9 Factors for Great Site Engagement
Attracting visitors to your site and making them interested in what it offers is crucial for ranking well in search engine results. This also makes people want to come back and tell others about your company or brand. Here are nine aspects that individually and collectively lead to improved engagement:
1. High-Quality Information
Information described as high-quality usually has several characteristics, including:
• Appropriate research and citations.
• No spelling or grammar errors.
• No information intended to mislead people.
• Factual information.
Creating content for a site is a demanding task, but committing to doing it well pays off. If a lack of time and resources stop you from creating top-notch content, consider hiring people to do it for you. Giving them a style guide to follow helps you receive content that meets your standards.
Alternatively, opt for a quality-over-quantity approach. Then, you produce fewer pieces of content, but ensure they’re all excellent efforts.
2. Relevant Material
When people arrive at your website but don’t see what they expect, most quickly leave. That decision contributes to a high bounce rate. This number is a representation of the visitors who arrive at a homepage without visiting other pages.
Relevant content is not the only factor impacting the bounce rate, but it’s a crucial one. In short, if you have a low bounce rate, your website consistently provides what users want and expect.
Understanding your audience and using appropriate keywords in your content are some of the many factors that can increase relevance. User comments can also give clues about a lack of relevancy. For example, if people frequently say things like, “I expected to find camping supplies here, not stuff for my yard,” you might need to tweak your keyword and marketing strategies.
Many people access the internet on their smartphones. Users are more likely to stay engaged with sites that support the devices they use to view these platforms. Since smartphone usage enjoys a slight edge, it makes sense to design your site to look nice and function correctly with people who use these devices.
Consider aspects like the navigation, text readability and image size. Remember that people with mobile devices see things on smaller screens, and you’ll need to account for that.
4. Supportive Images
Images strengthen your content and keep people interested. How you place images can positively affect user experience, too. For example, if your site features a blog post about the five most popular toy dog breeds, pictures enhance the content by letting people immediately see the canines they read about in each section.
You can also use images as teaching tools. Maybe you operate an e-commerce site specializing in baby supplies. Adding a photo showing the two-step process for folding a stroller into a car trunk could make people more eager to buy it.
5. Useful Updates
If a person comes to a site and sees its last update happened several months ago, they’ll quickly go elsewhere online. That’s particularly true with sites that sell things or offer services, because people wonder if those enterprises have shut down.
Fortunately, tools exist to help you provide the updates people need and want. For example, many enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms have complementary mobile apps that let you send push notifications, check order statuses, verify inventory counts and more.
When such information is literally at your fingertips, it’s much easier to improve the customer experience by giving consumers the updates they need. That could mean a sitewide update about temporarily slower shipping times or individual alerts about people’s desired items coming back in stock.
6. Multiple Modes of Assistance
You may not immediately see the connection between higher engagement and people getting the help they need. However, when you provide visitors with at least one source of assistance — and preferably several — there’s a higher likelihood they’ll stay on the site instead of getting frustrated and navigating away.
Adding a live chat widget to your site is a smart move because it could encourage people to purchase more and make them feel more satisfied. Another possibility is to have a customer support database that lets visitors search for the most common questions others ask.
7. Strong Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) tells visitors exactly what you want them to do after seeing your website content. Research indicates that more than 93% of CTAs include verbs such as “read,” “start” and “learn.”
However, you also need to go further to ensure the CTAs you create are maximally appropriate for your intended audience. Then, your customers will feel eager to carry out the desired actions.
For example, if you mostly cater to time-pressed businesspeople, a great CTA could prompt someone to “Sign up today in less than two minutes.” Alternatively, if you’re reaching people to solve a specific problem or meet a need, address it directly in the CTA. You could say, “Register now to learn better budgeting skills.”
Tweaking your site content for maximum readability is another effective way to increase engagement. Stay mindful of several factors, like:
• Font size.
• Font color.
• Font type.
• Paragraph length.
• Color combinations.
• Word choices.
Accessibility also ties into making your site readable. If a person uses a tool that interprets the information on the screen and reads it out, it’s especially important to keep your content as straightforward as possible. Avoid long chunks of text or confusing paragraphs.
According to a report from Wyzowl, 85% of the companies polled use videos for marketing, and 99% of that segment plan to keep doing it in 2020. Videos support your goal of increased site engagement, provided that you follow video marketing best practices and make videos that match audience needs.
Try to capture attention in 15 seconds or less. Doing that increases the chances of people watching through to the end. Get straight to the point with all of your content, and convey to viewers why the content is worth watching.
Consider adding captions to your videos, too. People can then enjoy the content during circumstances where hearing the audio may not be suitable, such as while in a waiting room or supermarket queue.
Start Boosting Your Site Engagement
Improving your site engagement is not a quick process, but these nine elements will go a long way in helping you achieve that goal. As you implement a few or all of them, pay attention to your site metrics and how things change as you adjust what users see. It takes time to see consistent results, so be patient rather than assuming that a change intended to increase engagement did not have the expected effect.
Lexie is a web designer and UX strategist. She loves taking her goldendoodle on long runs and checking out local flea markets. Visit her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.