User Engagement: How To Track With Google Analytics

By gbolade on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 in General, Wordpress. No Comments

Recently, one of our clients came to the office for a short meeting. We had built a custom site for his company, but during the course of the meeting, he complained bitterly about the lack of conversion from his website. We decided to get to work, and discovered that his user engagement was virtually zero. We explained to him how to understand the metrics of user engagement with Google Analytics. Now, he’s making enough money from sales and conversions through the knowledge we shared with him.

Do you want to track user engagement on your website? You may be asking yourself what is user engagement? It is a measurement of the value your users find on your website, be it in a product or service. By knowing what your users think of your site, it can help you plan for growth.

This article will help you know the most important Google Analytics metrics and how you can track them.

Why you need to track user engagement

Tracking and optimizing user engagement is very important for your website. This is because it helps you understand what users do when they arrive on your website. Ideal for more conversions and sales, it allows you identify patterns of highly engaged user behavior. Page views and traffic are very important indicators of a website’s performance, but understanding how your audience think will help you get better results.

To track user engagement on WordPress, we advise that you use Google Analytics in combination with a plugin called MonsterInsights. You can download the plugin from the plugin repository of WordPress or by downloading from the Plugin link on the WordPress dashboard. In the last, most people just pasted the Google Analytics script on the website. While this is not bad, there is something better you can do to save time and reduce stress.

MonsterInsights will let you know the outbound links users are clicking, which forms that have the highest conversions, and which online store has the best conversions. You don’t have to deal with the hassle of writing code and configuration when using this plugin. It has automated the process of pasting different codes of analytics in the footer.

Let’s see how we can track different metrics on Google Analytics when it comes to user engagement for your website.


  • Time spent on your website

One of the most important things you must find out is to know the time users spend on your website. It is called the session duration and according to HubSpot, 55% of visitors spend 15 seconds or less on your site. If people don’t spend enough time on your website, you won’t be able to convince them up to the point of a Call-To-Action. Analytics can give you information on the session duration.

Simply go to Audience >> Overview. The session duration will show among other stats.

Mactavis User Engagement Time Spent 1

You can also see this important metric by using Behavior >> Site content >> All Pages.

Mactavis User Engagement Time Spent 2


You can fix this by tidying up on your design, improving readability, adding high-quality images and optimizing them, and by using a lot of internal links.


  • How users engage with forms

Most contact form plugins don’t give you accurate tracking and conversions data when it comes to collecting user leads and feedback. By using MonsterInsights, you get information on how many times your forms are viewed and submitted. It helps you know which forms on your websites are doing well and vice-versa.

Mactavis User Engagement Insight Dashboard

To track your forms, you need to make use of Google Insights. Simply go to Google Insights >> Addons page. You need to install and activate the forms add on.

Mactavis User Engagement Insights Form

Do note that you will need a MonsterInisghts Pro plan for this. After doing all this, MonsterInsights will automatically start tracking all forms (website comments, user registration forms).

To track this metric on your Analytics dashboard, go to Behavior >> events >> Overview page.

Under ‘Event Category’, click on ‘form’. Click on the ‘Event Label’ to see stats for different forms on your website. You can then click on any form to see your impressions and conversions.

  • Your most popular content

You can plan a content strategy or improve on existing strategy if you know the type and kind of content users like on your site. You need to figure out which blog posts and pages are the most popular among your users. Why is this important? To know the pages and content driving the most traffic on your website and the ones that are not doing so well.

To track this metric, visit Insights >> Reports page in your WordPress admin area. Under the ‘Top Posts and Page’ section, you will see your most popular content.

Mactavis User Engagement Most Popular Content

You can also see the top traffic sources to know where your traffic is coming from.

This understanding will help you channel your marketing and content strategies towards that particular channel.


  • Frequency of visits

With this metric, you can see how many sessions were generated from a certain percentage of your audience. It is also defined as the frequency of visits for the average user. In simpler terms, it means the number of times the average user comes back to the website after the first time.

Check this by going to Audience >> Behavior >> Frequency & Recency.

Mactavis Analytics Frequency and Recency


  • Bounce Rate

According to Wpbeginner, bounce rate is “the percentage of users who land on your website and decide to leave without going to a second page”. While having bounce rates are normal, a very high bound rates point to a bigger problem. It would seem that your users are not attracted to what your website is all about or the design is off-key. It indicates that you were unable to convince them to check out the other pages of your website after they arrived on the landing page (the page their browser directs them after submitting your URL).

A site with a bounce rate of around 30% and 50% is said to have excellent bounce rate. Any bounce rate between 50% and 70% is seen as an acceptable average while any above 70% is believed to be poor. Do note that since there are different kinds of content on websites, average bounce rate vary from niche to niche.

Login to your Google Analytics dashboard. To check your website’s bounce rate, Go to Audience >> Overview page.

Mactavis Analytics Bounce Rate 1

To check for the bounce rate of an individual page, click on Behavior >> Site content >> All pages to see the bounce rate for each page.

Mactavis Analytics Bounce Rate 2

  • Page views per visit

Another important metric for user engagement with Google Analytics is page views. It tells you how many times a page is viewed for a given period. The more the page views per session, the more time users spend on your website which invariably means fewer bounce rates.

You can track page views per visit by going to Audience >> Overview. You can also get more information on the traffic channels that are converting the best for your site.

Mactavis User Engagement Pageviews Per Visit

Click on Acquisition >> All Traffic >> Channels page.


  • Average pages per visit

This metric is important for media websites as the more pages people visit on your site, the more ad impressions are generated, which in turn leads to higher revenue. It works on the premise that when people browse more pages on your site, they are more likely to see the ads placed on your website. It is also an important metric for ad or service-based websites like SaaS (software as a service) and e-commerce sites.

You can track this metric by going to Audience >> Overview. On the dashboard, you will see Pages/Session.

Mactavis Analytics Pages Per Session

You can also take a look at the pages per session for each channel to understand this user engagement metric as well. You can do that by going to Acquisition >> All Traffic >> Channels.


  • Percentage of returning visitors

This is one metric that is as important as any other. It is the understanding that these users are engaged with your brand; they have visited the site once, liked what they saw and have come back for more of the same or something better. This metric also shows the disparity between new and returning users/visitors. By understanding this percentage, it helps you to unearth more techniques on keeping them on your platform.

You can track this metric by going to Audience >> Overview. On the dashboard, you will see the percentage of returning visitors.


Mactavis Analytics Percentage of Returning Visitors

  • Days since last session

Google Analytics helps you understand how often people visit your website and knowing the last time they came. When the difference is big, it might mean you are not being consistent with internal links from social media or you are not posting regular content.

Go to Audience >> Behavior >> Frequency & Recency and click on ‘Days since last session’

Mactavis Analytics Days Since Last Session


  • Affiliate links

An affiliate link is a specific URL that contains an affiliate’s ID or username. An affiliate is someone or a website that pays you a commission when people buy their products on your website. To make affiliate links look more user-friendly, most affiliate marketers use plugins to manage these links. MonsterInsights helps you gather more information or track the links that are doing well, which posts are generating more affiliates and more.

To get started with affiliate link tracking with Google Analytics, you need to visit Insights >> Settings page. On this page, click on ‘Affiliate links’ after switching to the tracking tab.

  1. The first thing you need to do is enter the slug you use for your affiliate links. After doing this, you need to provide a label you would like to use for these links on your Analytics reports.
  2. Click on ‘Save Changes’

Your affiliate links CA now n be tracked by Monster Insights. To view this metric, go to Behavior >> Events >> Overview Page.

The links you chose earlier will be available alongside their affiliate link clicks.


  • AdSense clicks and impressions

Google AdSense is a reliable way of making money online while creating useful content. By using Google Analytics, you can see how users interact with ads on your site. You will be able to identify the most effective ad placements, track how many clicks each ad is receiving and know which ads your audience is ignoring.

The first thing you need to do is visit Insights >> Addons page on your WordPress site. Install and activate the ‘Ads Tracking’ addon. For you to be able to get this information, you need to integrate Google Analytics with your AdSense account. To do this, head over to your Google Analytics dashboard. On the bottom left corner of the screen, click on the ‘Admin’ button.

Now that you are in the admin section, click on ‘AdSense Linking’ under the property column. Next, click the +New AdSense link button and then select AdSense property that you want to link with your Analytics property. Click on continue to go ahead. Select the Analytics view in which you want your AdSense data to be available. Once you select that, click Enable Link and then click done.

You are not done yet. After everything is configured on Google Analytics, you need to head over to the WordPress dashboard. Go to Insights >> Settings page. Click on the Ads section after switching to the ‘Tracking tab’.

NB: Google AdSense tracking checkbox must be clicked.

To view your key AdSense metrics in Analytics, go to Behavior >> Publisher page.


  • Audience Engagement RateMactavis Analytics Engagement Rate

 This metric is quite similar to the average time spent on your audience. However, there is more information here. You can see the specific time duration a certain percentage of your audience stayed on your site (from 0-20 seconds up to 1800 seconds)

To do this, go to Audience >> Behavior >> Engagement


Final Thoughts

With all these user engagement metrics, you will understand your audience better. You will learn how people interact with your website, and identify problems. With this in mind, you can learn what you need to improve to engage your audience further and better Google Analytics is absolutely free and offers you the best data when it comes to user engagement. We hope this article helped you understand the metrics you can get information on with Google Analytics.

Do you track the following metrics for your site using Google Analytics? Let us know in the comments below. You can also add others that you have tracked before.

Get in touch with us and find us across social media platforms @MactavisDigital. We have built expertise in web design and development, mobile app development, content production and copywriting, SEO and other digital services. We would love you to do business with you.

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