewing these metrics to understand what users are doing, I like to use this to inform tweaks to EVS point values. For example, if a goal is important to the business, but has a low conversion rate I may suggest increasing the point value of that goal – as well as exploring optimization opportunities in the experience to improve the conversion rate.
Accessing EVS Reports
From the Sitecore Launchpad, click the icon for “Experience Analytics.”
In the upper-right corner of the “Experience Analytics” screen, select the time period and the website if you have multiple sites on your Sitecore instance.
To access reports on specific goal completion, select “Goals” from the “Conversions” section of the left-side navigation.
Setting up EVS Goals in Sitecore
Setting up goals is an easy four-step process:
- Identify and prioritize goals for your business, and assign appropriate scores.
- Configure goals into the Marketing Control Panel. This can be updated as needed in the future.
- Work with your development team or integration partner to program the goals requiring development effort to measure into the Sitecore application components.
- Goals triggered by page views are associated with relevant pages as a part of the content entry process.
If you don’t have EVS set up, I urge you to get started! Plan out some goals, set them up, look at the data and optimize if needed. It’s never too soon to take advantage of the more advanced functionality within Sitecore, and utilizing EVS is a great step forward.
Tim Lemke, VP of Creative Technology, Barefoot Proximity