Measuring user engagement, improving on it, and allowing it to drive your decisions is one of the key ingredients for success in today's low-attention-span, technologically driven world. It is key to keeping sales high, it is key to making your business stand out, it is key to getting outside attention from the media and investors.
But how do you actually measure customer engagement? How do you improve the way users interact with your website/platform? What actually is user engagement? Are there specific metrics you can measure? These are all pivotal questions that need answers if you're going to tackle this topic, and in this blog post, we'll go over all of them and more! You'll learn everything you need to know about user engagement metrics, how to measure them, and ways they can inform your business decisions.
What Are User Engagement Metrics?
Measuring user engagement is actually very tricky. How would you go about defining it? No single metric is capable of measuring everything pertaining to it. If you measure the number of visitors, this misses how these visitors actually interact with your website. If you measure time spent on a specific page, that doesn't capture your website's ability to continue retaining that user's attention after they've left the website.
To accurately measure user engagement, you need to keep track of a few metrics that all act as a piece of the puzzle that will help you capture just how engaging your platform is and give you ways to improve on it.
Why Should You Care About User Engagement Metrics?
Measuring user engagement is highly valuable for businesses, no matter their size or industry. It has a number of highly thought-after benefits that simply make it a must if your website/platform is a meaningful part of your business:
- User engagement impacts revenues: Monthly active users, average session duration, and user interactions are all directly correlated with revenues from your platform/website in one way or another. You need to keep users engaged and ensure you create a base of recurring visitors if you want to continue growing your revenues online, and popular/key engagement metrics all help you towards that goal.
- User engagement metrics help identify problem areas: Do new users find certain aspects of your platform confusing? Do certain design choices prevent users from engaging with aspects of your website? Are there elements that harmfully impact the conversion rate? These are all questions you can learn the answer to by closely measuring relevant metrics and acting on the information they provide.
- User engagement metrics can inform business decisions: making the right business decisions is difficult. Many businesses flounder, suffer from unsuccessful launches, fail to expand, etc. So, the means by which you can make more informed decisions is highly important, and user engagement metrics provide precisely that. They give you insight into what keeps your users engaged, what draws new users, what types of products your daily active users are looking for, and much more. And all this information, if properly used, can help you make smarter, more successful business decisions that will not only make your business more profitable in the short term, but they'll also help your business stay healthy in the long term.
- User engagement metrics can help you understand your customers/clients better: Getting information about your users is highly important in today's tech-driven world. Businesses often spend millions of dollars to buy user information from third-party sources. But why do that when you can learn important information about user behavior from key metrics you can measure yourself? You can learn about their interests, purchasing habits, their feature usage, and much more. Each one of these pieces of information is invaluable to businesses.
3 Key Metrics to Track
If you want to track engagement, there isn't just one way to do it. Keeping track of a few key metrics to help you get a holistic picture of how your new and existing users interact with your platform is very important, and in this section, we'll go over 5 key metrics that you need to learn about.
#1 DAU, WAU, and MAU
Daily active users (DAU), weekly active users (WAU), and monthly active users (MAU), in combination, are probably some of the most important metrics you can use to track engagement. Not only do they tell you about the number of users, but they can track site engagement on a larger time scale allowing you to check unique users, churn rate, engaged users, and more.
Why Do DAU, WAU, and MAU Matter
- They are easy to track and simple to understand: keeping track of daily, weekly, and monthly active users is incredibly easy, and it directly correlates to important information and user engagement. This makes these metrics very simple to understand and draw conclusions from. It isn't always easy to understand what a metric means, but if your MAU is on a downward slide, you can be certain something is wrong.
- They are some of the most popular user engagement metrics: Due to their utility and the amount of information they can impart about both existing and new users despite being very easy to collect, DAU, WAU, and MAU are some of the most popular metrics business and website owners keep track of. If there are only a single set of metrics you can use to measure and improve user engagement, it should probably be these. They're just that useful.
Tips on Measuring DAU, WAU, and MAU
- Learn how DAU, WAU, and MAU complement each other: Though DAU, WAU, and MAU are all very similar metrics, understanding their differences is key to fully utilizing these metrics. DAU vs MAU, for example, is a very important distinction that can help you distinguish between new users and recurring users based on their number of visits during a monthly period. WAU vs DAU could be a way to shield yourself from daily fluctuations in the data in certain industries when measuring the customer engagement metric.
- There are easy tools to help you measure DAU, WAU, and MAU: Tools like Google Analytics can easily help you keep track of DAU, WAU, and MAU through some easy steps. It doesn't cost money and it won't require a lot of technical expertise. Relying on these tools can really help make the process much easier.
#2 User Retention Rate
User retention rate is a rather self-explanatory metric that refers to the rate at which your website/platform retains users. This is not only an important engagement metric, but it is also indicative of the long-term health of a business. Businesses that fail to retain users over a prolonged period of time will ultimately fail.
Why Does User Retention Rate Matter
- Retaining users is cheaper than acquiring new ones: Multiple studies and industry surveys have shown that retaining customers is far cheaper, often by orders of magnitude, than acquiring new ones. You need to gain new users' trust, teach them about your services/products, and slowly convert them into paying customers. However, if a customer has already bought your services/products, they're much easier to convince. And no customer engagement metrics capture customer loyalty as well as User Retention Rate does.
- Low user retention rates reveal fundamental flaws in a business model: Low retention rates show fundamental flaws in business models. No business can really stay sustainable if it scores lower than average retention rates for a prolonged period of time. If this happens, alarms should be sounded quickly so the business can change course. Measuring User Retention Rate allows you to learn about this quickly.
Tips on Measuring User Retention Rate
- User retention rates vary across industries: Not all industries have similar retention rates. B2B companies need to have much higher retention rates than e-commerce for example. While measuring retention is very important, contextualizing it is necessary if you want to get value out of it.
- User retention rate isn't a customer satisfaction score: While retention rate is closely associated with customer satisfaction, that might not always be the case. Poor marketing, lack of follow-ups, and confusing services could all be causes for low retention rates. It is important to not jump to conclusions when measuring user retention rate.
#3 Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of visitors that quickly "bounce out" of your website when they visit without engaging with any of the other pages or making any purchases. The bounce rate is a good indicator of people's first impression of your services and influences conversion rates.
Why Does Bounce Rate Matter
- The bounce rate is as important as page views: What's the value of having a new user visit your website every second if he/she immediately moves on to another website? Measuring the number of visitors alone doesn't give you a good picture of just how attractive your services and products are to the target audience. The bounce rate completes the picture and tells you how unique visitors interact with your website.
- A way to measure customer experience: Bounce rate is one of the key performance indicators that help you gauge the user experience. Is the UI too cluttered? Is wording confusing? Does the page not contain the information the visitor is looking for? You can answer all these questions and more if you collect data on the bounce rate.
Tips on Measuring Bounce Rate
- Measure all landing pages: It is important to measure the bounce rate of all important pages on the website. This gives you a complete picture of how users engage with different aspects of your platform. Maybe only specific products have high bounce rates and a low conversion rate? Maybe returning users are all due to a few low-bounce-rate pages? These are questions you'll only be able to answer if you measure the bounce rate comprehensively.
- Make sure to measure bounce rates from different sources: bounce rates from different sources will likely be very different. Maybe your marketing campaign is ineffective? Maybe users find you through organic search from Google generally find your products/services appealing? Only when you segment users and try to differentiate between different sources of traffic will you be able to pinpoint where the problem lies precisely.
Understanding your users is very important if you want to run a successful business. While directly asking for user feedback is important and useful, having concrete ways to measure and track user engagement metrics is very important as it gives you longitudinal data you can use and analyze. In this article, we went over some important engagement metrics, their utility, and how to go about measuring them. Each one of these metrics will give you key insights about how to improve user engagement.
- Releasecat Team
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