Engagement is an art form. To succeed online, your visitors need to connect with you, to relate to you, to get a benefit from your content.
When users value your website, they will stay for longer, read more, click through more pages, watch videos, download PDF’s, ask questions, leave comments, sign up for your newsletter, share your content socially, connect with your social accounts, buy your products or services, follow your affiliate links, return to see you again.
The following are 51 suggestions that collectively will turbocharge your user engagement metrics and dramatically transform the way that your website performs:
If visitors come back to see you again and there is nothing new for them to read, they will be far less likely to return again…. keep creating new content for your ‘community’ to engage with.
Schedule publication of new content, email newsletters, social media posting and any other activities for when your users are most likely to see you and act on your call to action.
Different audiences will be online at different times of day, so maximise your potential by getting in front of as many as possible.
When a user engages with your content, engage immediately and reply to their comment. This will help to begin ‘the conversation’ and encourage other users to join in.
No one likes being ‘sold’ to. Instead, set out to help, inform, advise, encourage, aide, assist, support, steer, motivate, develop, and teach.
You will establish yourself as ‘their’ trusted expert. People buy from trusted experts.
Quizzes, competitions and surveys give your users an opportunity to join in and have a voice within your community.
Don’t be the same as everyone else….. you need to stand out, be different from the rest of the crowd.
Include case studies featuring your clients and customers. Case studies build trust and demonstrate how your products, services or offerings work and the benefits you offer.
Newsletter content is a great way to encourage engagement. An automated series of emails will help to drive your users back into your content for the answers they seek.
A picture really does tell a thousand words. People engage with different media, some like text, others video, others still images. Offer images that help to tell the story.
Ask your users to do something. Engagement is the act of doing something; reading more, watching more, downloading more, reading second, third, fourth pages, making contact, signing up, requesting brochure, picking up the phone…… whatever it is that you want people to do…. ask them to do it.
What are your users doing on your site? Why did they find you? Why will they come back again? Why will they subscribe to your newsletter? Why should they share your content socially?
If you don’t know why your visitors visit, you will struggle to build engagement.
Keywords and search terms that are used to find you will provide a good starting point for working out what visitors are looking for when they find you…… from there, you need to consider whether you provide what they are looking for.
Business doesn’t need to be serious. You can use humour, wit and fun as long as it creates engagement and doesn’t detract from your message.
Make it clear that you will help them if they need it. If people are looking for how to’s, knowing that their is support if they need it will reassure them & built trust.
Personalisation increases engagement. Using a users name in email subject lines, personalising web content for logged in users. These actions help to make your users feel like they are a part of a community.
Breaking news within your industry can mean big traffic for your site. However, there are lots of large, well established news organisations that will in all probability break the news before you even know about it.
You can still capitalise on the news, by offering your comment, opinion, solution, advice, work around etc.
Offer discounts and benefits to users who sign up to your loyalty club. All your loyalty club members form ‘your community’ to whom you can easily stay connected to.
Slow websites cost visitors. We are all busy people and statistics show that the digital world of instant access to whatever we want has reduced our attention spans.
You only have a second or two to capture your visitors attention and keep them on your site…… if your site doesn’t load fast (on all devices including mobile phones, tablets etc.) they will just hit the back button and look for a result that will load quickly.
There are several steps you can take to speed up your website including;
Use Gzip Compression
Uninstall unused plugins
Image Lossless Compression
Headlines are your opportunity to grab a visitor and keep them on your site. Writing captivating headlines that make people want to read more is a process you can learn.
Good headlines are like ‘linkbait’…… your users should be intrigued and curious…… make them feel like they are missing out if they don’t follow the link!
Over 50% of Google searches are carried out on mobile phones, tablets and smaller screen devices. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you will immediately alienate over half of your potential audience.
You need as many people as possible to be able to use your site, so don’t allow visitors to slip through your fingers.
There are several real user testing platforms which will provide a critique on your website and content. We like http://peek.usertesting.com/ which has a free offering to get you started.
Too much text, or large blocks of text just don’t get read very often. If your visitors see small paragraphs they will be more likely to begin reading what you have to say.
Don’t be afraid to inject some wit and humour into your content. Ultimately, people engage with people, so don’t be afraid to show that you have a personality.
Your call to action is probably the most important part of your page content. Don’t be afraid to tell people what they need to do next. If you don’t tell them what to do then on’t be surprised if none of your visitors do what you want them to do!
Whatever you do to your website, think ‘QUALITY’ above everything else. Make certain that everything related to your site conveys high quality and you will set yourself up to succeed.
People often attempt to ‘improve’ their page content by adding more to it. This usually has the effect of creating confusion for users.
Your aim should be to keep your site content simple and easy to connect with, to ‘consume’ and to gain a benefit from.
Linking from within your content text to other pages of related content is a great way to get your visitors where they need to be quickly and easily.
Contextual links are also very good for SEO purposes, so don’t be afraid to link all your content together with text links from keywords in your content to pages that are ‘relevant’ to the keyword or phrase.
Forget about your business… your website is not about you…… it’s about your potential customers and their problems, issues and challenges.
If you help them to overcome their issues then your business will benefit with new customers because your website visitors will trust you and ask for you to provide solutions for them.
Complex navigation will cost you engagement. How easy is it to use your site? If you over complicate your navigation design you will in all probability just reduce visitor engagement and damage your websites performance.
Within your content, include regular summary content to concisely sum up the content thus far.
Within your blog, it is beneficial to have more than one author. Not only does this offer a variety of writing styles and opinions but it also demonstrates a more inclusive format, that pools ideas and wisdom.
If your site isn’t searchable, you are missing out on many web savvy visitors who are used to filtering their interests with search.
Each page of content should have one objective…… to get each visitor to commit to your call to action……. everything else on the page should move them towards that end point.
If you provide too many distractions, your visitors will become sidetracked and you will lose them to another action instead.
Live chat is a quick way to increase engagement. Live chat is a non committal way of getting your users to take action and make contact with you.
Too many adverts, affiliate links or referrals will detract from your content and drive visitors away from your site and decrease engagement.
Your users will only share your content if you make it easy for them to do so. Add sharing buttons to your pages and posts and you make it easy for your content to go viral!
Our favourite sharing plugin is https://wordpress.org/plugins/cresta-social-share-counter/
A blog allows engagements via comments. You can generate conversations through your blog posts and build your audience.
Guide visitors through what you do, how you do it and what benefits you offer with detailed product tours.
Comments make your blog interactive and three dimensional. Without comments, you are just transmitting…. you need to receive as well as send.
Give your visitors a voice and let them contribute.
Reviews are very powerful as a social proof tool. When people can see that other users have has a good experience using your site, they will engage more too.
Do you know how users really use your site? Do you want to know what links users gravitate towards? We use http://www.crazyegg.com/ which is a great tool to show you exactly how real people navigate through your site, what they pause on, what they scroll past etc
If your site doesn’t render correctly in all browsers, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer as well as all mobile versions, you will be damaging your engagement.
If your site pre populates forms for visitors, you will encourage more sign ups and engagements.
Pop ups can be very powerful as a tool to drive engagement, especially if used as exit pop ups for example. If you personalise pop ups for your traffic, you will increase conversion rates.
Many users like charts and graphs within content and they are a great tool to display data in a concise format.
Infographics are booming in popularity, especially since the rise in usage of sites like Instagram and Pinterest. Professional infographics can share your message in an engaging format that can be easily and quickly shared.
Trust is everything to your website. Your aim should be to create, build and protect your trustworthiness online as it matter not only to search engines, but to your customers as well.
Dead links and 404 errors irritate users. They also irk Google quite a bit too. Make sure that all your links work correctly.
YouTube is the second largest search engine online…… this makes it a great channel for you to use to drive additional traffic to your website.
Sharing your videos from YouTube onto your site will aid engagement and help you to retain visitors for longer.
End every piece of content with a question that will encourage debate, comments, social media activity, shares, likes etc.
Asking noted experts questions and publishing the interview on your website is a great way to build trust and authority as well as helping you to become a noted authority within your niche.
Live events, podcasts, lectures, webinars, etc. are a great way of building engagement.