How to measure and track user engagement on your website

Learn how users engage and interact with your WordPress website

Once your website is up and running, it’s essential to monitor its performance so you can properly gauge the effectiveness of your venture. This will allow you to run successful marketing campaigns and convert more visitors into buyers. A website that performs poorly and doesn’t convert hinders your business. Essentially, this means you won’t be able to successfully grab people’s attention. It’s not good if little to no people are interested in what you have to offer on your website.

Eliminate problems that affect user engagement

Measure user engagement
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However, you can eliminate most of these problems. You can prevent them by measuring how users interact with your website and how engaged they are. Any professional digital marketer and webmaster should know how to use web analytics tools. Studies show that customer retention is 14 percent higher among firms using effective analytics tools to track their website visitors.

The facts and figures gathered from analytics tools can help you improve your website for better conversions. You can adjust and tweak your website design and optimize your content to strengthen your marketing strategy. But how do you know what to monitor to properly measure user engagement and the effectiveness of your website? Here are some metrics you could keep an eye on. Try to use these metrics to track and analyze user engagement on your website:

1. Visitor frequency

Gain from returning visitors
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Among the essential metrics that measure a site’s performance is visitor recency. This will help you monitor how often people visit your website. Do your visitors come back daily, weekly, monthly or even not at all? If you have a very low percentage of returning visitors on your website, this may be a sign that something is wrong. Your website possibly could be improved (depending on your business industry), which would be worth analyzing.

Returning visitors

If you have a high number of returning visitors, this usually means your users are engaged, which is good. They voluntarily check your content and what you have to offer on a regular basis. This may be a clear sign that your products or services are reliable and worthy of a recurring visit or purchase. If most visitors on your site are one-time visitors, then you need to carefully analyze the possible aspects that could have led them to abandon your website.

2. Core user actions

Push Button
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Another means to assess the user engagement on your website is to evaluate the core user actions. The core user actions will depend on what your website offers. For instance, if you’ve made an online social game, the act of joining the game is a core user action. If your website does not have a quantifiable service, such as playing the game, one way to measure the core user action is via call-to-actions. For example opting in or signing up for a newsletter.

If your site has a sign-up button, the number of people who click on that button to sign up to your newsletter or do a particular action will tell how engaged they actually are with your site. The mere fact that they have taken the time to respond to your CTA and to interact with your services is proof that your overall user interface is good. Which also means your website is converting.

3. Average time spent on your website

Stopwatch
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Aside from knowing how frequently people visit your site, you must also know how long they stay on your web pages. If your website has a lot of content, yet the average visit only lasts for a few seconds, there usually is a problem. For example this could imply that your content is not engaging enough to encourage your visitors to stay. You could work on your content and make it more attractive.

Among issues with your content and other factors, another possible reason for site abandonment could be performance. If your website takes too much time to load, it could result in impatient visitors who possibly will abandon your site. Whatever reason there is that leads to site abandonment, this is a sign that you may need to find ways to improve your website. This not only includes optimizing your site’s speed and overall performance, but may also affect other things:

Figure out the root of the problem

Online Marketing
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Try to assess why many people are leaving your website too early. Determine if it’s your content, your site’s loading time, or your user interface and design that makes your visitors leave too soon. You could use performance measurement tools such as GTMetrix, Pingdom or Google Page Speed Insights to measure how fast your pages are loading.

If you suspect your content is the problem, consider hiring a professional copywriter to re-write the content on your website for better conversion and interaction. You could also use tools such as Peek User Testing which can help you see your website through regular visitor’s eyes. This could possibly pinpoint problems on your website you weren’t aware of.

Check your website’s bounce rates

Bounce Rate
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Having a high bounce rate on your website means that many visitors immediately leave your site after opening the landing page or the first page they’ve seen. If your website has a low bounce rate, then your visitors explore multiple web pages or take a lot of time staying on your site.

Address problems immediately

Solve Problems
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Of course it always depends on your business industry and the purpose of your website. But usually your goal should be to keep your bounce rate as low as possible. Keep a close eye on your analytics tools and the key is to use the metrics wisely. If you see issues on your website, try to address these issues as soon as possible. This will avoid losing conversions and not risk valuable business.

Conclusion: Improve user engagement on your website

In this article we’ve covered some common metrics that webmasters could use to track user engagement. If these metrics on your website show good results, your site is on its way to become successful. If you have many regular visitors who read and interact with your content or regular customers who buy your products or services, that is a sign your company has real value.

If your users respond to your call to actions, that usually means you have taken care of your site’s user experience as well. If people spend a lot of time on your site, that means your content is engaging enough. It also shows that the site’s overall performance is good. These are the signs of a successful venture, which may lead to high conversion rates and increased revenue. Do you have other successful ways to track user engagement? Please let us know in the comments.

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3 Comments

  1. Awesome post. I always use Google Analytics, it’s ok for me and to track user behaviour on my website. However for deep analysis Neil Patel’s KissMetrics will do the job.

  2. Great information, thank you! How would I take it one step further, and measure if the information learned on a site impacted them in any way? For example, a health communication site designed to educate the public about public health initiatives. The hope is users will use the information to make informed health-related decisions. Any suggestions for resources?

    • Hi Chari, thanks – we’re very happy that you like the article. Regarding your question, you could for example gather insights through polls. If you’re using WordPress to run your website, you could install a WordPress plugin for polls and put the poll on your website or send the poll to your audience and encourage them to participate (e.g. through a newsletter).

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