Daily active users

Daily active users

DAU or daily active users is one of the key metrics in analyzing a business's performance. It counts the number of active users on a website or application daily. The goal with the DAU is to have it be as high as possible as it relates to the success of the website or a product. 

What are daily active users?

DAU is the total number of users that engage with a website, application, or product in some way or another on any given day. Users must visit the website and use the product to be considered active. 

User engagement is one of the primary metrics used to judge a website or application's success with its target audience. Companies, especially SaaS businesses, look at how many people are engaging with their platforms to analyze its performance. 

The ideology of DAU is further extended to related concepts such as monthly active users, and weekly active users.

How to calculate DAU?

To calculate daily active users, use the formula below:

Unique new users + unique returning users = Total daily active users

Here, 'unique users' is referred to identifying separate users to measure DAU. For example, a single active user returning to the website 10 times will not be counted as 10 users. Returning users are counted as one user.

Big platforms such as Facebook calculate daily active users as users who are already registered through their accounts and logged in to their platform during a period of time, through both website or the app. 

How to track daily active users?

There are many ways to track DAU further to evaluate customer retention or your sustainable user base. The primary two options are:

  1. Count: You can either count users returning every day all month and divide them by the days of the month to know the count for an average day. 
  2. Track — You can also use an in built analytics software report (i.e. if you use Google Analytics , you can track active users by clicking on 'open reports,' 'select audience,' and 'active users.')

Companies rely on analytics to evaluate their user activity, user base and user engagement. You can choose whichever option suits you best.

The more suitable option would be to track and compare statistics of both DAU and MAU in related metrics. It helps to get a more comprehensive idea of user traffic. You can identify happy users who regularly visit as well as unique visitors in DAU numbers.

Mistakes to avoid when tracking DAU

While DAU is an excellent metric to track, you need to ensure you track it correctly to put it to use correctly. Two of the most common mistakes to avoid are given below:

  1. Unique — Count only the 'unique' users. Someone visiting repeatedly, say five times, should be counted as only one instead of five. 
  2. Active — See that the user is actually active and not disengaged. For example, some businesses would not consider a unique user logging in and not doing anything else an active user.

How does DAU work? 

A DAU metric works in many ways to help a business analyze and improve its performance. Some of the ways are listed below:

Tracks relevant users

The metric daily active users count relevant users, i.e., users whose presence matters and are beneficial to you. Keeping track of users who never return or bounce back after a short session is probably not going to be very helpful to your business. 

Counting users that return or engage with you on a regular basis give you a better understanding of what your target audience wants from you. You can create content according to their likes and dislikes and test it relatively easily to know what works and what doesn't. 

Plays a role in other metric calculations

DAU plays a major role in the calculation of related metrics such as monthly active users and even weekly active users. When you know the count for a single day, you can easily work with other timeframes, depending on the context of the calculation. 

It also helps in assessing bigger metrics such as churn and revenue, though not directly. It is rather used in making relevant comparisons when discussing metrics such as churn to see how many users are interested in what you offer and return for it.
 

Measure the success of a business or product

The most critical role the DAU metric serves is to measure the success of a website, webpage, product, app, or marketing tactic. How many users engage with you daily is a direct reflection of how well your website is being received by your audience. 

For example, if you change the header of your website to include more shopping options and see an increase in the DAU, then it can be assumed that the header change has been successful in engaging the target audience. 

Similarly, if you see a decline in DAU post a change in the header, then it can be related to the change not working as intended. DAU gives you instant results to help you stay flexible and agile with your online strategy. 

Why is DAU important?

DAU is a standalone metric that companies, SaaS companies, in particular, use to determine the success of their websites, applications, and products among customers. 

DAU highlights characteristics leading to the success of a product or application, such as customer experience, number of unique users, and retention rates. 

Measuring DAU directly helps you assess your growth goals in quantifiable terms. You can tweak your approach based on the results you draw and check how well your marketing team's efforts are paying off on a daily basis.  

The total DAU data is the total number of unique users interacting with you. To be able to increase DAU over time is a great sign of growth and improvement. 

DAU highlights areas of improvement 

Monitoring DAU constantly helps you identify when and where churn is about to happen to do something about it beforehand. DAU reveals drop-off points and hurdles.

For instance, if your users are not too interested in engaging with particular features of your products, it could be a sign that the features are either unnecessary or overly complicated and that they don't grasp the attention of the potential buyer enough to engage them.

Simplifying the feature explanation can help users ease into it better. You can also add video explanations to assist users better. This way, your DAU count reveals areas of improvement and lets you know how much your audience engages with every aspect of your web pages.

How to improve DAU?

Calculating DAU regularly helps you know about the performance of your platform in real time. By measuring DAU, you know exactly how many leads you are drawing. So, to improve DAU, the focus should be on creating a platform of value to your users. 

Begin by creating the persona of the ideal customer. This is who you need to be creating content for. Next, research what kind of content your target audience engages with. Create that type of content and share it with them.

Remember to plug the website, app, or product page you aim to get engagement on in every marketing material you put out. For example, a post you share on Facebook should link back to your website, as that is where the user will get more information about the topic that interests them. 

Retention is a good sign of engagement from customers toward your service. This is where you should allocate your resources, as it increases the value of your web pages in the future. 

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FAQs

What is DAU?

Daily active users DAU is the count of users engaging with your online presence on a daily basis, be it through websites, apps, or product pages/web pages. "Active" essentially means you expect users to perform a certain task. Daily active users will perform that tasks everyday.

How to calculate DAU?

The DAU is calculated by combining unique new users and unique returning users in a day. You can use analytics software to track DAU with ease. 

Why is DAU important?

DAU is a key metric looked at by companies as it lets you know how successful your website and apps are in attracting new users and keeping existing users engaged with you. 

How to improve DAU?

You need to engage users with enticing and useful content to improve your DAU. You can create content your target audience would enjoy and share it with your website link plugged in to drive traffic there.

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