Jan 04 2011

4 Tools To Engage Your Online Audience

Category: conversion rate optimizationTom Shivers


Models the first few seconds of scene analysis by the brain of your landing page. It doesn’t require actual people to interact with your page and you get results instantly! Basically, it’s an instant heat map of your landing page without having to do expensive eye tracking studies or time consuming mouse tracking data analysis.
landing page eye tracking heat map
I created a free account to get a heat map for one of my client’s sites; it was easy: capture a screen shot of the page, then upload it to my account. You can wait a minute or log in later to get a downloadable pdf of the heat map and an offer with it. It shows you where most eyeballs look first, second, third… within a few seconds of loading the page. All web designers should know about this tool.

Five second tests help you easily identify the most prominent elements of your user interfaces. I did this by registering for a free account and creating a new test. I simply took a screen shot of one of my web pages, uploaded it to my account and let it run. Within a few hours I had several responses. Most people remembered “Capture Commerce” and “SEO”; hmm, I think they got it for a five second glimpse. It’s a great tool for verifying brand messages and getting instant feedback.

PostRank Analytics
PostRank Analytics tracks engagement events. Engagement events are individual activities performed using specific social networks, sites, or applications. One tweet is an engagement event, for example, so is posting one comment, or voting one digg.

It’s fairly straight forward to setup your account with PostRank and you’ll need to grant access to the social network accounts you want tracked. PostRank can also import your Google Analytics data to compare traffic with engagement events. You’ll add your blog feed and if you want, add custom pages of your site for tracking.

Within your analytics, click the Analyze button to quickly see which blog posts and/or custom pages got the most engagement points from the different social networks. Click Optimize to see your top influencers on each social network along with demographics and tips on how to gain more engagement on each network.

PostRank tracks the following:

  • Pageviews within RSS feed readers and PostRank widgets
  • Clicks within RSS feed readers and PostRank widgets
  • The number of comments on an item
  • Google trackbacks or links to the item from other sites
  • Comments, likes, votes, mentions and bookmarks across 15 different social sites (including the users and their comments who pushed the buttons in many cases)

PostRank scoring is based on analysis of the “5 Cs” of engagement: creating, critiquing, chatting, collecting, and clicking. There are many ways to apply PostRank’s content scoring system.

postrank analytics analyze social engagmentA few ways I use the scoring is to identify:

  • engaging topics
  • the hottest blog post of the month
  • social sites my target audience is using
  • blog authors that write the most engaging stuff

You also get a daily engagement report emailed from PostRank that displays engagement points and activity from the previous two days.

Feedback Army – simple and cheap usability testing for websites
To start a usability test for your site, complete a form by providing 4-6 questions for the reviewers about the site. You can select 10 reviewers for $15 or take it up to 50 reviewers for more cash. Make your payment, then wait a few hours or a few days to get your results. The reviewers come from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – a host of individuals who handle small tasks for small amounts of money.

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3 Responses to “4 Tools To Engage Your Online Audience”

  1. ronika says:

    Except for PostRank, I hadn’t heard of any of these. Looking forward to checking them out.

  2. Pete Carr says:

    Hi Tom,
    I like the Attention Wizard, how cool is that. Will get an account there now.
    I also like Page Rank Analytics, I can see how useful this would be, like you say, use it for a weekly report to see your top posts. I like.

  3. The Visible Dentist says:

    I love this post! In addition to visibility in the search engines, a website’s accessibility and its conversion ratio is very important to the owner’s success. Knowing where site visitors focus their attention ultimately helps the webmaster determine how best to direct visitors to the central call to action. Thanks for highlighting tools that make this job easier.

    John Barremore
    Houston, TX