What's the Score?

Engagement, that highly prized but elusive criteria for evaluating Web audiences, has a new yardstick courtesy of Web analytics firm WebTrends. Its Marketing Lab 2 product suite lets marketers attach specific values to each of their Web pages or interactions on those pages and then automatically calculate an engagement score for every visitor.

The appeal of WebTrends Marketing Lab 2 is that it applies a ratings system of sorts to the amorphous terrain of Web site engagement. Recently, Nielsen//NetRatings dropped page views in favor of time spent on a Web site as its primary metric for ranking Web properties.

But WebTrends maintains that time spent is limited as a measure because it doesn't tell marketers much about users' online behavior.

By contrast, WebTrends Score lets marketers assign points to a site visitor's quality of engagement based on different values assigned to Web pages or visitors' activities.

That information is used to better target users on an individual or collective basis, says a WebTrends spokesperson. The company hasn't announced any customers yet for Marketing Lab 2 but says implementations are already underway.