Using Google Analytics and Quill Engage to Measure Content Engagement

July 22, 2014 Mickey Rausch

Since we launched our Quill Engage app for Google Analytics earlier this year, we have had thousands of users sign up for our insightful and convenient reports. For one particular audience – content providers and bloggers – it is important to know how site visitors are engaging with their content, which means they use Google Analytics in a slightly different manner than traditional e-commerce marketers.

In this post, we’ve outlined the metrics most frequently measured and the basic engagement metrics available in Google Analytics to help out those “not-so-analytics-savvy” content providers. Quill Engage is a highly effective reporting tool for these metrics, and we’ll explain why.

Where Do I Start?

The area within Google Analytics to look first is located in the ‘Behavior’ section of the reporting dashboard: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. This report will show you which of your website pages is receiving the most traffic and the time spent on each page. You can review this list and drill down to specific pages to see the trends over time to answer questions like, “are the number of page views to a specific article or blog post increasing?” and “are visitors spending more or less time on my site than in past?”


Are People Coming Back for More?

Another important metric for content providers is the number of returning visitors vs. new visitors. One of the goals of content providers to is keep visitors coming back on a regular basis to read new material. In the ‘Audience’ section of Google Analytics under Behavior > New vs Returning, you can run a report for a specific time period to tell you how this ratio is performing. Ideally, you will want to see returning visitors increasing over time. You can also determine how many times these returning visitors came back to your site by looking at the ‘Frequency and Recency’ report under the same section and adjusting the dates to your reporting needs. This is very valuable information for determining if your audience is engaging with the content you are providing and coming back for more!


How Are People Finding My Site?

From where are these visitors coming to your site? How are they finding you? Google Analytics provides this answer in the ‘Acquisition’ section. If you go to Acquisition > Channels this will give you a general idea of which channel is driving the most readers. Is Organic Search sending me more visitors or are they finding me through Direct Traffic? Which Acquisition channel has the highest number of page views or the longest pages per session? The answers to these questions can all be found in the ‘Acquisitions’ section of Google Analytics. You can then drill down to specific sites within these channel categories to see more information, or go to the ‘Referrer” section in ‘Acquisitions’ to see which specific websites have delivered these visitors to your door.


The Answer!

The best news for you as a content provider? Once you know what all of these metrics mean to your business, you can use Quill Engage to get a summary of results and understand what’s most interesting and important for you to drill into further. Your weekly and monthly reports will pinpoint decreases and increases in page views and will let you know if audiences are now spending more time on a certain page than in the past. Also, a dynamically generated chart showing the new referrers to your website will draw attention to new traffic sources that you might want to research further. A very convenient snapshot of all of the metrics Google Analytics provides delivered to you for FREE!

As Jackie Moreau, a digital content provider and Quill Engage customer, says:

Quill Engage is a huge time saver for people who work in the world of Google Analytics and manage a lot of digital content. Quill Engage will be especially helpful for people who are just getting started with Google Analytics. Quill Engage puts a bevy of information into polished, readable language.

For more information and to sign up, visit Or feel free to email us at with your questions and feedback.


Mickey Rausch is the Lead Support for Quill Engage at Narrative Science. Connect with Mickey on Google+ and Twitter.

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