Learn about the different types of website user engagement and check out simple website engagement strategies you can implement on your site.
How Engaging Is Your Business Website?
OK, I guess simply having a business website is better than having no business website at all, but not by much. Especially if you have an older business you are missing out. Your online visitors expect cool design and engaging content. And that is only the beginning. These simple business website engagement strategies can help you go from there.
Many business owners make the mistake of getting a business website, and then never doing much with it. That is a shame. Instead of creating leads and revenue their website is just an online version of their marketing brochure. That can work for some businesses. But the rest of you require more than that from your online presence.
You need to attract your ideal consumer, get them on your website, convince and convert them to buy from you, and then ideally talk about the experience on social media. That is possible, but it requires a plan and a lot of effort.
What is Website Engagement?
In previous posts I mentioned the importance of website usability and how user-experience design benefits your website. Today I want to touch on a related topic, website or user engagement. Building a successful business website means focusing on user engagement. But what exactly does that mean, and what kind of website engagement strategies work best?
Simply put, user, or website, engagement is when website visitors appreciate your content enough to stick around, engage and convert. When visitors land on your site, you want them to read your content, learn more about you and the benefits you provide, engage with inter-active elements, and click-through on your calls-to-action.
But website engagement goes much deeper than that. To be successful, you need to understand the different types of user engagement, and how you can use them to create more effective website engagement strategies for your business website. The benefits of increased user engagement include increased brand loyalty and website conversions, which is what you want. So, let’s take a look at what is involved in website engagement strategies.
Types of User Engagement
The development of effective website engagement strategies has to start with an understanding of how visitors engage with a website. Simply landing on your website does not equal user engagement! Website engagement requires visitors to your site to actually spend time and consume your content and interact with your site. Here are a few ways they do that.
This is probably the most basic form of user engagement. Website engagement is when a visitor lands on your website, reads the text on your home page and navigates to other pages and content on your site. This indicates the user is engaged and wants to learn more about your business, product, or service.
Viewing Visual Content
In 2019 having visual content is absolutely essential for increasing user engagement. Therefore, high-quality and relevant and informative images and video provide your website visitors with additional content to consume.
Having relevant and engaging website content means your visitors will actively engage with it. One of the most common forms of user engagement is to comment on your posts or other content. But effective website engagement strategies should also include quizzes, polls or surveys. They provide fun ways for your audience to actively participate on your site and come back for more.
Regardless if you are active on social media for your own brand, social sharing is one of the easiest and most effective website engagement strategies. If website visitors like your content they will want to share it with their friends and associates. And the simple act of sharing on their social profiles counts as website engagement, so be sure to include social sharing functionality on your site!
Why is Website Engagement Important?
Back in the days when I first started building websites having just about any content was enough to attract and engage your target audience. But those days are long gone by now. In 2019 the digital world is highly competitive, as I am sure you have noticed. Having a website visitors land on your site is only the very beginning. You need to actually engage your visitors if you want to succeed online.
Most, if not all, of your visitors will have a reason for visiting your site. They want you to solve a problem or provide some other benefit for them. Your website visitors are looking for relevant information, or they will simply leave. Your job is to keep them on your site long enough to actually find out if you have what they are looking for. Which is where website engagement comes in.
The basic rule to improve user engagement is to deliver quality content your audience is looking for, combined with the website elements and functionality they require to actively engage. To actually achieve better user engagement, you need to follow three important rules:
- Analyze: You should use tools like Google Analytics to track your site usage and user behavior.
- Adapt: Once you know which content or pages on your site have the best website engagement add more of the same.
- Automate: Make it easier for your website visitors to locate and consume the content they are looking for.
19 Simple Website Engagement Strategies
1 – Get Started
Getting a business website is only the beginning. As we outlined in Preparing for The Content Marketing Marathon you are in this for the long run. Building an effective online presence takes time and effort. And it needs to be regular and ongoing to keep producing results. If you are unable to handle this yourself, you will need help or get left behind.
2 – Know Your Audience
Even business owners are not always sure who their target audience is. Or even who is already buying their products and services. If you are not sure who your customers really are you need to find out. Create stick figures or personas of your ideal customers and target your online content towards them.
3 – Get Involved
Is your team able to update your website and update your social media profiles? Or do you have an agency handle that for you? Make sure members of your team are true partners with any outside service provider. With Google placing more value on social engagement every person on your team is now a key player.
4 – Be Helpful
Let’s talk a bit more about content. An effective content strategy is much more than simply writing the odd blog post. To be truly effective your content needs to be actionable, informative, educational and focused on your audience. To be successful you will require a content strategy, an editorial calendar, and most importantly, a plan! Otherwise, you will confuse your audience, which causes them to disconnect.
5 – Provide Solutions
Don’t sell to your visitors. Instead, provide solutions at every stage of your journey of conversion. Don’t simply hit people with a “BUY NOW!” button. Instead, craft offers that are relevant to your target audience at the various stages of their buying cycle. That makes the case in favor of your solutions much more effectively.
6 – Blog
I can really not stress this enough! If you are not blogging for your business, you are missing out on valuable opportunities for engagement. And it does not really matter what type of business you are in. Simply focus on sharing great content to attract visitors and you will do fine. But stay away from being overly pushy or promotional or you will drive your audience away.
7 – Focus on Content
Many brands focus primarily on the “look” of their website. Placing design above content does not encourage your site visitors to stay or return. Design is certainly important and should by no means be ignored. But you need to focus on your content and information structure as well. If your visitors can’t find the info they are looking for they will go elsewhere.
8 – Create Long-Form Content
Studies show that pages with 1,000 to 2,500 words tend to experience the highest user engagement. But don’t simply expand your text with fluff. For better website engagement you need to provide quality, informative, and actionable content that provides value to your visitors’ lives.
9 – Break Up Your Content
But simply adding long-form content will not necessarily get your website visitors to consume it. Let’s be real here; very few people are going to read a block of text that’s up to 2,500 words in length. To increase user engagement, break your content up using relevant and keyword rich subheadings, bullet points and numbered lists, and white space between concise paragraphs not more than 4-5 lines in length. You can also break up your content with relevant visual content.
10 – Display Related Content
As I mentioned earlier in this post, website engagement hinges on the time visitors spend on your site. Many e-commerce sites use related products to keep visitors browsing and buying. The same approach works very well for developing effective website engagement strategies.
11 – Be Social
Start looking at social media as another form of networking. Most of us prefer to do business with people we know and trust. That includes our family, friends, and business associates. You need to start looking at social media as a tool for connecting with your ideal prospects. Don’t forget, they are the audience for your content.
12 – Get Found
If you are still relying on outdated SEO tricks you better stop. Why not implement some of these 9 SEO Basics to Grow Your Small Business? Basically, SEO comes down to how well you can be found by your target audience. To attract the right kind of prospects you need a combination of engaging content, social engagement, and White Hat SEO strategies.
13 – Use Analytics
Do you know what kind of visitors are coming to your business website? Or what they are searching for? What pages are the most popular? Being unable to answer these questions is like driving with your eyes closed. At the very least install Google Analytics; it is free! It will provide the answers to the above, keep an eye on your competitors, and even lets you know when the Google algorithm changes.
14 – Be Mobile-First
In 2019 website engagement strategies MUST include a mobile-first website! The majority of your website visitors will visit your site from a mobile device. Use a mobile responsiveness testing tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to determine if your site offers an intuitive user experience across all devices and screen sizes.
15 – Keep It Simple
One of the single most effective website engagement strategies I know is to keep your website as simple as possible. You will never get better user engagement if you confuse your target audience. Create a simple and consistent website layout and simple navigation, add readable and concise content, use effective visual content, and provide a fun and engaging experience.
16 – Focus on Page Speed
If you really want to improve your user engagement your site needs to load in 3 seconds or less. Even a one-second decline in page load speed will negatively affect your user engagement and conversions.
17 – Streamline Navigation
You will never get decent website engagement if visitors can’t find your content in the first place! Site visitors must be able to find the information they require within two or three clicks, at the most. If your website is too difficult to navigate, visitors will give up in frustration and simply look elsewhere. Your website engagement strategies must include simple navigation and effective blog post categories to keep information organized and constantly accessible.
18 – Utilize Internal Linking
The simplest strategy for increasing website engagement is to keep visitors on your site longer. If you have lots of content, make sure they can find it. Therefore, effective website engagement strategies utilize internal linking. As the name implies, this is simply linking content on your site to other content on your site. Be sure your links should have descriptive anchor text and are specific and relevant to their respective landing pages.
19 – Set Expectations
The last of my simple website engagement strategies is unfortunately often overlooked. If you want to increase your user engagement you need visitors to take action. But do not assume they will actually know what to do! This is where your CTAs (Calls to Action) come in. Whether it’s submitting a form, entering their email address, or clicking a button to learn more, make sure your CTAs are simple, commanding, and noticeable.
Final Thoughts on Website Engagement
As you can see really effective and useful business websites are not simply built and forgotten. Instead, an effective online presence starts with a business website and grows over time. And it is not just the individual strategies I outlined. It is how they work together that makes them truly effective.
Your website pages basically provide information about your business, product or services. They sell your business. Your blog and social profiles freely share information thought by your audience. That builds trust in your business. Your landing pages trade leads for a product or service, usually in the form of a downloadable white paper or PDF.
Social engagement, blog and content marketing, search engine queries, email marketing, referrals, and sharing are all essential for lead generation. By adding these simple business website engagement strategies to your digital marketing, you can engage a new and larger audience. It does take some effort, but the results are worth it.
Need Help Improving Your Website Engagement!
Our innovative web design team can help you develop just about any type of website. We are experts at carefully crafting custom mobile-first websites to meet (almost) any budget. From designing new WordPress websites, redesigning or updating an existing website, building responsive e-Commerce websites to creating a multilingual online presence for your business we work directly with the client to prepare them for the ever more demanding mobile consumer. Why not get started by requesting your free web design estimate?
And if you are still not sure how you can improve user engagement on your website, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way to remove the obstacles in the way of your business objectives and continued growth. It is one of our specialties, after all!
How is Your User Engagement?
Do your website visitors stay around long enough to discover your website content? Or is your website engagement declining or simply insufficient? Have you noticed specific obstacles that hinder user engagement on your website? Or did you have other problems with your business website design? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
By Gregor Schmidt
Co-Founder / CXO