How to Track User Engagement and Interest with Google Analytics

Engaged Users

I’m pretty sure that you’re getting a good number of users pouring in to your website. The real question is, how many people really do read your stuff? How many of your users actually go through your webpages and take time to understand what you’re talking about? How do you track that with Google Analytics?

(Note: If you missed it, here’s the last tutorial about Tracking Outbound Links using Google Analytics)

A Matter of Time

There is a very simple way to measure out your engaged users. Time. The more time they spend on your pages, the more likely they are engaged with your content. For this entry, this is how we are going to measure out your engaged users – for whatever reason they are spending their precious time with in your website.

Some helpful website facts for you in determining your Visit Duration goal:

Average time on site: 190.4 seconds (Around 3 minutes)
Average pageviews: 4.6
Bounce Rate: 40.5%
New Visits: 62.9%

Average Bounce Rate of Website per category:

Retail / Ecommerece Sites: 20-40% Bounce
Landing Pages: 70-90% Bounce Rate
Portals (MSN, Yahoo, etc): 10-30%
Services or FAQ sites: 10-30%
Content Websites: 40-60%
Blogs: 60-80%
Lead Generation
: 30-50%

Step 1: Login to your Google Analytics Account

Step 2: Click on the Admin button on the upper-right section of your account

Admin LoginStep 3: Click on the Website Profile you want to track engaged users with

Google analytics Website Link

Step 4: Click on Goals

Google Analytics Goals

Step 5: Name your Goal. I recommend naming it something like ‘Engaged Users’

Google Analytics Goal Name

Step 6: On the Goals page, click on the Visit Duration radio button

Google analytics Visit Duration

Step 7: Put in the number of minutes that would define an Engaged User for your website. For this example, I put in 3 minutes.

Google Analytics Visit Duration Settings

And it’s all set-up! Here’s how to check your first data:

Step 1: Go to your Google Analytic’s Reporting section

Google Analytics Reporting


Step 2: Click on Goals -> Overview on the left-hand sidebar.

Google Analytics Goals OverviewStep 3: On the Goals Overview page, click on the ‘All Goals’ drop-down button and select the Engaged Users Goal.


Google Analytics Engaged Users Goal

In my case, I have 4 categories of Engaged Users:

Initially Engaged Users (1 Minute)
Users (2 Minutes)
Really Engaged Users (3 Minutes)
Fans (4 Minutes)

Step 4: Voila! You can check out which of your pages are engaging users! I usually set this to a daily check so that I can view the data in micro-perspective.

Google Analytics Engaged Users Pages

Determining the Ratio

The great thing about getting this data is you can compare it with the total number of visits that you got that day. This will give you a good look of the percentage of your readers that are really engaged with your stuff!

For example: If I have a data 300 of initially engaged users (1 minute Visit Duration) and I compare it with the 3,000 total visitors I got in that same time-span, I have a ratio of 10% initially engaged users. Increasing this ratio on a monthly basis should be a webmaster’s goal.

How do you Improve User Engagement?

The real question is, where to begin? There are SO MANY THINGS you can do to improve your user’s Visit Duration:



Try going in some of these sites to check out their design:




Now imagine having your users spend that much time with your website JUST FOR YOUR DESIGN. But you’re much more than just design, aren’t you?


Content is an excellent way to engage your users.  Having the right content that people are looking for should already spell out ‘engagement’. People spend time reading or watching information they want. It doesn’t have to be an extensive piece of content such as this Youtube SEO post. It can come in the form of a compilation – some short, bite-sized posts like our Content Strategy Tutorial series.


Sometimes people are looking for something interactive or perhaps for a tool to help them out. Having any of these in your website can increase user engagement. Imagine how much time people burn in playing online games – whether it’s in Facebook or it’s in a website like

Call to Action

After every post, give your users a suggestive action – something that would benefit them. It could be giving them a free e-book, webinar, or other sources of information in your website. Sometimes if you don’t suggest, people simply get up and leave. You have to take the lead. Guide your users into what you want them to do.

Tips for Keeps: Set-up your User Engagement metric. It’s easy, simple and it gives you a good idea in how well your website is retaining its users.

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.