Copy/Paste Per Visit – A Website Engagement Signal You Should Measure?

Copy/Paste Per Visit – A Website Engagement Signal You Should Measure?

We’ve been talking about the Fake UX phenomenon a lot recently. The idea that website engagement is so closely tied to ad revenue and SEO is pretty eye-opening if you’re a digital publisher. This has a lot of publishers scrambling to better understand how visitors engage with their content and what website elements can help them increase engagement and lengthen the user session the most.

copy/paste per visit user experience engagement

Being able to identify problems like Navigation Bounces are important. And, being able to understand what may by affecting Engagement Time in positive and negative ways is critical as well; however, Copy/Paste Per Visit is an interesting new metric that is also surprisingly connected to website engagement.

What’s more, website owners and webmasters may be surprised just how many users are copy/pasting content from their sites, and just how much this may be benefiting them financially and with search engines like, Google…

What is Copy/Paste Per Visit?

This is probably pretty easy to guess, but…

Copy/Paste Per Visit is the number of times a visitor copies a piece of content from a publisher’s website during a user session.

Example: A visitor lands on a publisher site via organic search, navigates to a specific article, and copies a small amount of text (or an image) from the site. This would be 1 copy/paste for the visit.

website engagement copy pasting

How we measure copy/paste

We measure copy/paste using a javascript event that we attach an event handler to, Most publishers have the ability to do this as well (more here)A handler for this event can modify the provided ClipboardEvent.clipboard Data object by calling setData(format, data).

copy paste tracking and website engagement

This is a simple process that would allow any website to track when a visitor is copy/pasting content from the site itself.

Is Copy/Paste Per Visit indicative of website engagement?

Is this somethign you should be tracking as a publisher? The answer is slightly different for every site; as it is somewhat relative. Below, you can a reference site that has a consistent, but average, Copy/Paste Per Visit.

copy pasting and user experience

This next shot is from a non-reference site that drives a lot of traffic from social media. As you can see, it is higher than the reference site above but much more inconsistent.

copy paste social media

It’s very important to understand how users are engaging with content. As we’ve seen before, engagement time and engaged pageviews have a direct correlation to ad revenue and search rankings. See what pages and landing pages produce the highest engagement may give you some really valuable data about your audience and content. Imagine, if you were seeking to build out new content that would engage your audience and become a point of reference for them. This would be a great way to find existing content on your site like this.

devices that produce better mobile enaggement

As you can see above, it varies pretty considerably by page and device type. Compare this with the type of traffic headed to these landing pages, and you’ll have a nice window into certain types of content on your site are being used by different segments of visitors.

trend in visitor engagement

It is common for sites to have a direct correlation between Copy/Paste Per Visit and Engagement Time. This furthers the point that — on many sites — this is very important to visitor engagement and overall user satisfaction with your site. This site, for example, features a lot of content about song lyrics. Not something you would inherently think is copied a lot, but actually is by a large subset of website visitors for this publisher.

engaged time on website metrics

It is not surprising that we see the example same correlation between Engaged Pageviews Per Visit and Copy/Paste Per Visit on this same site. It further drives home how important this metric actually is to visitor engagement on this site.

This site added some new elements to their mobile navigation during the second week of May that caused a much higher number of overall pageviews but a lower number of Engaged Pageviews and much lower Copy/Paste Per Visit. It was easy for the publisher to see these changes and make necessary corrections before months had passed.

Understanding Copy/Paste Per Visit can help safe guard you against the ravages of Fake UX. If you were able to see a steep decline in a site’s Copy/Paste Per Visit — or even a single pages — you could then explore what changes to the site could have perhaps caused this issue before revenue and SEO is affected.

engaged pageviews

Overall, increasing website engagement is a good investment for improving website revenue and organic search traffic; as we’ve been able to consistently demonstrate a correlation between session revenue and engagement. Additionally, there are some pretty solid principles about a lack of engagement and the dilution of ad value over time as well.

How to use Copy/Paste Per Visit metrics

Copy/Paste Per Visit can help publishers better understand how visitors are interacting with their site as a whole and on their individual pages. It can help publishers understand when engagement may be affected by different website elements or ad placements. It can also offer some insights into what new content may create better engagement for certain types of visitors.

Ezoic publishers can access copy/paste data by site, page, and device type using UX Metrics in their publisher reporting dashboards. Any publisher can sign-up to use Ezoic and leverage these metrics. If you’re not currently using Ezoic, this information can be gathered using the JS directions above and Google Analytics.

Is Copy/Paste Per Visit higher than you expected on your site?  What types of content do you think users copy the most?

Author: Tyler Bishop

Tyler is an award-winning marketer, SEO expert, and successful blogger. He has composed content for some of the world's top publications and has written about business, psychology, sports, martial arts, and pop culture.

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