What is user engagement?

And why does it matter?

In this article, we’ll explain what user engagement is, why it matters, and how it impacts your bottom line. We’ll also cover the basics of improving user engagement for your website, app, or online presence.

What Is User Engagement?

Simply put, user engagement refers to how frequently and how long a user interacts with your website, app, or other product.

The exact definition varies slightly from industry to industry and from product to product. But for software, apps, and digital media, this is the most appropriate and useful definition.

Why does it matter?

It matters because engagement and behavior are directly connected to a person’s level of interest. The more time a person spends engaged with a product, the more invested they are in that product. Not only does this produce more opportunities for monetization, it also increases brand awareness and a user’s connection with that brand.

Ultimately, a product’s success or failure can be correlated with user engagement.

Why the term “engagement?”

People invest time, energy, and emotion into using a product, so many businesses use the term “engage” instead of just “use.”

As with every other form of online behavior, engagement is measured and analyzed through the use of analytics and metrics. Engagement is typically derived from interactions, such as click-throughs, downloads, screen time, comments on a blog post, social media likes or retweets, and so on.

A website, for example, may track its user engagement by analyzing the number of page views and the average time spent on those pages. This metric can then be used as a performance indicator and a benchmark for user engagement. Over time, this number should increase.

The business’s job is to find ways to improve user engagement over time, since the bottom line usually depends on the amount of time users spend engaged with a product or service.

Tracking and Improving User Engagement

Measuring and improving user engagement will depend on the nature of your product.

An ecommerce website, for instance, should focus on its core usage pattern: the shopping experience. People who browse more frequently, find what they’re looking for, and make more purchases will be considered more engaged. Tracking engagement on an ecommerce site would revolve around website usability, shopping cart abandonment rates, success or failure of recommendation systems, and so forth.

A news site or blog, on the other hand, may earn revenue from ads or affiliate products. The more time users spend reading articles, the more opportunity there is for monetization. While ecommerce sites may place more weight on sales, content-based sites should focus more heavily on time.

Apps typically measure engagement by the number of app launches, time spent in app, and the number and type of interactions completed within an app. Like the other products mentioned here, app engagement rates should focus on the core function of an app.

A social media app, for instance, often involves checking statuses or posting quick updates, so the length of engagement time could be relatively short. News apps or music apps, on the other hand, should be longer. Shopping apps could be long or short, depending on the nature of the product – but, as mentioned, completed sales would weigh into the equation more heavily.

As you can see, user engagement will be defined differently based on the type of product in question. To measure it effectively, work outwards from the core function of your product or service. Find out not just if people are using your app, but if they are invested in it.

Principles of User Engagement

Usability and engagement are tied closely together. Since the online world is a goal-driven medium, it’s important to facilitate the goals of those users to keep them engaged. Bombarding users with irrelevant ads or information that doesn’t add value is the quickest way to lose users and revenue.

To increase engagement, you should focus on the user experience. Here are a few tips for doing just that:

  • Help users achieve their goals.
  • Create content and user interfaces that fit the device and the platform.
  • Create content and ads that are relevant and personalized.
  • Find out your product’s strengths and weaknesses, then improve on your strengths and fix what needs fixing.
  • Develop content that is visually rich and interactive.

Ultimately, your goal should be focusing on adding value to your users. The more relevance, value, and meaning they obtain from your product or service, the more they will stay engaged.

Solutions such as In Tag, for instance, are specifically designed to improve the user experience. This website monetization tool matches user intent with a visually rich UI to deliver targeted tags, enhancing the user experience and creating strong engagement. This type of monetization tool is able to deliver content that is relevant and valuable.

Regardless of your product or service, whether it’s a website, an app, or a video game, you’ll need to improve user engagement to stay competitive in today’s digital marketplace. To do that, focus on adding value and optimizing the end user’s experience.