user engagement

Assessing User Engagement

By Gui Costin

Before you can assess and understand your user engagement, you should know what it is. User engagement is a measure of how individuals respond to your products or company presentation materials such as your company’s website or mobile applications. Downloads from that site, shares, or the total number of clicks on the website are all ways to measure your users’ engagement. If that activity results in subscriptions, purchases, memberships, etc., then your actively engaged users are helping you turn a profit because they have found value in your website or app. Sharing this with family and friends will result in more exposure and profit, as well as display an excellent platform for other related companies to advertise on.

Since different applications and websites have different targets, it can be challenging to find common methods to measure engagement. Therefore, no number of definitions of user engagement are alike. While engagement depends largely upon a company’s business model, solid metrics such as return daily users, cost-per-acquisition, and return on investment (ROI) are direct and easy to quantify. Unfortunately, no one can create an application that can measure the specifics of user engagement. You can count the number page views, new visitors, returning visitors, and conversions, but you have to look a little deeper than that to get to all the information you need.

User Engagement Metrics

Remember—each business is unique and you will need to apply these metrics to your specific business model. What’s considered good engagement for one company may not be what you see as good for yours, so always keep your core in mind.

Keep tabs on your daily, weekly, and monthly percentage of actual users: those individuals who engage with your site or app rather than simply download the app or just bring up your website. You want to look at the percentage of users who used a certain feature compared to all users who had the opportunity during that period of time. This translates to users who used a feature during the last day. Weekly users are the people who used it during the last seven days. Monthly would be all of those who used the feature in a 30-day period and so on.

You should also discover the average number of times a user performs a key action with the product or service. For example: how many products did a user order from the site or app during the previous month, or what the average number of miles jogged or walked an individual logged on their health tracking app. Be aware this particular metric is not applicable to every action taken by a user. You have to remain focused upon the interactions that are designed for the core experience.

Tracking time that passes between visits to or usage of a specific key feature or service is another manner of examining engagement. One assumes that the mean time between visits per user is reduced, the feature provides more tangible value to users. Therefore your goal would be to reduce that gap time. This quantifies the retention value of your app and provides for improvements. Time in the app is a function of session frequency and session length which tells how long users are staying in your app on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and similar to other mentioned metrics this also helps increase the understanding of the user behavior and app usage patterns.

The time period between the opening and closing of an app by the user, or in between the first activity and the last activity they perform is called session length. Longer session durations means more user engagement. Developers can use these numbers to identify customers who spend a lot of time on the site or app so they improve the experience for less-engaged users.

Looking at how well you are monetizing is called lifetime value (LTV). It is the total revenue that you earn from a user before they stop using your app. LTV can predict the amount of money your app would make in the future as well as what current profits show. It’s easiest to use this metric with a monthly average to evaluate how much money that user can generate over a period of time.

If you want to increase user engagement and users are not opening the app or website, you need to determine the answers to why is the user engaged with the site or app for the time they are, is there similar screen flow between users, and are users making purchases or just browsing? To keep and gain new users, optimizing and measuring for the correct engagement metrics is the key.

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