If you’re developing software to distribute to end users via a web browser, getting to grips with engagement is essential.
Indeed it can be a challenge to understand what user engagement looks like in this environment, let alone measuring it in a meaningful way.
Anyone who’s struggling with this should stick with us as we talk through some tips on how to master user engagement in a web app context.
1. Appreciating abandonment rates.
First and foremost, you have to recognize when your software isn’t connecting with its target audience. Just as conversion rates define success or failure in retail, abandonment rates are a top tier metric in the world of apps.
Finding that the majority of users never return after their initial experience of your software is a real warning sign that something’s wrong and that further investigation is needed.
2. Tracking key activities.
Another lynchpin of user engagement is the concept of the core activities which indicate how your software is being harnessed.
In the case of web apps, examples of direct engagement include the duration of the session of use and the interactions that take place in this time.
What shape these interactions take will depend on the design of your app; it could be the process of creating or logging into an account, it could be launching a particular feature, it could be buying an add-on or subscribing to a service you offer.
The point is that unless you understand what makes your app tick, you won’t know what to measure to gauge its effectiveness.
3. Choosing the right product analytics tool.
Comparing the best product analytics tools is a good way to streamline and automate the way you manage and measure user engagement.
Modern solutions are able to oversee user actions and give you insights into trends, preferences and also problems that might be apparent in the resultant data.
Best of all, the top platforms will let you replay sessions step by step, seeing how your software performs from moment to moment, and making it much easier to pinpoint inadequacies or troubleshoot bugs.
As this is a competitive market, you need to compare the functions and pricing of the product analytics tools out there to decide on the one that’s suited to your needs and your budget.
4. Categorizing users according to experience.
Another mistake that it’s possible to make when interpreting user engagement data is failing to realize that each person is an individual, with different levels of experience using your software.
It’s better to group users based not just on the specific sessions they generate, but on their history with the app in question.
Brand new users who are just learning the ropes have to be treated differently to returning users who have already spent a lot of time exploring the ins and outs of the app.
In this way, you can improve the UX so that it’s not just geared towards veterans, nor focused solely on onboarding newcomers.
5. Striving for improvement in the long term.
The last piece of advice you need when dealing with user engagement in a web-based software environment is that this is not a process which has a definite end point.
Instead, it has to be dealt with as a perpetual journey forward, during which improvements are always being made and valuable features added based on evidence gleaned from user interactions.
You don’t want to get good at bringing some customers into the fold, while failing to notice that your most engaged users are fading away.
The bottom line.
User engagement matters in more than just web apps, and so if you can perfect this skill with your own software, it can be applied elsewhere, enhancing other aspects of your business.