4 simple ways to measure user engagement


What happens after users sign up ? Are they using your product ? If so, how frequently ? Getting answers to these questions helps understand user engagement better. It tells you if you are building a product which people use, whether the recent changes you made increased/reduced user engagement.

If you too are wondering about these questions, here are 4 simple ways to get started.

What is that one action your user does most frequently when he uses your product? It can be an upvote/downvote or posting a comment, buying something, uploading images or video, booking a trip, playing a game, etc. Pick just one action for clarity. Let’s call it key action.

If a person regularly uses your product, it is reasonable to assume he will perform this action at least a few times regularly. We look at user activity of past week to get a sense of how things are going. You can always change it to past day or month based on the pace of your business. Good news is if you have an online product, you already have the data to measure each of these.

1. Total usage

It is the Total number of times the key action has been performed over the past week. Depending on your business, it can be total no. of purchases, votes, images, videos, bookings, projects, etc.

What it tells you

It’s an easy way of knowing if your site is growing or not. Quick glance at it every week helps you see if you are on track. You immediately know if there is any sudden increase or dip and avoid shocks early on.

2. Daily usage

It is the Total number of times the key action has been performed every day of the past week. Depending on your business, it can be total no. of purchases, votes, images, videos, bookings, documents, etc posted every day of the past week. It goes a level deeper into Total usage.

What it tells you

It tells you if your users have a periodic behavior. E.g they may use your product a lot on Wednesday & Friday. This may be because users are too busy on other weekdays, or it’s a weekend. Now you can target them more effectively on these 2 days instead of the whole week.

It helps immediately catch the days on which a spike or dip occurred. Then you can see if it can be accounted for. E.g if it is holiday season an E-commerce website might see a growth in its usage while an enterprise Saas application might see a dip. If not, you have a problem. This trend prompts you into action.

3. Average usage per user

It is the Average number of times the key action has been performed by a user over the past week. Depending on your business, it can be average no. of purchases, votes, images, videos, bookings, documents, etc per user.

What it tells you

It tells you how much a typical user uses your product. It’s a good indicator for user retention. Higher the number more the user engagement. More likely the users will come back. You can set weekly goals for yourself to improve it, or a minimum value below which it is unacceptable.

4. Daily average usage per user

It supports the previous metric and highlights any unusual user behavior. It is the average number of times the key action has been performed by a user every day of the past week. Depending on your business, it can be average no. of purchases, votes, images, videos, bookings, documents, etc posted by each user every day of the past week .

What it tells you

You may be wondering how it is different from Daily usage. It tells you if user engagement is balanced. Daily usage tells you if your site growing. It may be because a few power users use it a lot. This tells you if your growth is because majority of your users are using it. Higher the number, more balanced is the user engagement, more retention you will have.

It’s a good way to test if any of the recent changes like UI redesign, blog post, etc increased/decreased user engagement. You know when you made the change and can track if it increased usage starting that day. You can also use Daily Usage for this.

In my future posts, I will go a little deeper into these. What do you think? Share your experience with us as comments.

About Sreeram Sreenivasan

Sreeram Sreenivasan has worked with various Fortune 500 Companies in areas of Business Growth, Sales & Marketing Strategy. He’s the Founder of Ubiq BI, a cloud-based BI Platform for SMBs & Enterprises.