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In-App Engagement
User Experience

How to Increase User Engagement

Dilayda Soylu
November 28, 2022

User engagement remains one of the biggest challenges for brands, especially mobile apps. While acquisition can be difficult on its own, keeping new users engaged is even more difficult when there is so much competition out there seeking users' attention.

Following the effects of the pandemic, app engagement has steadily decreased in the years since. According to Statista, app engagement only saw a seven-percent increase from 2020 to 2021, while 2019 to 2020 experienced a 30-percent increase.

One of the reasons for decreased user engagement is the decline in the average user attention span. People encounter and use many apps and other platforms every day, making it difficult for brands to stand out in the saturated market. However, there are ways to differentiate yourself from other apps and brands with a unique and compelling experience that maximizes user engagement.

What Is User Engagement for Apps?

User engagement is when and how often users engage with an application. By tracking user engagement, you'll get a better understanding of how many people are actively using your app after first opening it.

Like other app marketing measurements, user engagement is critical to track because it indicates the overall performance of your application and brand.

Why Is User Engagement Important?

Healthy brands and apps need high user engagement, not just high acquisition. People should be consistently connecting with your app and using it frequently.

There are several specific benefits of high user engagement that make it critical to achieve:

  • Hold users' attention — One of the main advantages of high user engagement is the ability to grab and hold people's attention once they open your app. The more time people spend in your app, the less time they spend in competitors' apps.
  • More loyal users — If you can engage users regularly in your app, more of your users will become loyal to both your app and your brand. If your user engagement levels are high, you're likely to satisfy them over competitors, which will keep them on board with you for much longer.
  • An improved emotional bond — An engaging experience will build a stronger emotional connection with users, leading them to become more attached to your brand and app experience.
  • Shorter sales cycles — Although it's possible to convert leads over time without high engagement, it will take more time and effort. By effectively engaging your users, you'll encourage more in-app purchases and others.
  • More brand ambassadors — Users who are happy and continually engaged with you will be more inclined to advocate your brand. They'll want to share their positive experience with others, effectively turning them into brand ambassadors who attract more engaged users.

These benefits make increasing user engagement critical when growing your brand.

How to Measure User Engagement

To get a better feel for user engagement, certain metrics will help you measure the effectiveness of your user experience on your app and website. These include:

  • Bounce Rate

One of the main metrics to track in your campaigns is your bounce rate. This measures the rate at which users immediately leave a platform as soon as they've landed on it, usually when visiting a web page through a search engine. If your bounce rate is high, this is a key indicator of a poor user experience that's turning people away before they have the chance to dive deeper into the user experience. Generally, you'll want to target a bounce rate of around 26 to 40 percent, which is ideal for most brands. If your bounce rate is alarmingly high, you may want to change elements of your content to keep users on your website or in your app. You may also want to look at your marketing and advertising to see if any of this content inaccurately represents your app or website.

  • Time on Page

The average time on page metric details the average amount of time users spend on one page on your website or in your app. The more time people spend on each page, the more engaging your content is. As soon as a user clicks away from the page, analytics tools will measure the time on the page.

  • Session Time

Average session duration, or session time, is the amount of time each user spends on your app or website beyond a single page. Analytics tools calculate session duration once there's no more activity from a user after a certain period. While a high average time on the page is good to have, it's even better to have a high average session duration, as this indicates how deep people explore beyond the initial touchpoint.

  • Conversion Rate (CR)

The conversion rate is the rate of users who complete a desired action based on what you want to achieve. CR could measure the rate at which prospects convert to leads, for example, or it could measure how many people convert from leads into paying users. A high conversion rate is a great indicator of a healthy website or app as it moves people along the user journey.

How to Increase User Engagement: 9 Ways to Improve It

With a better idea of why you need user engagement and how to measure it, let's look into some ways to increase it. Here are some critical tips to follow if you want to boost engagement for your app and brand.

Attract Users' Attention at First Sight

When users first encounter your website or app, you should immediately grab their attention with eye-popping visuals and compelling content. One of the best ways to do this is to create an appealing onboarding process that introduces new users to your product.

Make sure you're giving people a unique interactive experience that gets them directly involved in your app or website. This will go a long way in driving engagement after that initial interaction with your brand.

Use Personalization

Personalization is everything today if you want to appeal to most users. If you offer a broad and generic user experience, you may not gain as much traction as competitors using personalization.

There are plenty of ways to provide users with a personalized experience. For instance, you can ask users about their preferences right out of the gate, enabling you to tailor the experience to each user. Personalized push notifications and email messages will also help you stand apart and connect more directly with users.

You can more easily personalize your experience by segmenting your audience into different groups. Each segment will have different wants and needs that you can cater to with your user experience.

Create Interactive and Engaging Content

One vital element for holding people's attention is to develop high-quality engaging content that gives people a "hands-on" experience. You can achieve this with many types of content based on what your audience loves. For example, you can create everything from video content and blog posts to gamified experiences and podcasts.

Personalize User Communication Channels

In personalizing your user experience, make sure this extends to all communication channels. You can do this across all channels, including email, push notifications, SMS texts, in-app reminders, and more. If people feel as though you're speaking to them directly, they'll feel more connected to your brand. Personalization here will also show that you value each user as a unique individual as opposed to just another user.

Provide On-Site/App Assistance and User Documentation

To ensure users get the most from your website or app, provide plenty of resources that guide them. This will prevent users from getting lost at any point during the experience and disengaging out of frustration.

You can provide support in various forms. You may want to include a live chat feature on your site or a contact feature within your app. This would help users get answers directly from real people on your customer service team. You may also opt for chatbots that can answer simple questions and redirect users to helpful resources.

Of course, you could also create a self-service resource using documentation that functions as a manual for new users. If users have any issues at any point while exploring your website or app, user documentation such as an FAQ section can help them solve issues on their own. This would further create a seamless experience that keeps users consistently engaged.

Create a Flawless User Experience

Find out which areas of the user experience are causing people to drop off. You might discover that some are disconnecting at a specific point along the user journey, allowing you to optimize it for better performance.

You can determine if you're giving users the experience they want by tracking the different metrics that pertain to user engagement, including average session duration, time on page, bounce rate, and conversion rate. Ultimately, you can see how many people are converting and measure this against your goals to identify areas of improvement.

Collect User Data to Understand Their Needs

Gathering plenty of data about your users can give you a better feel for how your engagement efforts are performing. You'll gain some actionable insights into what's working and what isn't with your app or website.

The data you collect could come from a variety of sources. These sources may include user surveys, chat tools and the questions you receive through them, and more. Certain tools will be able to help you collect and organize this data to help you determine the best way to move forward and optimize the user experience.

You may be surprised to find various roadblocks when analyzing data that you might overlook otherwise.

Identify and Optimize Content With Low Engagement Rates

If you find that certain content isn't performing the way you'd hoped, you can always take some time to optimize it. Look closely at your content and determine what's behind its low engagement.

Poor engagement could stem from generally low-quality content that doesn't captivate users or move them along their journey. It could also result from a lack of relevance based on the previous channels that led them there. Regardless of the issue, you can optimize this content to give you better results.

When trying new strategies with your content, you can do so with A/B split testing. This involves using two versions of the same content with a single element changed. You might have content with two different visual elements, for instance. You can run these versions among a small audience and gauge their performance, followed by keeping the version that works best.

Embed Product Features Into Your Content

There may be features that your users may find helpful but don't know about, or you may want to roll out a new feature. Either way, you can increase engagement with these features by introducing them via your on-site or in-app content.

As an example, you can use in-app messaging that lets users know about a new feature, with details about what the feature does and how it works. You can also customize users' onboarding experiences to learn about their specific needs, pointing them in the direction of specific relevant features in the process.

If you can embed more features into your content, you'll get these features in front of users and further generate more engagement. Just be sure to make these features a seamless part of the user experience and don't overwhelm your users with too many features at once.

Succeed With Your App and Brand Through Higher User Engagement

Attracting new users is still important, but you must keep those users invested in your product to get real results and increase revenue. With the right approach, you'll be able to increase engagement and ensure your users keep coming back to you over competitors that offer inferior experiences.

One tool you can use to connect with users at every level of the user experience is Storyly. With Storyly, you can create and launch engaging and interactive apps and web Stories that use a combination of visuals and text to appeal to your users. To discover all of the possibilities achievable using Storyly, sign up for free today and give it a try.

Dilayda Soylu

Product Marketing Manager at Storyly, covering launches, managing products and always excited about new tech solutions. Knows/ writes about customer insights and new features. A hopeless dreamer, loves zen thinking and being in nature at the first opportunity.

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