What is User Engagement?

What is User Engagement?

By: Mallory Moyer, Supervisor, Digital Account Management, Harpoon

User engagement helps marketers understand how users interact with their site by analyzing the time spent on site, flow of activity and clicks as the user browses through content. Analyzing time on site, tracking clicks driven to a brand page, or capturing user information via on-page forms are all important starting points in assessing content.

User Engagement Metrics

• Session Duration

• Bounce Rate / Retention Rate (for apps)

• Goal Conversion Rate

• Average Scroll Depth

• Social Interactions

User Engagement Metrics That Are Overlooked

Traditional performance metrics like CTR and clicks can help measure who arrives at your content, but what happens once they get there? Everyone is adding content to their marketing strategies these days, and with good reason. High quality content is an excellent tool to increase brand awareness, reach users in a non-disruptive way, and earn reader trust within a native environment.


Average scroll depth measures how far down the page a user scrolls. This should roughly indicate how much of the content they’ve consumed. Unlike time on page that simply measures how long someone sits there, a high scroll depth can tell you the percentage of the article the user read. Further, scroll depth can help you optimize content for better engagement. For example, if a key call to action or important messaging point lies after the 50% mark, and most of your readers are leaving the page 30% of the way down, you may want to edit the content in response to the scroll depth and lead with the information that’s important to you.


Good content should inform, entertain, and spark a conversation. What better way to capture that conversation than with reader comments? Including space at the end of your content for comments, questions, or feedback permits your reader’s voice to contribute to the story you’re telling. Ending your content with a question or call to action can be especially helpful at prompting input from the reader.


If content provides enough utility to the reader, their sharing it on their social channels can further extend the reach of your messaging—and likely to users within similar groups. Adding social buttons to your page can help you track likes and shares, and many analytics tools allow you to track and measure reach of social posts. Including social amplification in your distribution strategy can also help you reach users across social networks who might not organically see your content.

Using Engagement Metrics to Optimize Content

These metrics can tell the story of engagement with your content. Measuring engagement with a piece of content isn’t perfect science, but assessing these engagement metrics in aggregate can tell you a lot about reader behavior during and after consumption of your article.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Let's talk.

Contact us today.