What’s a Good Engagement Rate in Google Analytics 4?
With bounce rate on its way out—to the extent that it’s entirely absent in the most recent update to Google Analytics—the question now is: What’s a good engagement rate for your website? Overall, look for a rate that is:
- Above 63% for B2B websites
- Above 71% for B2C websites
Next, I’ll discuss how your engagement rate is calculated, what engagement rates look like in different industries, and how engagement relates to SEO.
Google Analytics Engagement Rate: How it’s Calculated
In Google Analytics 4, engagement rate is the ratio, represented as a percentage, of your engaged sessions to your total sessions. For example, if you had 100 engaged sessions, and 1,000 total, your engagement rate would be 10%.
Note that there’s no need to calculate this yourself; it’s all handled automatically if you’re using Google Analytics 4. But it still raises the question: What is an engaged session? An engaged session is a session where the user did any one of the following:
- Stayed on the page for 10 seconds or longer
- Viewed more than 1 page
- Triggered a conversion event
You can think of engagement rate the opposite of bounce rate, but note that because engagement takes into account both time on page and conversions, it’s higher than the simple inverse. This change is particularly helpful when it comes to informational pages that offer comprehensive answers: whereas a user who got everything they needed would have previously been counted as a bounce, they will now be considered engaged if they remained for longer than 10 seconds. The reason this is so important is how it relates to SEO.
Engagement & SEO
A website’s visitor’s level of engagement is a major factor in Google’s search algorithm. In 2016, Google began giving website pages that visitors stayed engaged with—in other words, got value from—higher search rankings. Each year, they have progressively increased the weight of this factor as their AI has gotten better, which makes sense because rewarding the pages that users got the most value from with higher rankings has always been Google’s goal.
In practice, the way engagement improves your search ranking works like this: When you publish a new page to your website, Google will allow it to rank higher for a small, random selection of users than it would have ranked based on its trust profile. Google then uses these users’ behavior to gather data on the page’s engagement, and ticks the site up or down in the rankings based on that data. Note that this engagement will be compared to other sites targeting the same keywords, so the most useful comparison rates will be others in your industry.
Average Engagement Rate by Industry
The table below was compiled with client data from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, and contained a mix of companies that was approximately 23% B2C and 77% B2B. Healthy engagement rates ranged from 60-75%, depending on industry.
|Industry||Average Engagement Rate|
|Higher Education & College||71%|
|IT & Managed Services||64%|
|Oil & Gas||58%|
|Staffing & Recruiting||76%|
For your convenience, we have also arranged this data in chart form:
The above benchmarks will help you evaluate if your own website’s engagement rates are competitive with others in your industry.
How to Increase User Engagement
If you’ve determined that your engagement rates are too low, there are several likely causes. These can be either technical, such as:
- Confusing navigation and UX
- Unresponsiveness and slow page speeds
- A lack of mobile optimization
- Content that doesn’t grab readers’ attention
- Low quality graphics and stock images
- Poor keyword targeting that attracts the wrong audience
An SEO agency partner can help you resolve both, fixing any UX issues they find, and creating high-quality thought leadership marketing content that engages searchers. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us here.