What is Completion Rate and How to Measure It

Brock Munro
March 2, 2022
June 28, 2024
What is Completion Rate and How to Measure It

Completion rate can help digital marketers and publishers understand how engaging their content is for users.

Setting clear objectives for your marketing campaigns is an absolutely essential step, as it will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising efforts.

Google Analytics offers a range of metrics for you to track your success and make more informed decisions in the future.

However, by measuring completion rate, you can answer some essential questions regarding user behavior when interacting with either ads or a site’s content.

 Table of contents:

What is Completion Rate?

How is Completion Rate Calculated?

How Do You Track Completion Rate?

Pros and Cons of Completion Rate

Final Thoughts

What is Completion Rate?

Completion Rate

Completion rate is a metric for content engagement that measures how valuable and relevant your content is to users.

It refers to the number of users who complete predetermined business goals—also referred to as complete activities—that are key to your business growth.

A completed goal can range from finishing a blog post to playing a video to the end, subscribing to a newsletter to filling out the “Contact Us” form.

For instance, in the advertising industry, clicking on a video ad after watching it is an indicator that a user has progressed through the sales funnel.

In addition, the completion rate provides valuable information for evaluating your onboarding process.

How is Completion Rate Calculated?

How is Completion Rate Calculated

You can calculate your completion rate by dividing the number of users who completed a set goal by the number that activated a service.

For example, your team may want to calculate video completion rate to check whether users find the content engaging.

To find the completion rate they would tally the number of users who completed a 15-second video and compare it to the number of those that left before the video ended. For example, if 10 completed the video and 10 left, then the completion rate is 50%.

A low completion rate can happen for a number of different reasons: either the load time was too long, the video was not engaging or relevant enough, or the video duration was too long.

Business-related videos of up to a minute long have the highest completion rate, according to a recent study.

How Do You Track Completion Rate?

You can use Google Analytics or various other web analytics tools to track the completion rate of activities. 

It is possible to track these metrics manually, but they might not be as accurate as analytic services. 

Using such a service keeps your data in one place and can streamline the process of finding that information when needed.

Google Analytics offers two types of goal tracking: a granular approach that consists of four different goal types—destination, duration, pages/screens per session, and event—as well as Smart Goals.

Smart Goals are helpful for advertisers using Google Ads but have low session conversions. The process examines a range of signals about your website sessions and, using machine learning, Google Analytics automatically converts the most engaged visits into goals.

Tracking completion rate by one of the four goal types provides various information about user behavior on your site.  For instance, it can calculate how long users stay on your site, a specific page or screen they visit, the number of pages they look at, or actions they take.

Pros and Cons of Completion Rate

Calculating the completion rate helps evaluate the success of your marketing efforts as well as onboarding efforts.

In addition, it serves as an indicator of whether users understand your service.  A low completion rate suggests your team should analyze the data and readjust its approach to content.

On the other hand, completion rate isn’t as useful to companies that are just launching their service or are still hammering out their advertising process and don’t have much engagement data to work with in the first place. 

Given that, your team should focus on improving site traffic, rather than worrying about a low completion rate.

Final Thoughts

Using completion rate as an indicator of content engagement is an effective way of understanding user behavior and evaluating your marketing performance.

It provides information on whether your content is targeting the right audience and whether certain aspects need to be re-assessed.

In case you haven't tried measuring your completion rate, now is the time to leverage this metric to your advantage.

Publift helps digital publishers get the most out of the ads on their websites. Publift has helped its clients realize an average 55% uplift in ad revenue since 2015, through the use of cutting-edge programmatic advertising technology paired with impartial and ethical guidance.

If you’re making more than $2,000 in monthly ad revenue, contact us today to learn more about how Publift can help increase your ad revenue and best optimize the ad space available on your website or app.

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