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User Engagement Metrics for Apps and Websites

The goal for business owners is to engage their users with their business, because engagements lead to sales and revenues. But how can you know if users are engaged with your digital product?

The ultimate goal for business owners is to engage their users with their business, because engagements lead to sales and revenues. But how can you know if users are engaged with your digital product (website or mobile application)? Well, there must be some metrics or values you could track to know if users are engaging with your product or not. We are going to elaborate more upon these metrics hereunder. But, before that, let’s define what user engagement means.

User Engagement

User engagement measures whether users find value in a product or service. It is is a business communication connection between an external stakeholder and an organization through various channels of correspondence. This connection can be a reaction, interaction, effect or overall customer experience, which takes place online and offline.

User Engagement Metrics

Total Number of Users

The total number of users can be seen by Daily Active Users (DAUs), Weekly Active Users (WAUs) or Monthly Active Users (MAUs), during different time periods. It can further be broken down by the device, age, demography, gender, and many other categories. The perfect tool to use to have access to these numbers is Google Analytics, a Google Inc. product. These measurements help you see on which time periods how many people used your digital product and if it is a growing number (a good sign for your business) or it is decreasing (sad news!). Users also indicate the traffic of your website (which is a common term you hear when people talk about websites). Remember, this metric can be used both for websites and apps.

  • The key lies in how you define “active users.” Is a user signed in enough to define them as active? Perhaps it is better to measure a more valuable action like doing something on your website.

Stickiness

Stickiness is calculated as the ratio of Daily Active Users (DAU) to Monthly Active Users (MAU). A stickiness percentage of 50% means that the average user of your app is using it 15 out of 30 days that month, or in other words, your users return 15 days in a month. The bigger this number, the more engaged your users seem to be with your product.

Number of Downloads

Have you developed an app? If yes, one of the most important numbers for you to track is the number of times your app has been downloaded on people’s devices. Understanding and tracking the source of your app installs are also very important. This will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and advertising channels, and consequently, to invest your marketing budget where it is currently working for you.

Pageviews

Pageviews are also an indicator of traffic on your website. Pageviews are the most basic of all user engagement metrics, measuring an instance of a user visiting a particular page on your website. Measuring pageviews can help you to understand how often people visit your website. It can also give you an insight into how good your SEO practices are, since search engines are often the biggest drivers of traffic to websites.

Pageviews show traffic but without tying in the context of other related metrics, they can’t help you to fully understand the meaning behind these numbers. As a simple rule of thumb, when `your pageviews increase, it means that the changes you implemented to your campaigns or website content are working — at least in terms of driving traffic.

Improving site load speed, considering the implications of your design on usability, and making sure that your website is mobile-optimized and interesting enough, and promoting the website across different channels to get more clicks and visits are the ways you can increase the number of pageviews with.

Time on Site / Time in App

This defines the time a user spends on your page or stays on your app. This time is a function of session frequency and session length which tells how long users are staying in your app (or on your website) on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Another term widely used in this category is “Average Session Duration”. This metric is the length of an average session (Session Duration) over a specific time period, divided by the total number of sessions over a specific time period. Average Session Duration (Time on Site /  Time in App) is available on the Google Analytics panel.

The problem with using timestamps to track activity is that it cannot track the time spent on the exit page. The exit page is the last page the visitor sees before they exit the website completely. This means that if a visitor spends 5 minutes on your website but does not visit another page, Google Analytics has no way of knowing or recording this. So if someone only visited one page and exited it, Google Analytics records the session duration as 0, regardless of how much time they actually spent on your website. Thus, the values of average session duration and time spent on page reported are usually lower than what they actually are and should not be taken at face value.

Retention

There are different definitions for the term “Retention”:

Classic Retention – Range Retention – Rolling or Return Retention

To learn more about Retention and how it is calculated, read our article “All About Retention”.

However, they have something similar in their core. Retention is the percentage of users that return to your app within a specific time. In fact, stickiness and retention go together to get a better idea on how users interact with the app. Retention tracking displays your most engaged users. It’s good sense to focus on retaining rather than acquiring new ones, because it usually costs less money and effort. No need to mention that nowadays most marketing efforts are focused on increasing customer satisfaction.

By making some key changes to the onboarding flow of the product, based on the behavior of both groups of users who retain and who not, you can increase the retention rate and, consequently, reduce churn.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is inversely proportional to the average session duration, meaning, as the bounce rate increases, the average session duration decreases. Actually, the bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a website that exit after only viewing one page. For example, if during a specific time period 100 people open your website and 34 of them close it without clicking on anything (or going to another page on the website), your bounce rate would be 34%.

The bounce rate gives you an idea of how your landing pages are working. Are they good enough or stating your mission clearly? Do they load fast enough? Dies what you offer as a product of service entice viewers to explore more? If people are leaving without taking any action, you are probably not doing a great job there. You might have high traffic numbers but if you also have high bounce rates, this means your content isn’t making website visitors stick around.

This user engagement metric can also be followed on Google Analytics’ panel. However, keep in mind that if users don’t take an action on your website and quit (no matter they have been on the page for one second or one hour), Google will count it as a bounced visit. So, create call to actions and clickable parts on your landing page to prevent your bounce rates from increasing. Look at your pages with high engagement rates and low bounce rates. Try to figure out what you might have done right on those pages and apply it to other pages.

Conversion Rate

If there are any actionable features within your website or app like signing up, making a transaction, downloading your app or a document from your landing page, submitting a form, or giving a review, you’ll want to measure how many users are getting converted to that goal target.

Conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors that complete desired actions. By calculating the conversion rate at different stages in your funnel, you may get an idea where the users are dropping off and your efforts are being lost.

Most social media platforms like Facebook have their own built-in analytics tools that can be used to track conversion rates. Other than that, you can define your goals on Google Analytics and track them easily.

Conversions are the end goal for the business, because they mean that users have reached a certain point we expected them to. Which is why conversion rate optimization (CRO) is something that needs to be considered.

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