The web audience is changing. With mobile and voice search, the shopping journeys are becoming more fragmented and harder to predict, the attention spans are getting even shorter and the content supply is often greater than demand.
Consequently, it is increasingly important to understand how your site users are interacting with the page elements, and what you can do to better engage them.
What is User Engagement?
Put simply an engagement is just about any sort of action a user performs on your page. This could be anything from clicking a link to scrolling to the end of your page…
In our era of information overload and on-the-go web surfing, we tend to be happy with any type of user engagement we are able to get.
In fact, we want to know how users engage with our pages to better understand what attracts their attention, what prompts them to convert and what pushes them to leave. Understandably, we want to build more engaging page elements and we want to get rid of anything that distracts or annoys them.
Any type of user engagement is important for us to understand how users interact with our web pages.
How to Analyze User Engagement: Tools
Google Analytics: Time on Page (And More)
Google Analytics has a lot of metrics (some of them are being very much misunderstood) that help you better understand user engagement with the page.
Bounce rate always comes to mind first, but let me note right there: A high bounce rate does not indicate poor engagement or low content quality. As a matter of fact, a high bounce rate may indicate that users were able to find what they were looking for right away (so they didn’t have to browse around). So I wouldn’t consider bounce rate an engagement tactic (unless it suddenly increased which may be a sign of something going on).
Time on Page can be a slight indication of a good page engagement (at least you can see people spend some time reading).
Based on HubSpot data, almost 60% of visitors spend 15 seconds or less on your page.
Tracking your site “Time on Page” metric using Google Analytics is very easy. To see page-by-page numbers, go to Behavior -> Site Content -> All pages:
Using Google Analytics Goals you can set up “Duration” goal to monitor sessions that lasts a specific amount of time or longer.
Other goals you can monitor using Google Analytics include:
- Pages per session (when a user views a set number of pages)
- Event (there can be a variety of events you may want to monitor – all of which indicate different types of engagement. These include form submit, video play, ad click, etc.)
Once you set up your goals inside Google Analytics, you get access to two more reports, called Funnel Visualization and Goal Flow. Both provide a visual representation of how your users interact with your on-page CTAs:
Hotjar: Mouse Moves and Page Scrolls (and more!)
While Google Analytics does a pretty good job monitoring your on-page clicks, heatmaps monitor other types of on-page engagement:
- Scroll maps show how far into the page the users tend to scroll down
- Move maps visualize mouse movements
(There’s also a click map too but we are focusing on non-click tracking here).
Hotjar lets you set up both types of tracking. It also offers a free account that lets you track 2,000 visits a day (you are unlikely to need more).
Move maps work great for identifying page elements that distract your site users from performing important actions on the page, e.g. you don’t want your readers to stare at an image instead of clicking your “Subscribe” button.
Hotjar also allows you to visualize and compare user engagement on a desktop and a mobile device.
Finteza: CTA Clicks
While Google Analytics is very efficient at tracking your primary page goal, it’s not as easy to use for evaluating and comparing multiple CTAs.
The thing is, you probably have dozens of calls-to-action including sharing buttons, optin forms, links to your money-pages, etc. How to track and compare all of them?
Finteza is a free analytics suite that helps you monitor hundreds of events easily. Events can be added using Finteza dashboard or their WordPress plugin. Then you can easily build up your funnels to compare your multiple events and see what actually results in the final conversion:
Finteza provides a much easier and clearer event tracking functionality than Google Analytics, so it’s something to look into.
And which tools are you using to monitor different types of user engagement? Please share in the comments!