What is Engagement Rate In Google Analytics 4? And why is it important?
☆ What content on your website is resonating most with your audience?
☆ What social networks are driving the most engaged users to your website?
☆ Which pages are engaging but not converting your audience?
Engagement rate is one of my favourite metrics in social media but now it’s also in your Google Analytics 4 dashboard.
And you know what? It’s now one of my favourite metrics in analytics.
It answers the questions above and lots more.
But before we delve into the detail…
What does Engagement Rate mean in Google Analytics 4?
Engagement Rate tells you what percentage of users are interested enough in your website pages and content to take an action.
It’s replaced Bounce Rate from Universal Analytics, and that’s another reason to love it.
Bounce rate was the horrible metric that told you what percentage of users left your website after viewing just one page.
And it always seemed high.
It seemed unfair because someone could spend an hour reading and digesting a piece of content, watching a video or listening to a podcast on your site and they would mark it as a bounce.
A useless visit.
But those visits aren’t useless. Those visitors are engaging with your content, you are building brand awareness.
That’s why Engagement Rate is a much better metric.
It tells you what percentage of users are interested enough to ‘engage’ with your content.
On your website, as defined by Google, an engagement can be:
☞ Someone stayed on a page for 10 seconds or longer
☞ Viewed more than 1 page
☞ Triggered a conversion event
That means Engagement Rate is a way more accurate way of measuring website success than the old Bounce Rate. People who don’t engage in any way are the people who have little value for your business.
There’s a formula for calculating Engagement Rate:
Engagement rate: (Engaged sessions / Total sessions) x 100
But it’s OK, you don’t need to do the maths
GA4 includes Engagement Rate in its reports.
Where to find Engagement Rate in GA4
Engagement Rate appears automatically in your Life cycle / Acquisition reports. Below you can see where it appears in the Traffic acquisition report.
You can also add Engagement Rate to GA4 reports. This is where it can help you understand your content better.
How to use Engagement Rate in GA4 to see which content is working best
What website content are your visitors most interested in?
If you have blog posts or articles on your website, Engagement Rate can help you discover which ones are resonating most with your audience. If someone visits your website and hangs around for longer than 10 seconds or triggers a conversion event, that’s good news.
But it’s not just for blog posts and articles. It can tell you what service or product pages are engaging people the most.
It can tell you if your home page is attracting the right visitors and if your About page is giving people the information they need.
To see the Engagement Rate for pages on your website, you’ll need to customise your “Pages and Screens” report. Which sounds way scarier than it actually is.
From your Analytics reports, expand ‘Life cycle’ and ‘Engagement’. You’ll find the “Pages and Screens” report here.
Click on it.
As you can see, there is no engagement rate metric in this report, so you will need to add it. Click the pencil at the top right-hand side of the screen.
This opens a panel that lets you customise the report.
Click on ‘Metrics’
In the ‘Add metric’ box search for Engagement Rate, click on it when it appears and this will add it to your report.
To make it easier to view without scrolling, click on the metric and drag and drop it higher up the list of metrics. Then click ‘Apply’.
Now you’ll see an ‘Engagement rate’ column in the report.
Right at the top of this column, you’ll see the average engagement rate. Look for pages that are getting an above-average engagement rate and more than a few visits.
These pages are the ones that are working best for your audience. Look at them to see what your visitors are most interested in and what keeps them hanging around.
Could it be an embedded video? A podcast? The topic you are covering? A lead magnet?
Also, look at the important pages on your website. Your homepage, your about page, and your service pages. How do the engagement rates on these pages compare to the average?
Now you know what content resonates with your audience the best, let’s look at which social networks are driving the most engaged users.
How to use Engagement Rate in GA4 to find out what social media sites are driving the most engaged users
This time we’re going to customise your “Traffic acquisition” report to find out more about your social media traffic.
Although I’m showing your Organic Social traffic, you can apply this to any of your marketing channels.
You’ll find this report by expanding ‘Life Cycle’ and ‘Acquisition’ in the reports menu.
Click on ‘Traffic acquisition’.
To narrow the report down to just organic social media results, click into the search box just below the graph on the left-hand side and type in ‘organic social’ and hit enter.
This limits the view to just information from ‘Organic social’ as identified by GA4
To see which individual social networks are driving traffic, click the ‘+’ next to ‘session default channel group’ to add a secondary dimension.
You’re looking for ‘Session source’ under ‘Traffic source’
After you have selected this, you can see which social networks are getting the best engagement rate.
As you can see, my engagement rate for Instagram is woeful. But what about LinkedIn?
It appears more than once (as will most networks because of the way GA4 handles referral sources). One shows a high engagement rate, where another shows a low engagement rate.
How can I see the overall Engagement Rate for LinkedIn?
Click into the search box and delete ‘Organic social’ and replace it with ‘LinkedIn’. This will filter the report to just show lines that include the word ‘linkedin’
As you can see, the average LinkedIn engagement rate is still way below average. That’s clearly something I need to work on.
Which brings me to…
A warning about relying on Engagement Rate
Engagement Rate is a fab statistic, but it doesn’t tell you everything.
So this comes with a warning
Before you decide how valuable the pages on your site with the best engagement rate are, you need to analyse them.
Are they relevant to your offering? It’s great to have engaged website visitors but unless the content you are driving them to applies to what you do, the brand awareness isn’t… well on brand.
Are they driving traffic that converts? Maybe they are off-brand but you’re getting conversions from it.
I’ve found that very often that even the posts that get the greatest engagement rate on my site don’t convert. And that’s because much of that content is old and irrelevant to my current business.
So now it’s your turn. Go have a look at your engagement rate and let me know what you find out.