What Are User Engagement Metrics (And Which Should You Track)?

Scuba Educators

User engagement ultimately assesses how frequently, and how long a user interacts with your product, app or website.
By monitoring user engagement, you can easily identify users that are highly engaged, and who can translate into increased revenue, as their activities will align with valuable outcomes like signups, purchases, clicks, or subscriptions.

Common User Engagement Metrics

Product and marketing teams that measure user engagement can tell which aspects of their product, app or website are most valuable to end-users, and also gain insight around factors that need improvement to contribute to higher engagement.


While the definition of user engagement will vary from business to business, general user engagement metrics might include:

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

CPA measures the cost of moving a customer from a prospect to a conversion. A conversion can be one of many different actions, but is usually an event like a sale, a form submission, or a download. The calculation for CPA is:

 

CPA = the total cost of a campaign / number of conversions

Time In-App

Time in-app is a straightforward metric using data to show how long a user spends in your app for a given time period. When analyzing this metric, it’s logical to assume the more time users spend in your app, the more engaged they are, and the more valuable they find your product.

 

Analysts can also use this metric to compare two different cohorts. For example, if there is a group of users that has not been spending much time in the app, what does their user activity look like compared to those who spend a significant time in your app? These findings can inform the product team about changes that can improve time in-app for disengaged users.

Bounce rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors that exit after only viewing one page. If you notice a high bounce rate on your content, it’s important to evaluate why. Is your CTA confusing? Is the content missing the mark? Even websites and apps with the highest volume of traffic will have difficulty accomplishing conversions with a high bounce rate.

Conversion Rate

This user engagement metric tells you how effective your marketing tactics are. Conversion rate is the percentage of your website or app visitors who complete certain actions like form submissions, app download, product purchase, etc. The more engaged your customers are, the higher your conversion rate will be, and in effect, the higher your profits will be.

Rate of Returning Users

Rate of returning users (RVR) are those who come back to your site over a given period of time. To calculate RVR, divide the number of return visitors to your website by the number of total unique visitors for a given period of time.

 

For example, if you had 10,000 total visitors in December, and 3,000 were repeat visitors, your RVR for December is 30 percent (3000/10,000 = .30).


User Activity (Weekly, Monthly, Daily)

Daily active users (DAU), weekly active users (WAU) and monthly active users (MAU) are quick metrics to show the users who engage with your product or service over a set period of time (by day, week, and month, respectively).

 

Comparing these metrics side-by-side can help you understand customer behavior related to the retention or “stickiness” of your customers. Knowing your retention rates also helps organizations calculate the lifetime value of customers.

Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment rate is a critical user engagement metric for eCommerce businesses, because it refers to the percentage of customers who add items to their shopping carts, then abandon carts without completing a purchase.

 

Those with sophisticated user engagement measurement strategies will also take into consideration the value of items added to the cart, the number of items in the abandoned cart, and the total shipping costs to see if there are patterns contributing to the total cart abandonment rate.

 

Cart abandonment rate can be calculated using the following formula:

 

Cart abandonment rate = 1 – (Number of Shoppers Completing Transactions ÷ Number of Shoppers Adding Items to Cart) × 100

 

Session Length

Each session represents a single user interaction with your app. To find session length for your users, you can use the following equation:

 

Session length = (Time user becomes inactive) – (Time app is launched)

 

To get the average session length, divide the sum of individual session lengths by the number of total sessions within a time interval.


This particular metric is especially important for applications that offer a service that can be used actively in the background, for example music streaming, media-playing, or map-based apps, because it can correlate the time users invest in the app to the quality of their experience.

 

For example, if a user is using a ride-share app for a trip that should’ve lasted 10 minutes, but the session length is over an hour, it may indicate there are problems with the user experience, or the service that was provided.

 

Screen Flow

Screen flow allows you to see the exact path (or flow) that users take within your app. By monitoring screen flow, you can see exactly when and where the user exited the session.

 

Screen flow is a key metric to analyze to define and track negative actions such as unsubscribes, app deletions, plan downgrades, and silenced notifications. If analytics teams know which events cause users to become disengaged, or issues with your UX that make it difficult for users to find what they are looking for.

Looking for a better way to track and optimize user engagement at your organization? Learn how Scuba Analytics can help!

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