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Digital Transformation and Digital Adoption

What is user engagement and why is it important?

What is user engagement and why is it important?

If you need to start measuring how your company website or mobile application is performing, calculating your user engagement is a great starting point. 

Not only is it a comprehensive marketing tool that helps you understand your customers and their behaviors, but it can also help you create actionable strategies for developing the successful digital transformation of your business.

Ready to learn how?

This article covers:

  1. The definition of user engagement.
  2. The benefits of user engagement and why it’s important.
  3. How to increase user engagement rates for your business.
What is user engagement and why is it Important? - A helpful guide by Userlane.

What is user engagement?

User engagement is a metric that analyses every action your users are making when interacting with the various digital touchpoints you have, including (but not limited to) call-to-actions, share buttons, downloadable content, web pages, and software features.

Why is user engagement important?

By tracking user engagement, you can both identify and improve on a number of weak points in places like your marketing materials (e.g. website), mobile applications, or business process and HR software. Then, you can optimize your operations.

For example, if you calculated that the majority of your prospective leads were only spending a few seconds on the homepage of your website before “bouncing off”, you’d be able to conclude that the current copy or imagery you’re using isn’t proving effective. Once you’ve come to this realization, you can make the appropriate changes and start re-engaging unresponsive customers

Where can you measure user engagement?

As a business operating in today’s digital landscapes, you’ve likely adopted a range of different software platforms that aid different stakeholders with your goals.

  • For customers, this may be a mobile application where they can purchase products. 
  • For employees, this might be a project management system unique to your firm.

User engagement can be measured across every digital touchpoint you have, and help you better understand what you need to do to support software adoption at its maximum capacity.

What are the benefits of high user engagement?

When you invest time into a user engagement strategy, you can start to enhance user experiences, boost your traffic, and convert more leads. You can even create a positive brand/employer reputation that secures loyalty and increases retention rates.

  • For employees, this means you can reduce turnover.
  • For customers, this leads to a higher lifetime value.

This could result in additional repeat purchases, word of mouth marketing, and potential upsell opportunities. 

What are the main challenges of user engagement?

Many elements of increasing user engagement come down to a pattern of trial and error. 

A/B testing takes time, and, even when you work out what features of your software aren’t being effective, it can be difficult to make those changes. 

If you’ve purchased a custom-built platform, you’ll have to get in touch with your developer every single time the position of a button needs to be changed. Even if you’re able to customize the template yourself, you still have no guarantee that your new idea will work.

How do you calculate user engagement? 

To create a successful end-user engagement strategy, you first need to get out a calculator and prepare to do some math. 

Hubspot suggests looking at the following user engagement metrics:

  1. Bounce rates.
  2. Page views.
  3. Session duration.
  4. Total activity.
  5. User interactions.
  6. Conversions.

Then, you can compare this information to industry standards to gain a clear understanding of the effectiveness of your software. The average bounce rate for a website is 47%, so you may want to aim below this number.

Next, to calculate a general overview of how your website, app, or software is performing, all you have to do is divide the number of engagements by your total users, and multiply this by 100 to get the percentage. 

For instance, if 20 prospective customers land on your website each day but only 3 spend more than one minute interacting and engaging with your content, then your user engagement rate would be (3/20) x 100 = 15%. 

How to increase user engagement

When it comes to increasing your user engagement, you’ll first need to set SMART goals and assign some KPIs that you can track. In the example above, you may aim to grow your engagement rate from 15% to 30%. 

This raises an important question… how?

Part 1: Create a user engagement strategy

As with any form of business development, you need a plan of action.

Your first step should be to analyze the data available to you (Google Analytics is great for websites) and really break down the information you have at your disposal. Try to get into the mindset of your users, whether that’s an employee or a customer, and view things from their perspective.

Start by asking a variety of questions, such as:

  • Is the layout easy to understand?
  • Is the copy clear and concise?
  • Is there too much information on one page?
  • Does the design look appealing?
  • Is it optimized for accessibility?
  • Does it load quickly?
  • Is it easy to find what I need?
  • How obvious are the buttons?
  • Is there a navigation bar to help me find the right features?
  • Do I understand what to do?
  • Does the software work properly?
  • Does this make my job easier or harder?

After you’ve worked through this list, and added any of your own, the answers should provide you with the reasons why your user engagement is lower than you’d like – and even let you pinpoint specific areas where you can improve. When you’ve identified weaknesses, it’s time to act on them. 

Part 2: Optimize your digital touchpoints

As you know by now, user experiences are a significant part of high user engagement. 

Therefore, you need to optimize your digital touchpoints with the users in mind, such as redesigning an app with a customer-first approach. By doing so, you can even streamline your sales funnel/marketing channel to be more effective. 

However, it’s not easy. 

When there are sections of your website or app that you can’t change, then you likely need to invest in a software adoption tool that guides users on how to use a platform. This reduces frustration for anyone trying to complete a task and consequently increases your user engagement rates.

How to increase your user engagement rate with a well-planned strategy.

Examples of successful user engagement strategies

1. Twitter

If you’ve used social media platforms for a while, you’ll start to notice something… they are always changing. Twitter, in particular, is constantly adapting their platform in order to create the best possible experience for its users. By listening to their feedback and optimizing each feature with their customers in mind, Twitter has developed an app that people spend hours scrolling through.

2. Samsung

One of the latest advancements in user engagement is to add gamification elements to your digital platform. Samsung has used its customers’ natural competitive drive to increase site visitors by 66% and engagement by 30%. They enter each new customer into a sweepstake to encourage sign-ups and reward customers for reviewing products.


SABIO had three core goals they wanted to achieve: reducing the time it took them to create training content, converting more trial users, and increasing user engagement. Just three months into implementing Userlane’s software adoption tool, SABIO saw a huge impact on their business:

  • 70% increase in conversion rates.
  • 80% increase in user engagement.
  • 5x increase in traffic per day.

What is user engagement? – FAQs

As you’ve learnt from this article, user engagement is an incredibly useful tool for multiple different departments where the use of software is required, such as in your marketing and human resource management. Still, there’s more you need to know.

What are the types of user engagement?

The 3 types of user engagement are: actively engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged. Whichever bracket most of your users fall into gives you insight into the effectiveness of your software platform, website, or mobile application.

What are user engagement metrics?

Many factors go into calculating user engagement, including user activity, time spent browsing, interactions, and even bounce rates.

How is user activity measured?

You can calculate your user activity by dividing the number of actively engaged users by the total number of users that have ever used your software platform. Then multiply this number by 100. 

If you have 5 employees that log into a project management system every day, but over 50 are registered, then you would work out (5/50) x100. This reveals a 10% user activity rate.

Increase your user engagement with Userlane

Now you understand the basics behind how to increase user engagement,  it’s time to start applying the knowledge you’ve learned.

Your user engagement strategy combined with Userlane’s user engagement platform will help you target the cause of the issues your users are facing and scale your revenue accordingly.

Our platform provides in-depth insights into user behavior, engagement, and software adoption trends so that you can easily make the relevant adjustments to boost your growth. Instead of struggling to build traffic and conversions, request a demonstration today.

New to Userlane? Take a step in your software adoption journey and join the pool of our happy customers.
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About the author:
The Userlane team brings you digital adoption insights, product updates, and plenty of onboarding and engagement advice for user-centric businesses.